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My Story


Becoming one of three "Certified" Ashtanga Yoga Teachers in Canada ...

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My Story


Becoming one of three "Certified" Ashtanga Yoga Teachers in Canada ...

A Journey of Self-Discovery

Wisdom is knowing I am nothing,
Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves
— Nisargadatta Maharaj

As a child and into my youth, I spent many years training as a ballet dancer. Consequently I struggled with eating disorders and addiction. I always had a keen interest in spirituality, and was brought up in a Christian family who talked openly about God and matters of the heart. 

As a young adult, a search for meaning overtook my love for dance. I recognized that I was fighting a losing battle with an insatiable desire to embody an ideal form that was by its very nature, unattainable. I was grasping at trying to gain some control over an overwhelming onslaught of negative thoughts that were consuming me. I longed for a deeper connection to something beyond myself. 

This search eventually led me to discover the practice of Ashtanga Yoga. I was studying Buddhism and Sanskrit at the University of Calgary, where I completed double degrees in Philosophy and Religious Studies, when I felt a strong pull to connect more deeply to the practical side of these ancient teachings I was learning about. 

In 2002, I traveled to China with a field school to research Buddhist Meditation. For six weeks, we lived and practiced in several monasteries in remote areas of the countryside. These experiences encouraged me to pursue more actively the path of Ashtanga Yoga in conjunction with a meditation practice. Since then, I have been fortunate to connect with the Vipassana style of meditation, as taught by S. N. Goenka, and have taken the opportunity to delve deeper into this discipline through sitting multiple silent retreats.

 I made my first trip to Mysore, India in 2004, to practice and learn under the direct guidance of Sri. K Pattabhi Jois and his grandson R. Sharath Jois.  With the exception of the year my son was born, I returned annually since that first trip and occasionally twice within the same year. From the very first time I met Guruji my heart was flooded with a deep feeling of love and reverence. He was able to transmit so much through a simple touch, his penetrating gaze or with only a few simple words. Those early years of practice with him solidified my dedication and devotion to this lineage. I remember for the first time feeling completely at peace within myself. This experience was so real and deep, I knew this was the path for me.  

I have found that time I spend in Mysore is the heart of my practice and source for my teaching. Directly learning from Guruji and Sharath has touched every aspect of my life. The ritual of immersing myself into the culture of India and connecting back to the roots of yoga continues to keep me inspired and each time forces me to go deeper within myself, to grow, and develop even more trust in this powerful, authentic practice. In 2015 I received 'Certification' from Sharath Jois, which is the highest acknowledgment one can receive from the KPJAYI in Mysore and is an official permission to teach the Advanced A Series. 

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Practice


Strength & Devotion

Practice


Strength & Devotion

Finding Purpose through Practice

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.
It will not lead you astray.
— Rumi

Practice was a lifeline for me. I don’t remember much about the first class I ever took, or the teacher, except that it was a mind blowing experience. By the end of that first class, as I laid down to take rest, I remember feeling like I was “home.”  My mind felt calm, my body felt totally alive, and I felt incredibly connected to every molecule inside my being. I walked out of that class feeling taller, lighter, more joyful, and incredibly clean internally - mentally, emotionally, and physically. It was a totally new feeling, and one that continues to draw me back to the practice day after day.

My practice has become a way for me to connect to something beyond my mind and body. I first came to the practice looking to find peace. What I discovered was a internal wellspring of strength and devotion and from this source a greater sense of balance, peace and harmony continues to grow. 

 

 

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Teaching


Sincerity & Integrity

Teaching


Sincerity & Integrity

The Gift of Sharing  

To awaken spiritual unity, and to spread to others the love that is our inherent nature, is the true goal of human life.
— Mata Amritanandamayi

Yoga is fundamentally a spiritual discipline. 

The best teacher is not one who simply gives the students whatever they want, but rather, knows what each individual student needs and offers that. A good teacher can identify the obstacles that a student cannot see, and has the ability to asses what will best help each person grow, learn, and connect more deeply to the Self. A teacher acts as a mirror for the student, and can reflect back those areas where there is a lack of awareness to reveal personal blindspots.

If a student is to grow and understand the more esoteric aspects of the yoga practice then cultivating a relationship of trust with someone who has traveled further down the path is required. 

When I work with students, I am continually channelling the energy and wisdom that I have gained from practicing and learning under my own teachers. I believe that the parampara (the unbroken chain of transmission passed down from teacher to student) is an important element when someone wants to truly experience the power held within this ancient tradition. 

I was asked to teach by my teachers and since that time, teaching has grown to into both my passion and my dharma. It is a gift that I am blessed to offer and openly share with those who are drawn to this practice. For me, teaching is the fruit that has naturally ripened after growing and maturing for over a decade on the tree of sadhana (spiritual discipline) and it's sweetness mixes with every aspect of my life.

For those students who have the courage to ceaselessly peel back their own internal layers and confront the inner darkness in attempts to touch the light enclosed within, I am humbly honoured to facilitate this endless ritual of unfolding.

Om Sri Gurubhyo Namah 
Hari Om

 

 

 

  

 

Harmony is one of three Certified Ashtanga Yoga Teachers in Canada.  She teaches regularly in Victoria BC, and frequently in Calgary AB. You can join her for authentic, traditional Mysore-Style Ashtanga Yoga Classes. 

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Seventh Series


Love & Joy

Seventh Series


Love & Joy

Awakening 

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself
— Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Giving birth to my son Jediah in 2011, and subsequently, the challenges that Motherhood naturally brings, has held within its very essence the unexpected experience of rebirthing myself.

A Seed of Transformation Sprouted.

Everything Changed. 

From the moment he entered this world I was completely altered. His existence changed everything I thought I knew about myself and the world around me. As he grew, I felt my own inner wisdom expanding also. Many things that I used to believe were so important prior to having my son, now seemed completely irrelevant. Life before Jediah feels like nothing more than a dream now.  There is no amount of spiritual practice or asana series that could've prepared me for, or taught the lessons I have learned from being a Mother. 

Motherhood provides a unique opportunity for inner growth that is inherently spiritual through countless moments of selfless sacrifice and an overwhelming flood of unconditional love.

Through Seventh Series, what Guruji used to call "having a family," I have come to realize the unequivocal importance of the yamas and niyamas and what it actually means to live yoga all day long. 

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