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May 2012

Grounding and Gratitude

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I have been driving from St. Catharines to PYC since the first day the studio opened in Clarkson Village.  There was something about the energy of PYC that kept bringing me in, driving an hour each way to a class that I knew would inspire me, and ground me and connect me into something powerful.  Let’s be clear, I made the time to do it, I worked part time as an office assistant, yoga instructor – teaching 10 yoga classes a week, mother of 2 kids, and a wife. It was a priority for me.  I didn’t quite understand it all at the time; I simply knew I loved to be there.

I started becoming a part of the community even more, I attended Baron Baptiste Teacher Training Level 1, Level 2, became a certified Baptiste Power Vinyasa Instructor and started participating in all practice teaching sessions, all trainings offered by PYC because I wanted to inspire my students, as Kinndli and Pauline had inspired me.  At times, I wondered, “What am I doing?” “What purpose was there to keep coming back to PYC and being a part of their community when I lived so far away?”  It wasn’t sustainable over the long run.  A conversation with Kinndli, telling me about why she opened her first studio – her needing to build the space that she craved from the Baptiste community right here in Canada, set off the light bulb moment (amazing how one conversation can do that).  It was time to step up out of my comfort zone!  I needed to bring this incredible studio and community home to St. Catharines. Create a place that inspires me to practice and create the community I loved so much, at home. Instead of waiting for someone else to bring it to me, I had to do it myself along with my partner Andrea. It was time to step up into something BIG, it was time to bring PYC to St. Catharines.

Pauline became my mentor.  I admire Pauline; she never once told me what to do.  She encouraged me to find my feet, get grounded, really get clear on what I wanted to build and create in my life, find my drishti gaze, my focus to where I was headed.  I can’t even begin to say how important that is. Throughout this whole experience, with all the ups and downs, that is the one thing that I needed the most.  To have my feet planted firmly on the ground, to know what I wanted to create and to keep stepping towards it.  Opening a studio is not easy, but when you know exactly what you want, where you are headed, it is simply a part of the path to where you are headed.  All of this is living yoga, not simply doing the physical practice, the asanas, but starting to live your life through yoga, grounding down-finding your feet in who you are, what you are up to in your life, using your drishti, your focus, to bring the practice to your life, not just the one hour on your mat.

Pauline and Kinndli – I am forever thankful to all that you do and the communities you have built, my life has changed so much because of you both.  I am honoured to be a new affiliate studio owner and to be your friend as you spread your love all across Canada!

I am moving forward with complete excitement about bringing PYC to St. Catharines with my amazing partner Andrea.  She has been right by my side for the entire journey!  I absolutely love the energy, the community, the practice, the space (lets face it, I could go on forever here), and so excited to be bringing it HOME!

Let’s Light it Up St. Catharines!  Are you with me???

-Darlene Berg