A Reflection on the Gifts of Our Community

Hello friend,

Welcome to another beautiful month and to many new and exciting things happening at Yoga in Bowness and in the community of Bowness. This month I’d like to share with you my thoughts on the Theme of Celebration. I chose this theme because, as I look around me, I see many reasons to celebrate and many reasons to feel joy. Here are 5 things I’m celebrating this month:

Celebrate Community

As I settle into my role at the studio, I look around and see so many authentic, whole-hearted individuals coming through the doors everyday. I see hundreds of students showing up for class every week, doing something kind for themselves. I see teachers sharing their love of the practice of yoga with passionate and excited students. I hear chatter in the change room and camaraderie about our crazy Calgary weather and I see people doing ‘this life thing’ TOGETHER. I’ve been a part of many communities in my life and I have to say that the community of Bowness, and our little community at Yoga in Bowness, are among the best this city has to offer. I am so grateful to be a part of this studio, and you have all become a part of me.

Celebrate Sunshine

The winter that just passed left many of us wondering “will I ever be warm again?”. Then I’d pop in for a Yoga for Backs class with Ale Veffer or a Hatha class with Bridgette Shaw-Bane and I would be reminded that warmth is all around and we have it in droves in our little studio. So needless to say, I am over the Full Strawberry Moon (coming our way on June 17) when I walk out and smell the flowers, the grass, and feel the warmth of the beautiful sun on my skin. I feel so held by Mother Nature and the promise of adventure in tall grasses, walks along our beautiful Bow River and blanketed naps in the park. I’m so grateful for the sunshine and for this beautiful Spring.

Celebrate Possibility

As smoke blanketed the city last week, and I groaned because I couldn’t open my windows, I was reminded of all of the people in our city, our province, our country, our world, who are having a far more difficult time in life than I am. I have the choice to grab my mat and show up to yoga, to nourish my mind, body and spirit with breath and presence. I have the privilege of drinking clean water, of eating fresh, nutritious food. I wake up to the scent of flourishing lilac tress wafting down secure, quiet streets resting under safe, clear skies. I am so grateful for this life of opportunity and possibility and I am so grateful that all of you get to have the same pleasures and blessings.

Celebrate Water

Speaking of smoke blanketed skies and living in the best country in the world, I must mention how grateful I am to the element of water and how it nourishes and flows through our lives - and our city. Since I was a little girl, the Bow River has been my friend. Whether I’m doing a bit of journaling on it’s banks, floating down it’s surface with friends, or meeting a friend for a walk down it’s paths, it is a constant and ever present part of my life and this city. I’m reminded of the floods of 2013 and how the community of Bowness used them as an opportunity to come together stronger and more united than ever before. I’m reminded of the strength of this community and how our river gracefully, and sometimes mightily, brings us together.

Celebrate YOGA

Now I know you all knew that was coming but hear me out. Clearly yoga is a bit of thing for us yogis at Yoga in Bowness. But let me tell you what it means to me. It’s truly not about flexibility, or even about strength. It’s not about getting anywhere or becoming anything. It’s about being me. Everyday I am bombarded by messaging that tells me I am not enough. It tells me I must be this, I must be that, to have value. I love yoga because it tells me “You are exactly where and who you are supposed to be – RIGHT THIS MINUTE”. It says, YOU ARE ENOUGH. I love our community at Yoga in Bowness because we get to be exactly who we are – every, single, day. We get to come as we are and breathe in community and belonging. At the end of the day, that feeling of belonging is all that really matters. That’s why I celebrate yoga today. Within yoga, I belong in my body, my Self, and with all of you.

Thank you all for your continued presence in our community at Yoga in Bowness and for being a part of what makes it such a great place to be.

With Gratitude,

Nellie