Yoga on Kits Beach

I walked down to Kits beach this morning for my meditation and asana practice. I carried my mat, blanket and silence down to a grassy spot between the trees. Behind me the Yoga Boot Camp sargeant was whooping willing buttocks into shape.What a beautiful contrast…

He was wearing camo and black boots. His students kicked and punched their lululemoned limbs into the air. I sat in silence, wrapped in a furry shawl. I closed my eyes and listened – bicycles whizzed by, runners clomped along and doggies pitter pattered around me.

I sang an improvised version of the mantra that Jen taught us yesterday. “Kundalini, ari-shakti. Namo, namo. Namo, namo…”. As I sang, I held my new Level 3 friends in my heart.

I wiggled around in my downward dog. Between my legs I could see the Boot Campers holding Upper Chaturanga – juicing their abdominals and hopefully breathing.

Stretched out on my mat, I wound my practice down with a few twists. As I turned to face my right – a man armed with a notebook approached. This was not entirely unusual – I have taught yoga to strangers in parks.

He asked me if this was a good time to talk. I smiled and unwound from my twist. He told me about a new TV series that he’s producing the Eternal Wellness Show. He’s looking to recruit a few good yogis for the trailer. Sunrise yoga on the beach … sounds lovely.

The Vancouver Trinity crew popped into my brain. I told him that I’d put him in contact with some beautiful yogis. So if you’re up for being filmed this FRIDAY Sept.8 – please give him a shout. Feel free to pass this message on to any other yoga souls in the area.

Francisco MacDugall 604.733.1890

Final week at KYM

Although nothing can compare to a Trinity closing circle the final day of the KYM International Program was certainly special. Students and teachers shared a south Indian lunch served on palm leaves and a closing ceremony with speeches, chanting and certificates.

During the week we were treated to several special presentations – a classical dance performance and an asana demonstration by our teacher, Lara. Between other dazzling feats he performed each vinyasa with one leg behind his head. I take back anything I said about the simplicity of the practice!
Throughout the last week we were given several opportunities to question TKV and Kaustub Desikachar about anything that has come up for us during the course, the yoga path and/or life.

One classmate asked, “I live in LA where I have learned from many teachers but still I have not found the right one. How does one find a teacher?”

Kaustub replied, “Well, let me ask you – are you ready to be a student?”
Perhaps when we are ready we do not need to search.

Here at the KYM, where the lessons of Krishnamacharya are carried on with faith and diligence, I feel I visited the heart of yoga. Continuous acts of compassion, healing and devotion opened my eyes wider yet to the infinite wisdom of the yoga path. Before leaving, with head bowed, I placed lotus flowers at the photograph of Krishnamacharya and the statue of Patanjali.

I am grateful to my teachers in India as well as my teachers at home and all the teachers I have yet to meet. And in answer to Kaustub’s question – Yes, I am ready to be a student.

Thank you for sharing this experience with me!
OM shanti namaste.

Week 3 at KYM


The third week at KYM ended with 2 related lectures: Yoga and Mantras by Kaustub and the significance and classical steps of meditating OM by S.Sridharan and “Sir” ( how Desikachar is referred to with reverence).Who knew that chanting OM and other mantras traditionally begins with a prayer, then sipping 3 sips of water while reciting a specific mantra, than pranayama in preparation, then samkalpa or setting of intension, then nyasam – reciting the different components of the mantra while touching different parts of the body, then visualization… all this before the japam or recitation of the mantra!

This week’s theory class focussed on classical preparatory postures and counterposes. Something new for me – classically bujangasana is the counterpose of sarvangasana. Fish posture is considered too great a strain on the neck and classically all counterpostures are dynamic.

Philosophy class has involved a study of the 8 limbs of yoga with a lengthy discussion on ishwara prandihara or surrender to a higher being. In applications class we have focussed on the neck, lower back and knee injuries as well as diabetes and PMS. In chanting class we’re learning at a faster pace and getting good! Although, I don’t know if the teacher would agree.

I had a private consultation with the resident doctor/ yoga therapist at KYM. The consultation was not long – maybe 20 minutes. My health concerns were minor ( I went more for the experience). We discussed my ailments, lifestyle, diet etc, he took my pulse and then observed while I performed some simple movements both standing and lying. The doctor gave me some advice on my current daily practice as well as a short daily practice to help with digestion. A fellow student with a slipped disc reported some great relief after 4 days of her assigned practice.

That’s all to share for this week. The month is flying by. I presume that at this point I cannot even imagine the wealth of knowledge I have gathered. The lessons I am learning will take a long time to sink in and integrate. It is wonderful to share this experience with people from such different yoga backgrounds as viniyoga, iyengar, sivananada, anusara, ashtanga, scaravelli, radiant light and kundalini. I have learned so much from my new friends.