I applied for the Yoga Service and Study Immersion program last year knowing it would be good for me to be in community, to be around people who lived yoga. I had been working non-stop for a long time, spending most of my life alone, and found myself starved of human connection. I also wanted to study: immersion was what I was looking for. I sought the opportunity to practice – really practice – to be forced to face people day after day, and to grow.
It was a great choice! I love the beauty and peace of the Centre, and I’m always happy to wake up here. My work assignment during YSSI was in the office, as receptionist/registrar. Though this would never have been my choice of activity, I’m easy going and was happy to be placed where I was most useful. Had I not been placed in the office, I don’t think I ever would’ve thought to apply for the programs coordinator position which I’m in now. My background in graphic design and programming affords me ease in the numerous technical aspects of my duties, and I’m blessed by the many other quirks and challenges which come with coordinating programs and rentals.
During YSSI I appreciated the regularity of sadhana classes; I believe it’s easier if you practice every day. I am grateful to have the inspiration of people in the community who live a disciplined life and have a committed, long-standing dedicated practice. My favourite thing about being in this community is that we hold each other accountable for living with integrity, for our own practice – with acceptance and encouragement rather than judgement.
My favourite practice is meditation. I’ve practiced asana for a longer period of time and continue to find it enriching, but I find these days that what I can’t do without is meditation. It is grounding. Allowing the mind to settle on the breath is so simple, yet endlessly challenging. No matter how calm or turbulent, I always feel better at the end of the hour; some kind of transformation takes place. Another grounding practice for me is drawing. I’m inspired by visual beauty, but the drawing practice is one of centering and focus; making art is a by-product.
The Centre and its community are so dear to me now. I feel really lucky to have the opportunity to live and practice here for a whole season and am excited to see how the year unfolds.