Opening to Grace

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.  


Anjali - to the sun

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.

About Katharine Weinmann

living and leading with courage, clarity, compassion and creativity
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2 Responses to Opening to Grace

  1. Kerry-Ann says:

    Hello my dear friend Katharine,

    A sense of calm and longing came over my as I read about your day and saw the lovely pictures. As you know this is day two of school opening. I must say that these have been two absolutley amazing days. Yes, of course busy and hectic, I wouldn’t expect anything else. However, my wonderful staff have once again done an amazing job with grace, love and passion. I just can’t help telling everyone how much I love my school. The hardest part was pulling off my opening day staff meeting without you! Funny just how much I have learned from you and the day went great! I think I shall go home to enjoy the last bit of evening sun with a class of wine and hold up a toast to my school, my family, my friends and of course you Katharine! xxxxxoooooo

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