Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sleeping City in the Sun

It's a gloriously bright sun-shining Sunday, but Montreal is asleep recuperating from the city's 8th annual "Nuit Blanche" (White Night) festivities. The whole town went nocturnal: museums open until 3am, music on the streets, open air swimming at the Bonventure Hilton, and over a hundred art installations.

I have a hard time staying up uber late, but despite urge to crawl under the covers at 11pm, Craig  forced me to put on long underwear and venture out into the cold in search for adventure. We caught one of the free "Nuit Blanche" shuttle buses and headed to the Redpath museum for its famed 'midnight flash light' tours. Having missed the opportunity to explore this historic McGill museum in past years, I was excited to see dinosaur bones and stuffed creatures in the dark. But alas, after standing in line for 20 mins in negative 15, we were turned away due to over capacity. Oh well, next year.

We walked down McGill College to Indigo bookstore where my friend Darryl and his The River Beauty Band were performing. I love coffee table books, so it was fun listening to live music while turning pages of Andrew Zuckerman's photography, travel guides in Scotland and Marilyn Moore retrospectives.

Our last stop was the McCord Museum of History, where the party was packed with grinning adults. You see, there is a large interactive toy exhibition with a massive homage to Lego. There were even stations set up for play, so visitors constructed DNA coils, an Eiffel tour and even a Where's Waldo. On display were Lego replicas of the Millennium Falcon, the Twin Towers and a whole Lego city. Enough to bring out the child in everyone. 

We were home around 2:30am. A good effort on our parts, but I'm sure the celebrations continued until sunrise this morning.

I sometimes wish I was a better party person. The night intrigues me, but I have such a hard time staying awake past midnight. I suppose it doesn't help that my days are also packed with activity and it's near impossible for me to sleep in. (It's 8:30am and here I am typing away my thoughts!)

Yesterday afternoon, I did my fourth consecutive day of lunar series in the Lululemon window on Ste Catherine Street (more on that later) and then I co-hosted a cinema night at Om West, which was pretty cool.  We projected a film called "Time Wave 2013", a really interesting doc about the Incas and the prophecies surrounding 2012, the end of the Mayan Calender. Curious stuff...

That's it for now. I'm off to enjoy the rest of my day off-- maybe brunch on Laurier with coffee (a rare treat), followed by window shopping around my Mile End hood, then Moon Salutes!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Happy Day 54

Today is the 54th day of the year. I feel festive. After all, 54 is half of 108, a most auspicious number. Plus, it's mid February and I'll celebrate anything that helps me embrace this long, cold month in Montreal. 

As mentioned in my previous posting, I feel ready to embark on a new adventure. My original plan was to start sun saluting again. This time, I thought I'd do 54 surya namaskar for 54 days, but after some soulful reflection and a brief chat with Lisa Lajoie, one of my confidants at the studio, I've had a change of heart. I still want to invest energy in a personal practice of 54 days, however, I want to do something totally new and different. Sun Salutations are so 2010... This year, instead of Surya Namaskars, I'm going to explore Chandra Namakar, the Moon Salutation. 

I did a little research today and came up with enough ideas for my practice with Bossa today. The flow is so beautiful. The lunar salute is like a fluid dance that circles around the mat. No up dogs and no down dogs. Very different from the sun salutation. I loved it. Bossa, who was one of my premier 108 sun saluters last year, also enjoyed the change. It took us about a hour to do 54 at a pleasant pace. I definitely have to videotape the sequences and share them, but first, I need to practice different combination of postures and figure out what makes the most sense. 

I'm really looking forward to next six weeks or so of Moon Salutations. I'm not promising that I'll blog everyday like last year, but I will definitely chronicle the journey somehow. I'm stoked to hear that some of you are planning on joining this 54 day plight in your own delicious way. I'm smiling inside, because Craig, who is somewhat of a reluctant yogi, is currently in the office doing his own sun salutations and yoga practice to the new Radio Head album. This is totally on his own accord, without any prompting from me. He came home and asked where his mat was and threw down. How very interesting... :)

Anyway, please share your stories and experiences with me and our little solar/lunar salutation blog sangha (community) about your 54 day plan. It keeps us all inspired. Speaking of inspiration, isn't this a great photo of the moon? It's Craig's photo, which I 'borrowed' from his blog. See his moon post.

Lastly, in case you are curious (I was), here are some other interesting facts about the number 54:
  • A Rubik's cube has 54 colored squares;
  • +54 is the international calling code for direct dial phone calls to Argentina;
  • There is 54 milligrams of caffeine in Mountain Drew, my student Glenn's favourite and most nostalgic beverage;
  • A score of 54 in golf is referred to as a "perfect round", but  has never been achieved in competition, not even by Tiger;
  • Studio 54 sounds like it was a pretty radical place to hang out at back in the day or so Max, the 84-year-old yogi tells me of his frequent disco nights spent there;
  • The 1998 movie 54 was about Studio 54 and starred Ryan Phillippe and Salma Hayek (I didn't see it);
  • And there are 54 cards in a deck of playing cards, if you include the two jokers.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 54/365...

Sorry I've been slacking on the blog front. I've been very involved in teaching and course development at my Om West Studio. I'm working on some cool stuff.  Nevertheless, yesterday, I had a thought. Wednesday is the 54th day of the year... So, I'm thinking, how about 54 sun sals for 54 days this year?  It's just six weeks. Could be fun.

Wanna join me?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thursday in Montreal

It's Thursday afternoon and so far, I have spent a wonderful day.

05:30  Up and about (yes, a.m.)
06:00  Digging out car (again) with Craig's help (thank you so much!)
06:30  Yoga with new private clients
08:00  Yoga again with the marvelous, Max + oatmeal and berries with Max.
10:30  Hair cut at L'Academie Aveda-- hair academy on St Laurent (It takes a while, but Cynthia was lovey and gave a great head massage. AND it was only $17.09!)
12:30  Lunch at Patati Patata with Craig (I really like french fries...)
14:30  Soy Latte and emails (now blogging) at Laika on St Laurent (Does anyone work in this town?)

Tonight, I'm teaching my third private yoga class of the day and then going to a party, if my energy persists until then!

Ok, enough about me. How about this glorious City? It feels so good to just stop and appreciate my urban environment. My beloved hometown is covered in deep fluffy, sparkling white snow and the sun is finally shinning.  It's Thursday afternoon and Laika is packed with cool looking folk with funky hair,  chunky eye wear and Apple laptops. However, no sign of Patrick Watson, whom I've often seen hanging out here. Spring may not be here yet, but it's coming. I feel it!

In other news, we recently sold out all three Yoga Basics classes at Om West. This only confirms my theory that the world needs more intro to yoga courses and less pretentious yoga for acrobats classes...

Have you heard of this chick Tara Stiles? She's a model, yoga teacher and YouTube star from NYC, who is upsetting "Traditional Yoga Puritans" (TYPs) by offering yoga tips for couch surfers and hangovers. The TYPs are also ruffled because she doesn't follow a particular lineage of yoga teaching and her training is questionable. I understand the latter, but her real crime, it seems, is that she's become super famous, super fast and TYPs hate that, especially when the new "IT" yoga teacher is a self-promoting, young, non-conformist like Tara.

Check out this article about Tara Stiles' rise to fame. "Yoga Rebel" was published in the New Yoga Times on Jan. 21:

Read the article and then let's talk.

I want your opinion. What makes a good yoga teacher?