Wa Yo Yogi

Leanne Kitteridge's adventures in Yoga

A Summer of Transformation August 31, 2009

I laughed when I read Sjanie McInnis’ blog because I know exactly how she feels. What a crazy, outrageous, glorious summer!  Like the wild fires that burned through the mountains of B.C. all summer, a fire blew through the Anusara Yoga community of B.C. as well.  The fire that raged through the kula was like Shiva’s hand of flame- everything became clear in that light and the fire transformed and tempered what was there before.  We now have 4 teachers in the certification process and over 100 students that have completed an Anusara Immersion. Elissa Gumushel kept the embers burning, Sjanie McInnis and Christine Price Clark  stoked the fire to a warm brilliance,  Todd Inouye  brought our teacher to see our light and I just made sure everyone helds hands and sang Kumbaya…or something like that.  Our Inspired teacher community  now includes Lauren Hanna , Shelley Tomczyk, Brent Kuecker, Trisha Wilson , Bree Greig, Carol Wray, Lara Luer, and  Josie Houpt who is joining us from Toronto. If I neglected to mention someone I apologize~ we are getting so numerous now and new Inspired teachers will be stepping into the light with rapid speed over the next few months.

Sjanie is prepared

Sjanie is prepared


The event that topped the whole summer off was John Friend’s visit to Vancouver during his Ultimate Freedom Tour. Vancouver hosted a two day weekend workshop and a 3 day therapy training.  To be quite honest I remember very little of the training because I was too busy running around helping. ( warning to those of you that host….) I am not saying that was a bad thing- it was actually the BEST thing. There is a time and place for everything and this training was not about the studying of the technical aspects of the method but of studying the dynamics of the greater community, the kula, and seva. I was especially happy to see so many of my students and friends having such amazing awakenings in the method. My favorite was running in at the last minute to see John drop back my husband into full wheel! Seeing those you love enjoy themselves is better than doing it yourself I swear! We had quite a few emails after the event saying how well it was run and how warm and supportive the Vancouver Kula was. It was good to hear.

Cp and Sjanie

Cp and Sjanie

We had a few surprises, twists and turns during the week- the biggest one being Todd’s ruptured appendix! Poor guy!  Christine stepped up to MC  and her sincerity and warmth could be felt by all.  We were all a little worried about the location of the event as John likes lots of natural light . The venue was the performance hall of the Roundhouse Community Center and basically it is a big black void ( I kept calling it the heart of Kali…). If that wasn’t worrisome enough, poor John came in to preview the venue and found a technician with a head wound lying on the floor and an ambulance on the way! Let’s just say… not a good start. 


The Vancouver Puja


Ganesha rockin it out

Thanks to Carol Wray, her husband Lori, and many other hands and feet , the room was transformed a few hours later into a radiant  Indian tent of gold, orange and red with dozens of murtis watching over our practice. It was quite funny to hear Christy Nones- certified teacher from Miami and one of the Anusara tour staff-  come in on Monday and say it was one of the loveliest venues she had seen. Amazing what a little shakti can do!

Carol's magic

Carol's magic


The training was also my first opportunity to meet Chris Chavez and his wife Ozlem who have been in Vancouver teaching workshops and Immersions at YYoga. Originally from LA, they are now traveling and teaching all over the world. I was immediately struck by Chris’ openness and warmth- he has a soul of extreme generosity and Ozlem is no less beautiful inside and out.  We celebrated Chris’ 39th birthday during the workshop and John did a big spiel about the significance of 39 and I listened with great attention as it is my 39th year as well. Seems like a good year to start certification…..

And on that note Robin Golt will be my mentor teacher for my video during the certification process. Yes folks- I sent in my paperwork. I am hopeful that I will be accepted into the process but I will not assume. There may be areas that John wants me to work on before I go forward and I totally respect that.  Many people have emailed me and asked me, “How do you know when you are ready?” I can now see me asking that question to Christina Sell a few years ago. Her response was,  “Have you ever thought that the process will make you ready?”  I have the hours, I have all the requirements, I have read all the books, but I had that months ago~ what changed? Somehow a sense of natural progression brought me to apply- it was just the next step in the journey. I look at the process as a way to become an even more dedicated student and to learn even more- to go DEEPER. I think that is what Christina was trying to explain to me. It also helps that Sjanie and CP are swimming in the current and yelling “JUMP IN! THE WATER IS GREAT!”

…so here I go ….”SPLOOSH!”