It's such fun to live in Ottawa! Every Wednesday at noon, hundreds gather in front of Parliament to stretch their bodies and bring together a lovely energy.
I took my lunch hour today to go join this fun movement. Even though it was over 30 degrees out there, there were 340 people there! Today's class was taught by Marla from Empower Me Yoga in Ottawa. I thought she was wonderful! I imagine it was a challenge, teaching over 300 people, with a microphone and one little amp speaker to share her teachings. But it worked! The class was fairly gentle - there were a few sun salutations, lunges, back bends and chair poses, but she encorporated a lot of forward folds as well, to keep us cool. As I looked around, there were smiles on faces, as we raised our arms to the blue sky and glorious sun. I wonder if the long cold winters here in Ottawa make us delight so so much in the sunshine! Marla was a very articulate teacher, and with her words we knew exactly what to do for each pose. She also brought a lot of humour to her class, and kept it very light and joyful. I really enjoyed learning from her.
I can't say I really relaxed or came to a place of stillness and quietness in this class. For one thing, the heat was intense, with the sun beating down. Being surrounded by 340 yogis brings a wonderful, but not quieting energy in these surroundings. And, there were so many tourists wandering around our group, snapping photos, excited at what they saw. I think it is delightful we could show tourists that Ottawa is an active, alive, healthy city! All those fun, lively things about outdoor yoga make for a fun exercise experience, but not one where I can get my mind or body to quiet to that place of stillness. And that's ok! Each experience is what it is, a wonderful moment to be alive, to move and breathe, to notice and to be aware.
Man, was that fun!