Category Archives: travel

path of contentment

First, Buju Banton will provide the soundtrack for this post:

And let’s go. So, my super dope teachers, Reno and SJ, are hosting this unbelievable retreat in Thailand in February.

click on this bad boy to make it big and readable

I am going. And I could not be more excited. I feel like my ever-so-brief jaunt to Bali with Ryan was just setting me up for this. (Meaning, I got a taste of how delicious and beautiful Southeast Asia can be. I also learned a lot about the importance of sunscreen on my freckle farm, and how it might prevent a few sleepless, sunburnt nights spent crying under an ice-cold shower. FML.)

I'm probably writing in my journal about how much my skin hurts. Bali 2009.

Practicing One Love has been the biggest blessing to come of my move to Vancouver. Finding my teacher has ignited a totally new kind of dedication in my practice, which has, in turn, propelled my physical practice in a big way. And with that, my body and my monkey mind are way more supportive of daily sitting meditation practice, so my mala is staying warm and my cushion has re-established its place of honour in my room.

SO… come to Thailand with us. There will be beaching and yoga and coconuts, and sweet tunes like the dulcet tones of Buju Banton that you’re probably still listening to right now, if you hit play. (If you didn’t, go back and start again.)

amen.

Thank you Dara (my future traveling partner!), for the words that have run through my head every night since you shared them with me: “Cows roll over and go to sleep. You say your prayers.” Isvara-pranidhana!

Leave a comment

Filed under Asia, lululemon, travel, Vancouver, yoga

on the right track (baby)

I had the best headstand of my life last night, in an inversion workshop with Ryan Leier, set to Sigur Ros. For a few minutes, even after 90 sweaty minutes of handstands, (attempted) forearm balances, and vinyasa, I actually found the sweet spot in headstand where it was about balance, and not strength. It felt effortless and light! (For a raging pitta like me, this is usually a challenge.) And then I backbend-fell out of it. And it was great. I love where this is going.

It is on that high note that I woke up this morning, but I’ve been having such a great few weeks, anyway. Anthony came to visit, which was enlightening, and then I spent my birthday weekend gallivanting around San Francisco with him.

I think I love this city.

It happened to be pride weekend, which added some delightful and colourful surprises to the scene.

pride chaos in the Castro 'hood

I was so glad to be wandering and eating with my bud and his buds. It felt happy and good.

home in a strange city

Back to Vancouver. I am here. Like, really here. Things are changing for me at work – I’m taking on things that are new to me and teaching things to other people, and who I’m being for the team is new. It feels challenging and exciting and also sort of natural.

I love my job right now.

 

In other news, I did the Grouse Grind last week, for the first time. It’s basically a straight-up Stairmaster “hike” that got all up in my head. Having no reference points, being a first timer, I was dripping sweat when I reached the 1/4 mark, and the next two quarters of the grind were a mental struggle. I don’t get why people do this. I’m never doing this again. I wonder if it’s easier to go back down. My friends are so much better than me. When I paused to take a dizzy breath and have a sip of cool water, I caught myself in that trap. Oh, hey, mind. The last quarter was probably more of a struggle vertically, but my head was in the right place and I felt 20 pounds lighter. Of course I’ll do it again. And faster, too.

It's no Shad Bay, but it's alright.

And, to cap it off, it seems to be summer in Vancouver. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Tank top bike ride freckle yoga picnic beach season. My favourite.

1 Comment

Filed under lululemon, travel, Vancouver, yoga

sometimes the blues is just a passing bird

This is my favourite song of the year thus far:

On the subject of The Tallest Man On Earth, Anthony once told me, “Liz, I’m sorry, but I’m not into that Swedish Bob Dylan guy that you like.” But I love him shamelessly. (Anthony is okay, too.)

the party, appropriately called "March SHADness".

morning-after-party stroll through the enchanted forest, complete with bards

Anyway, after an intense weekend of goodbye partying in Halifax and a few days of rental-Jeep cruising around Vancouver with my ma, I am basically installed in my new home.

spring on the west coast

It hadn’t really hit me yet until I said goodbye to my mum last night on her way out, but… holy sh*t, I’m really here. I really did just move across the country by myself. (Well, to be fair, I do have some company out here.)But it was a bit scary. I haven’t started working yet, so I woke up this morning and asked myself, “what shall we do today?”

old faithful

When in doubt, find something delicious to eat, of course. I picked up my bicycle from the shop (yes, it has a basket and yes, I look totally awesome riding it), and cruised around a bit. This was interesting because a) I am not used to being in a city where cycling is encouraged through convenient infrastructure and b) I had forgotten about those particular muscles that one uses to bike uphill. I have to manifest that they will come back. Inshallah.

Leave a comment

Filed under Halifax, lululemon, travel, Vancouver, yoga

a long time gone

dog-walking in Point Pleasant Park

This year has been so good to me. 2010 was the year of Liz – does anyone remember me proclaiming that as we entered the year of the Tiger, my lucky #10, the year my age would turn into the beautiful number 24? As we entered 2011, and I was surrounded by declarations of “I’m moving on from this @#$%^&* year!”, my work was to manifest that 2010 was not THE best year of my life, but just the start of something spectacular.

I choose you.

At the Landmark Forum, which I had the privilege of attending in January in Montreal, we talked about the difference between “deciding” and “choosing”. Deciding is about weighing the pros and cons of each option and going with the option that has the most benefits. “Choosing” is actively dedicating your conviction to an option, even if it’s the only option, and MAKING it the right choice. You say, yeah, THIS is what I want.

Smoked meat + pickle + cherry coke = yes.

So I’m choosing that. Don’t get me wrong – my life is pretty amazing, and I know how lucky I am that my options are all really lovely. My friends are supportive and inspiring. I can wake up every day and choose to be happy and to feel fortunate, and so every day is wonderful.

I'm certain that summer's my season.

That being said, obviously the month of February is inspiring me to look back on my 2010 – the Cool Global Sporting Event in Vancouver (the best job of all time), yoga teacher training in Byron and a subsequent year of yoga – practicing and teaching, possibly the best summer  ever, including daily swims, a really excellent love, and getting to wake up in Shad Bay and see the ocean from my pillow.

Ah, nostalgia.

So, I’m pleased to announce the next chapter: I’m leaving for Vancouver in a month! I’ll be moving on to another lululemon adventure, a new(ish) city, a new community, and the opportunity to create something really exciting for myself all over again. I’m envisioning lots of bike rides, yoga, photos, blogs, friends, playing outside, and opening my big heart to find even more joy and creativity. (Can you even picture that?)

West coast beginnings.

I’ll be sad to leave my home, but that’s the thing about home – it’s going to be there when I need it next.

Namaste!

1 Comment

Filed under Halifax, lululemon, travel

nose to the grindstone

Hey kids,

My attempt at a consistent blogging effort seem to have failed, at least moderately. BUT I just started a tumblr page on which I can share random bits of information (http://wizwohnson.tumblr.com/), if you’re tumblr-inclined, and I just wrote a blog for lululemon about my Australia trip! Read it here.

family breakfast

Life is good on the lululemon front – fall is such a transitional time, with people coming and going, and a new energy blows in on the wind. I’ve been making videos like it’s my job (oh wait…), and managing the online community efforts, like facebook and Twitter. (And really trying to enroll people into the Foursquare scene – it’s like a real-life game! Gahhh.) Tomorrow, I’m leading an EIT (Educator In-Store Training) for a few new hires with Sarah, which I’ve never done before. I remember how exciting my EIT was, though, so I’m looking forward to getting them all psyched up about this cool company.

enchanted forest

Windy, blustery Vata season – mind scattered and in need of grounding. That’s something I’ve certainly been conscious of in my yoga practice. Stay low, connect with the earth. Breathe deeply. I’m teaching my regular 3 classes at 108, and I’m so happy there. I see familiar faces often, which means that people are, in fact, returning to subsequent classes, and I’m feeling more confident every week.

new friends

Also… Shad Bay is a dream. That’s all I have to say about that. I’m so lucky. The universe is unfolding as it should.

my brothers are good-looking.

1 Comment

Filed under Australia, Halifax

photographic evidence

So… I’m now at home, and I haven’t quite figured out how to express it yet. Stay tuned.

Even if you’re not into facebookery, you can check my album of visual delights by clicking right here! Enjoy.

Leave a comment

Filed under Australia, Halifax, travel

buffer

sunrise on the beach

I’m still working out how to process this information, but we’re done here.

Kate

kookaburras

This week has been about wrapping up evaluations, enjoying each other’s company, and soaking up as much of this “yoga” as we can.

attempting mandalasana

We had one last super dynamic class with John, in which all sorts of extraordinary events took place, such as John working me through some crazy backbends – think Urdhva Dhanurasana (wheel) to handstand to crow. Hilarious. He was doing 65% of the work, but it’s such a rush.

Kate, before audibly popping her sternum

Pip

Friday was our closing day, and some of us (ahem) had a few tears at the closing circle as we shared some snippets of love and gratitude.

closing circle

Jbone on the djembe

Stephan, our meditation teacher and in-house therapist (ha)

After our feast and some photos, one by one, people started leaving the pack and venturing out. Sad and exciting, all at once. Goodbyes feel different this time. Just let the emotions come, without attaching onto them.

beautiful Zoe

John - the bossman

Jess and Kate

Kate, Jannine, Sarah, Dariush, Belle and I stayed on at Tallows Beach Friday night – went out for dinner in town to celebrate birthdays (mine AND Sarah’s!), and the brave ones (i.e. everyone except me) left the house at 3am on Saturday to hike up Mt. Warning for the sunrise. I fancied a birthday sleep-in. I got up at 9 (which sounds ludicrous – I’m a 5:30 girl, now), and went down to the beach to meditate my way into a new year.

good morning, 24

Jannine took the plunge and got inked in town! I was there for emotional support, though she needed very little, and it was such a riot. Dariush was there to make me a purple weiner-dog balloon friend, and Tom, the tattoo artist, sang bass to the Beach Boys. So wonderful.

Tom

By some strange coincidence (though, really, what is a coincidence, anyway?), my birthday lined up with the end of this course, the beginning of a whole new adventure, and a lunar eclipse. So, naturally, we gathered up our crystals and drums and skipped down to the beach for a bonfire. (My FAVOURITE birthday delight – flashbacks to Madagascar.)

birthday eclipse farewell fire

To charge up crystals, you’re supposed to wash them in sea water and let them sit in the moonlight overnight, so we made a little ritual of it as we watched the progress of the moon. (I swear, I’m feeling some strong vibrations from them this morning.)

soaking crystals in the moonlight

bam bam bam

So blissed out. We had to say goodbye to Belle and Dariush – the most daunting of my goodbyes. Such beautiful people, I’ve met here. Hoping that our paths will cross again.

And now, a rainy Sunday morning is a fitting scene for our departure from Tallows and Byron. We’re packed and Coolum-bound, where we’ll detox (an intense cleanse is in the works – details to come) and sauna and beach before flying back to Sydney on Friday. Jannine likens it to having a week off between war and heading home to your family – give it all time to sink in.

A bientot!

2 Comments

Filed under Australia, travel