Today I awoke in Canmore, AB to a crisp, cloudless, sunny day. Dressed four layers deep, my friend, G, and I walked down to the river to join Tracey Delf’s morning yoga class. (G and I met last summer at a yoga hiking retreat at Quantum Leaps Lodge in Golden, BC. We practiced the strong and beautiful Anusara yoga, a style that is all about “opening to grace.” ) Talk about a “pinch me” moment. Could there be a more beautiful setting for an asana practice on a September weekday morning? (Sunshine…mountains…asana…September…weekday morning…each a sweet component of my new beginning.) A light breeze blew, the crow cawed, the sun shone, warming us as we bowed into the first sun salutations, and then moved through Tracey’s skillfully choreographed sequences. Enough rigor to stretch into and a bit beyond, to open to the grace of the breath, the moment, the day.
Sitting in meditation and through sivasana, I moved into my favourite mudra, abhaya, “no fear.” With my right palm facing out, and my left palm up, I always sense a balance between giving and receiving symbolic of opening to the grace of life.
After our practice, we ambled over to the Farmers Market, sampled hot Vastu chai and gluten-free breads, and crunched into the sweet-tart juiciness of a fall apple. Loaded down with yoga bags and sacks of fresh corn, apples and tomatoes, prune plums for a tartine, homemade Thai satay sauce and mushrooms for tonight’s dinner, and blackberries for tomorrow’s pre-hike breakfast, we’d generated enough heat to warrant stripping off layers, toques, socks and gloves.
As we made our way through the morning crowd, pausing at every corner to readjust grips, I had the pleasure of meeting women in G’s circles – her book club, grandmothers’ group, drumming and hiking – all of which she has cultivated in the two short years since retiring here from her prairie roots, home and career.
I watch and listen, and I realize that G is giving me an important lesson in “what next.” I’m deeply touched and inspired by how involved she is…how she gives to and receives from this town…how she intentionally and purposefully opens to the grace of this place and its people…how she has made a home and is at home here. Thank you for sharing your home and wisdom. Namaste, dear friend.
- Yoga and The Feldenkrais Method (teachstreet.com)