Thank You For Helping Me Reach A Milestone!

When I turned 40 I didn’t know I was going to do a yoga teacher training. But, I did. In 2018 I graduated from my RYT-200 at Namaskar Yoga in Saskatoon. It was a fabulous training with the best instructors, Kathleen and Doug.

When I graduated from the training I didn’t know that I would soon run a small studio, then within eight months find myself needing surgery with a long recovery, and finally get back to the studio only to be shut down by a pandemic. I never imagined I would be teaching classes online. I also didn’t have a clue that family circumstances would change and I would need to close my little studio. But, that is how life goes…

However, I always had the goal of reaching 2000 hours of teaching yoga classes. This would give me the experience I needed and open new possibilities for what I can do as a yoga teacher. Though I had hoped to reach this milestone a little sooner giving up the studio changed that. Yet, I kept working and kept teaching.

This week I did it! I have officially taught over 2000 hours of yoga classes. And I couldn’t have done it without everyone who has joined a class over the past 5 1/2 years. Whether you’ve joined in for one class or hundreds, whether I have taught you in a city, rural, or virtually I would like to extend a big thanks for giving me the opportunity to spend time with you, lead you through some yoga poses, and grow as a yoga teacher.

A special thank also goes out to the Aylesbury crew who are the ones who informed me I was going to be their new yoga teacher when the last yoga teacher moved away 😉 Without your encouragement, I wouldn’t have taken the training at all.

More new things coming in 2024…

40 Things From My 40s

Today is my last day in my 40s.

As I look towards my 50s it is with a positive mindset, hope and optimism. My life is not perfect—never has been, doubt it ever will be. But, I am always loving life and curious what comes next.

As I am about to enter this new decade I find I am feeling the healthiest I ever felt—body, mind, heart and spirit despite circumstances making this also one of the most challenging times of my life. Below are some of the ups and downs of my 40s that brought me to where I am today.

  1. After decades of being scared of driving finally got my driver’s license (thanks to a little hypnotherapy and being out of the Toronto area)
  2. Got my very first car, a 2003 Jaguar X-type I lovingly call Lucy that I sometimes treat like a work truck, sometimes treat like a race car and still drive today
  3. Lost our wild and fun Siberian huskies, Loki and Sylvia when they passed away at the old ages of 14 and 15
  4. Said good-bye to my last living Grandma and gave the eulogy at her funeral
  5. Worked as librarian
  6. Founded the registered charity, Prairie Bear Books
  7. Because I love learning continued taking university classes
  8. Said goodbye to my stepfather who passed away too soon
  9. Lived in a charming, imperfect old Eaton house that I adore and call Hazel
  10. Wrote for the labour news website Rank and File (and has thrilled when Naomi Klein tweeted a link to one of my articles)
  11. Became a yoga teacher
  12. Nurtured plants and a garden (and killed more plants than I will ever admit to)
  13. Opened a yoga studio
  14. Started teaching BarreAbove, Tabata GX, Balletone, and Zumba
  15. Visited Victoria and fell in love with the city while discovering it by walking 150 km in 10 days through her beautiful streets
  16. Visited Jackson Wyoming and rode horses through the mountains
  17. Surprised myself driving through Yellowstone and the Rockies (this woman who couldn’t drive in her 30s was having fun now)
  18. Made several trips to our beautiful little place in the woods of Quebec
  19. Had a hysterectomy
  20. Adopted a tarantula named Rosita
  21. Watched my daughters grow and blossom as young women facing their own challenges and successes
  22. Made new friends, connected with old friends
  23. Saw some great concerts
  24. Along with the rest of the world experienced my first pandemic
  25. Been a blonde, brunette and a redhead (even had a bit of blue hair) and I can confirm hair colour doesn’t matter, I always have fun 😉
  26. Studied and took a deep dive into the field of embodiment
  27. Started writing for the newspaper
  28. Had a poem published in an anthology
  29. Did my very first death meditation. If you are well-resourced and in the right frame of mind I highly recommend. The saddest part for me was discovering that the thing I would regret most is not being kind and loving towards my own body and letting my body image issues limit me
  30. Spent 2 years working on those body image issues. If I couldn’t love my body could I like my body? If I couldn’t like my body could I be civil to my body? After putting in a lot of work I can truthfully say I appreciate, respect and love my body for the first time since my adolescence
  31. Started reaching out to counsellors and therapists for the first time
  32. Lost our beloved pup Charlie Bow at the age of 13 1/2. She had been with us since she was 16 weeks old.
  33. Published my first book, Letting Charlie Bow Go celebrating our love for her and dealing with her loss
  34. Started a small publishing company, Lilac Arch press
  35. Published 3 other books and 2 journals
  36. Became a full-time caregiver to someone with dementia
  37. Met our new dog friend, Tucker and welcomed him into the family
  38. Started running (something I was never sure I would be able to do and believe it is only possible because of my running partner Tucker)
  39. Celebrated 25 years of marriage with my best friend
  40. Felt love, joy, sadness, grief, hope, despair, anger, resentment, compassion, empathy, and contentment

In all its imperfection I get up every day with a smile on my face and see what is next in this journey. I am looking forward to tomorrow and this fabulous new adventure of my 50s!

My First Week of Running is Complete!

The challenge I decided to tackle for the beginning of 2023 is the C25K (Couch to 5 Km) app. This morning I completed the first week of this 9 week challenge!

I first heard of this free app at the beginning of the pandemic. However, my dog Charlie Bow was entering her elderly years and the running was a little too much for her. I made the choice that I’d rather walk with her than run alone with the time we had left together. The challenge could wait till another season of my life.

Recently, we adopted another dog, King Tucker. He is also a senior, but still an energetic 9-year-old. I thought we could experiment with him being my running buddy.

Running has always been a challenge for me. Yet, it has also been a goal to run 5km, or maybe even more. In my wildest dreams, I envision completing a triathlon. For the last several weeks as we walked, I told King Tucker, “On January 3rd we start running.”

The C25K app has you begin with a 30-minute workout. You start with a 5-minute warmup. Then you begin 8 rounds with 1 minute of running, and 1 minute 30 seconds of walking. You complete the workout with a 5-minute cooldown.

I could have had lots of excuses -Who starts running in January in Saskatchewan? It’s cold and windy. I could wait till June – I don’t have a proper coat for running (or any running gear) -My hat keeps moving about my head as I try to run -King Tucker is still new to our family and we are still working on his leash manners -I want to go at 7 am, but it is still dark that time of day right now

I could have had lots of excuses, but made up my mind NO EXCUSES!

And, so we just did it. We did it in my long wool coat and winter boots. We did it in the wind and cold and frost. We did it despite King Tucker not completely understanding the idea that we run for 1 minute and walk for 90 seconds. We did it despite King Tucker’s preference to track area deer. We even kept doing it after running into a coyote on the second morning.

We adapted and changed and let go of expectations. We now wait a little later in the morning so if we do run into wildlife it is daylight. I have discovered the value of good pair of long johns. Today I will hunt around the house for a balaclava to prepare for next week.

I’m slow, and I’m sure my form is lacking. I do worry about what the neighbours might think as I trot along.

But, it is worth it. I am placing myself in the way of beauty as we run with the setting moon to the west and the rising sun to the east. I am witnessing the beauty of January morning laden with hoar frost. I am bonding with a new friend. And, I am finally tackling a long-held goal.


Yesterday was the winter solstice. I had wanted to write about the importance of wintering. Yet, I spent the day rushing around checking things off my to-do list.

In embodiment, we often talk about cycles or the four seasons. The idea is that there is a season for everything. Spring is the time of planning and prepping. Summer is the time of doing. Autumn is the time when we finish doing. Winter is the time of not doing.

Sometimes the cycles in our lives align with seasons in nature. Sometimes they don’t. Often, we are stronger in some seasons, but find others more challenging. We may be in different seasons in different areas of our life all at the same time.

Since I first was introduced to the four seasons in an embodiment context I have been more deliberate in how I approach my time. I have become comfortable with accepting that to everything there is a season. I have gained clarity on what seasons are easy for me, and what seasons can be more challenging.

As the natural world enters winter in the northern hemisphere I am finding myself also ready for some wintering. I am in need of not doing. Words such as rest, nourish, nurture, cozy, and sleep keep appearing in my daily journal.

At my yoga studio, folks would sometimes apologize for missing class stating that they had been so tired. I always encouraged them that they never needed to apologize for listening to their body and taking rest. Yet, there are parts of our society that discourage rest. We’re told we should work hard and play harder. Burnout seems a badge of honour to some. People brag about how many hours they are grinding.

Working with peers in embodiment we often noticed that winter was the most challenging season for many. Folks were great at tackling big projects. Then, as soon as they were finished they hopped right to the next. I can be this way. Some people never winter.

But, I am here to share another message. There is something deeply refreshing and rejuvenating to give yourself the gift of winter. Everyone’s circumstances vary, but can you carve out some time for rest, relaxation, and doing nothing over the next month?

Over the past few years, I have learned that the more I honour my times of winter the more I am at peace and the more I can return to my spring feeling vibrant and energized.

The holidays are busy. They can be fun, but can also be challenging. Taking some time to fill your own cup this holiday season with the beautiful gift of a little wintering might be just what your soul needs.