Rain!

Dear Vi,

It’s been the most awful summer of heat and heavy smoke every day, and then…just this very minute…it started to rain!

REAL rain, not an intermittent shower.

Steadily dripping, sizzling on the roof tops, glorious, cool, wet, rain!

I know I owe you a big chatty letter…and I’ll write soon, I promise.

But not right now.

Right now, I’m going outside in my nightgown to dance in it!

I never in a million years would have believed I’d move so far away from home…and a home yoga practice

I’ve been thinking lately about how we identify with place. Last year at a gathering in Whitehorse, I was introduced as being from Salmon Arm, BC. Which, I suppose, is true, since that’s where I’m living right now. I had, after all, flown in for the event.

But at time, we had only been gone from Whitehorse for one year and I still very much identified myself as a Yukoner. So when the introduction came over the sound system, I had a very visceral reaction. A little twinge of adrenaline shot into my heart and I actually caught my breath. It felt so wrong! I felt, suddenly, like an outsider, a stranger in a place that was was so dear to my heart that I could still taste the air just by thinking about it.

I still can.

I’ve been living here in the Salmon Arm area for just over two years, now. And while I definitely feel more at home now than I did at first, I still don’t know my way around very well.

Forget directions that involve the name of whatever business was previously located next to the one I’m searching for. “It’s next to where the old yoga studio was before it moved up town.”
“And where is up town, exactly?”
“At the top of the hill, by McDonalds.”
Oh.

Or how about this one: “It’s on 18th.”
(Avenue or street? West or Nortwest? I believe there are four streets that begin with the number 18 in Salmon Arm. there might be more, I’m not sure.)

When we spent a year in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, I met an elderly woman who took me under her wing a little bit. She lived in a nice little house in a nice little neighbourhood of “newer” homes in town. “Newer” meaning built in the 1950s.

“Would you like to see where I’m from?” she asked me one day.
“Is it far?” I imagined a day trip to some other small Manitoba town, maybe an hour or so away.

We got into her car and drove about six blocks to the other side of town, and parked in front of a beautiful old heritage home.
“My nephew lives here, now,” she said, pointing out the dormer window that had been her childhood bedroom.

We walked up the street and down the alley behind the house, admiring the gardens full of tomato plants, rhubarb, and peonies while she reminisced about her childhood.”I never in a million years would have believed I’d move so far away from home,” she said, sadly.

It’s funny, isn’t it, how we can live quite happily in one place and yet still yearn for another. I don’t know if I’d move back to Whitehorse. I like it here. And yet, I identify myself as a Yukoner living away.

And every time we visit the coast and I get a whiff of that salt air, I yearn to live by the ocean again.

If home is really where the heart is, then I guess one can be at home in several places at once. And that’s a good thing, eh? Because the moral of the story is that home resides within us. We carry our homes inside us like turtles carries their on the outside.

HHome Yoga Practice

There are many ways to set up a home practice. If you’re interested in having one like mine, all you need is a space big enough to roll out your mat, a few uninterrupted minutes and a place to set your laptop (or a TV with a DVD player).

I currently practice with the Dianne Bondy on-line videos and with my Rodney Yee DVDs.

Here are some links to get you started. Have fun and choose what fits your style and your body. ♥

You can enroll with Dianne Bondy at Yogasteya. You can also check out her YouTube channel. Here’s a short sample:

There’s Curvy Yoga on YouTube:

And there’s Curvygirl Yoga, too:

My Aunt Margy recommends Jane Fonda’s yoga videos, which can be found on YouTube:

Last but not least, my all-time favourite  DVDs are by Rodney Yee. Especially his Yoga for Beginners series. Here is a sample:

Green…and the Garland pose

Hello!

I’m late with my letter today – did you think I forgot you?

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Spring is here in my area of the world. No doubt about it. The car is covered in pollen and I am stuffed up with hay fever. Today I knelt on the grass to take a couple of pictures (in bare legs) and now my legs are covered in an itchy rash. It will pass. It happens every spring.

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One of the differences that I am really appreciating between living in the Yukon and living in southern British Columbia is how green April is.

Today Sam & I walked around McGuire Lake, in downtown Salmon Arm. The fountain is running and turtles are sunning themselves on logs.

Today Sam & I walked around McGuire Lake, in downtown Salmon Arm. The fountain is running and turtles are sunning themselves on logs.

Don’t get me wrong, I miss a lot of things about living in the North. However, April in the sub-arctic isn’t one of them.

In the Yukon, March and early April bring some of the best cross-country skiing weather you could ask for.

Here on Shuswap Lake, people are already out in their boats.

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Today, everything is green, green, green. The new leaves are popping out. The daffodils, tulips, heather and forsythia are blooming. The cherry trees are blooming. The magnolia trees will be in full bloom any day. I have mowed the lawn twice.

Can you blame me for appreciating this particular difference?

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All this greenness has caused me to cast on a sweater in rich dark green wool. I’m thinking ahead here, folks…it’ll be my summer knitting project. I expect to have it finished in time for the next big colourful season: autumn.

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The yarn is actually fairly close to the colour of a rhubarb leaf, though it looks teal in these photos.

Green is my favourite colour this time of year! And what better pose for today than the Garland Pose. This is a pose I sit in a lot, though I’ve actually never done it in a yoga class!

 

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Garland Pose

I naturally sit in this pose quite comfortably when I’m pulling weeds in the garden, or contemplating the layout of quilt blocks on the floor. I’m lucky to have flexible ankles and stretchy calf muscles, I guess. ♥

http://www.gaia.com/pose/squat-pose-malasana

http://www.gaia.com/pose/squat-pose-malasana

http://www.gaia.com/pose/squat-pose-malasana

http://www.gaia.com/pose/squat-pose-malasana

Here is a really nice video tutorial with modifications.