Celebrating Love in NYC

This spring, my boyfriend and I spent 5 days in New York city to celebrate our anniversary. We saw amazing shows, caught up with close friends, did some yoga, and of course walked a lot. Here are a few photos I snapped along the way.

We made it! Time Square.

Late afternoon cider in Central Park.

Heading in for a taping of the Letterman Show.

This was on Darren’s bucket list. On Sunday morning at brunch he told me that the last time he was in New York someone had offered him tickets to a taping if he could answer a trivia question. He waved them off (because you get solicited so much for various shows in New York that you start waving a lot of things off), but then realized that he should have said yes. Anyways, about two hours after our brunch on Sunday morning, (and many years after that first incident), someone stopped us as we walked along Broadway, and asked if we wanted free tickets to a Letterman taping the following day. Darren didn't say no this time.

Posing in front of Lululemon.

Look what I found! We happened across the store on our way to dinner one night and I had to take a picture. Reverse warrior was all I could safely handle in my heels. Let’s be honest, I can barely walk in them. Anything crazier than this wearing tight jeans and boots, was out of the question.

Inside Grand Central Station

Some of the old rail tracks along The High Line that are now overgrown with beautiful gardens.

The High Line is a public park built on a historic elevated freight rail line, overlooking Manhattan’s West Side. It is a mile long and runs from the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street.

More greenery along The High Line.

One of my favourite buildings along our walk.

Art is everywhere.

This is one of the reasons I love New York City. There is no shortage of beautiful art happening. The High Line is an incredible example of creative architecture in and of itself, but all along it there are art installations, more beautiful buildings, great views of the city, and murals like this one.

Loving everything about this day.

Grand Central and the Chrysler Building by night.

New York you are big, bright and shiny; and I sincerely enjoyed my stay. I will be back to see more shows, do more yoga and walk your beautiful parks again soon.

Toronto’s Lululemon Ambassadors Do Muskoka

As far as professions go, teaching yoga is a pretty awesome one. But sometimes even as yoga teachers, we need to recharge our batteries. In July, Drishti Yoga Centre collaborated with Lululemon to offer the Toronto stores’ ambassadors the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city. Once the details came together, 9 beautiful teachers, 3 awesome Lemons (1 of whom is an amazing cook!) and 1 gifted thai massage practitioner, met in Muskoka for 3 days of bliss. Here are a few take aways from our time together...

Blissed out after some quality time with mother neater and each other.

When we arrived Monday afternoon we were warmly greeted. The personal touches and wild flowers that Adam and Lisa carefully laid out, made the place feel like home right away. After everyone settled in, we walked to the locks and took a swim to wash away the city. Actually, we all jumped off a bridge into the water! It was exhilarating and terrifying. Our bodies flailed through the air before landing in the water, which was beautifully warm. Finally, we landed.

After our adventure to the bridge we settled in for a quick round of popcorn practice. (This is when each teacher guides a posture or two, then passes the lead on to the next person)... Two and a half hours later we emerged! The practice was fluid, “juicy” and magical. We all wished we had filmed it to capture its essence. Prior to our practice we opened our sacred space by sharing 3 things about ourselves as well as a former nick name. Some stuck more than others : )

Sitting down for a divine meal together.

When it was time to come together for our first meal, Lani prepared an incredible spread which included grilled corn, fish, tofu, summer salads, stuffed peppers, and sweet potato gasm (an instant favourite). It was incredible! AND we had wine!! Officially the best retreat ever! Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, we had ice cream and yogurt parfaits with grilled pineapple, chocolate covered almonds and cookies for dessert. The campfire down by the dock was the perfect end to the evening, and with no alarm to set for the following morning, the bliss was officially settling in.

After morning coffee, smoothies and fruit we moved down to the dock to practice. The weather turned chilly and it began to rain, but it was so beautiful. The sound of the rain on the water and lily pads was enough to keep us all out there, and eventually the sun came out again. We shared some of our favourite assists and practiced them on each other. Afterwards we feasted for Brunch and spent the afternoon relaxing. Drew Hume, creator of Navina Thai Yoga Therapy, offered each of us 30 minutes of thai massage, and every second of those thirty minutes were pure bliss. Later in the afternoon we returned to the dock to meet our future selves through a visions and goals exercise.

We shared another beautiful meal together at dinner and before digging in, we each shared a word or something that we were grateful for. Following dessert we settled into the yoga room for a delicious restorative practice. It was the perfect end to a beautifully healing day.

Morning self practice on the dock.

We began our final morning in silence. It was wonderful to be away from the city, sipping on tea and smoothies, sitting by a crackling wood fire (yes, it was cold enough to make a fire in July!), and simply BE amidst the company of other beautiful people. After a peaceful Mysore style self practice on the dock, we broke the silence and came together for our final brunch. Breakfast nachos anyone!? YES PLEASE!! As I acknowledged that I need to do this more often because of how important it is to refuel, I wished so badly that I could stay for another day.

The teachers in this community are so wonderful and have so much beauty to share. We all love what we do so much that we’ll do it to the point of exhaustion and forget (momentarily) about the balance we preach. We’re human and we aren’t perfect, but it’s our vulnerability that makes us true warriors: brave and determined, albeit fragile and sometimes apprehensive. We will continue to forge our path and support others, knowing and trusting that there are others who will assist us when we need it most. I feel full of gratitude and blessed to belong to a group of people who value community and who believe in the importance of nurturing it.