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June 2012

From one of the worst days of my life…

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About one year ago I was entering into the summer of my dreams. I was registered to play in two hockey leagues, a soccer league and a basketball league. With some very light dry land training, I was sort of ready. My first event in this amazing summer was basketball. I found a league with a great group of guys and was ready for action. To prepare, I did my usual shoot around for a warm-up and waited for the whistle to start the game. About 30 mins into the game, I was running down the court and felt a sledge hammer hit my leg. At that exact moment, I also heard what sounded like a champagne bottle exploding. After about 10 seconds of trying to figure out what happened, I realize I had a complete rupture of my Achilles tendon. I considered this to be the worst new guy performance of all time.

So there I am at the hospital, wondering about surgery, recovery time, money lost, what my summer would look like, my leg strength and what I am going to do about work (I have an amazing job teaching Phys. Ed). Not once did I think that this moment would change my life, make me better, stronger and more physically fit.

One of my friends came to stay with me and my wife. He had some time off and wanted to come down to help. He lived with us for a month driving me to physiotherapy, to the gym and keeping my spirits high. When I got the soft cast removed, my wife had just joined Power Yoga Canada. She went to a class and came back radiating, excited and joyful. She kept telling me, “You should come. You should come! Everyone there is so amazing…”. 

Always wanting a new experience, I decided to give it a try. And this is where my transformation occurred, from the worst day of my life to one of the best decisions I have made.

I went in to yoga wanting to rehabilitate my leg, but what I did not expect was a rehabilitation of mind, body and soul. I have now been practicing for 6 months, once or twice a week. I have made a full recovery and am having more success at hockey than ever before (I don’t think basketball is in my near future). But more importantly is the gratitude I owe everyone at Power Yoga. It is so rare to be surrounded by so many wonderful and inspirational, instructors and people practicing.  The energy is so contagious. With the full support from everyone, we have taken a leap of faith and are now going to Kenya to build a school through the Africa Yoga Project.

One year ago it was all about my summer, and what was taken from me; remember, the worst day of my life. Today thanks to Power Yoga it is now the best time of my life. I am truly living. I have not left for Africa yet and still need to raise a lot of money, but I am already excited about how we can help by building the school and help the next group going. My wife and I are fundraising for AYP, meeting amazing people who are so helpful and loving the challenge. This experience so far has taught me several lessons. One is that there are amazing people in this world.  The other, is that changing the world is a next to an impossible task. But if you change your own world, then the world around you changes. 

– Jonathan Gardner

Block Party: July 8 from 1-5pm
AYP Website:
Jessica and Jonathan’s Fundraising Page:

Things that Make You Go Hmmm…

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We were stuck in a rut, living everyday like the movie Groundhog Day. If you haven’t seen the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray wakes up, eats, goes to work, works all day, comes home, eats, goes to bed and that repeats. That was what we were in a habit of doing. We have a great life but it had become very comfortable, maybe even a bit boring. We wanted more. We hungered to be inspired. Deepak Chopra defines the word inspired, as “in spirit”. We didn’t realize how removed we were becoming from our true nature. However, there were signs along the way. Oprah calls these whisper and C+C Music Factory refers to them as…”things that make you go hmmm”.

All year I taught my grade 7 students lessons about social justice, making a difference in the world, and how to be active in the community…hmm. We heard about the March 2012, Seva Safari service trip that a bunch of the PYC community were going on to build a playground…hmmm. We went to their slide show when they returned…hmmm. I went to Oprah’s Life Class tour and listened all day to the world’s best inspirational speakers tell me to find my purpose…hmmm. One day those whispers turned into a strong voice-Pauline’s! It was at the end of class and Pauline said, “We need three more people to go to Kenya to build a school. See me if you are interested.” Immediately I felt my breathe catch- I heard, “just go”, “DO IT!” It wasn’t my conscience; it was the row behind me which consisted of 5 of the people who had been in March. I don’t believe in coincidence. I went home and told my husband. He thought it was an amazing aspiration but an impossible reality to raise $10 000 in a month. I told him how Pauline’s words hit me squarely on the heart. He said that that happens so rarely in life, that once it does you have to listen. So here we are listening to our spirit and amazing things are happening in our life.

We have just started our journey to Africa and it began in our home. It started by stopping our common, comfortable, repetitive routine. Instead of watching TV, we spent our time working together to commit to raising money to support the wonderful work that AYP is doing. It is spreading to our community. My students were the first to hear of this idea and they immediately put into practise the lessons they learned throughout the year, wanting to be involved with helping to raise the money for kids like them half a world away. Now I see them using their skills and talents to encourage their peers to make a difference by doing what they can.

The tremendous support from PYC began our first yoga class after making the decision to be a part of the July Seva Safari. Jenn, Monica and Heather were cheering us on the very next day. Pino, Isabel and everyone in the 40 Days to Personal Revolution team echoed their support. Pauline, Kelly, and Denise are making the Africa Yoga Project Fundraiser Block Party not just a plan but a reality. People we haven’t seen in ages or don’t even know are offering their support. We are so much more connected to ourselves and because of that we are more connected to others. We feel such positive energy from everyone, we are lit up! We are inspired to shine this light brightly so that other people see the power they possess. This is the light that we will take with us on our journey to Africa.

– Jessica Gardner

Block Party: July 8 from 1-5pm
AYP Website:
Jessica and Jonathan’s Fundraising Page: