Sunday, May 24, 2009

Unravelling one of my Stories

Sundays seem like nice days for happy, fun posts. Especially since I seem to need more coffee on Sunday mornings (perhaps it was the wine last night... lol).

I was reading Mel's blog; From Clutter to Shine, and found this tiny banner: Isn't it cute? I had decided early on that this blog was for sharing and learning and so I've avoided the little banners (which I think are fun) just because I'm a little too lazy to add them. But this one fits so well with what I've begun to notice as I've been blogging and it relates to being "eco" and a yogi/ni. Here is the "Small is Beautiful" manifesto:

We believe stories are valuable, no matter how many people read them.
We believe following your passion is more important that watching your site meter.
We believe in the handmade, the first try, the small start, and the good effort.
We believe that small is beautiful.

Won’t you join our revolution?

Yes Yes! When I first began this blog, it was to share my thoughts and passion for yoga and the environment. Soon I began connecting with other yogi/ni's, eco-minded folk and started feeling a little bit of pressure to be "more". More green (did you know that some people use cloth TP???), more "yogic", more followers.... EEK! The competition-feeling in the yoga-sphere is very familiar, since I have my own "stories" that need unpacking (as Brook called them on her blog "Yoga, the Mind and Culture"- love that! Very Charles de Lint) especially those that have "yoga" as the heroine/antigonista. Sometimes I feel twinges while reading other blogs about how the beginners in the class were distracting and so forth. I guess, as a wobbly non-gumby I assume that the more advanced-asana students are also equally advanced in their spiritual growth (sensing a little bit of peevishness there?)
(Our Yoga at the park on Thursday evening- Warriors!!)

I was unprepared for these competitive feelings while reading the eco-blogs, all fabulous but a little overwhelming. I have learned so much, but I know myself well enough to recognize that I'm not quite ready for a "no-poo" shampoo (although if I could JUST get past that first week!) and that Andrew would not want to get rid of his beautiful, energy sucking fishtanks.

So this little banner represents my affirmation and journey towards ahimsa and peace with myself and toward others.

On that note; Bohemian Mom had this fun idea for bloggy-connections: Interviews! I was honoured to be sent interesting and fantastic questions and you should check out her ridiculously awesome interview, complete with a Guardian Jason. Ok; here goes!

1.)  If you could open a yoga studio anywhere in the world, at no cost to you, where would it be?
I thought about this a lot... at first I thought, "I should say in a really low SES urban area, or in a women's shelter..." then I recognized the "yoga-competitiveness" and realized I was being self-serving. Also, I should clarify that I am still just a student yogini, although I have been considering getting my certification. If I were an instructor, truly I would love to open a studio overlooking the Atlantic ocean, with huge beautiful windows and a nice flat outside surface to have classes while we could hear the surf and the seagulls. Heaven.

2.)  Do you remember your very first yoga class / introduction to yoga? 
Most definitely. My "intro" to yoga was from my friend Margaret in undergrad, 
she demo'd downward dog in my living room and I thought she was crazy. Haha. Afterwards, while living in Montreal I bought a Sean Corne dvd and began practicing in my tiny bedroom. Finally, my first "real" class was at the YMCA on Peel Street. The instructor's name was Jim, he was from the UK, not bendy and was dreamy. My friend and I would drink Starbucks then go to his class and drool a little bit. Out of all the studios and instructors that I have tried over the past four years, my favourites have been at the Y. I guess I've always found classes to be more open, friendly and less pressured. Plus, as a student it made more economical sense to pay 10$ a week for unlimited yoga than 16+$ per class. (beautiful leaves at Point Plesant Park).

3.)  What's your favourite eco-kitchen product?
Hmm. Well Andrew's favourite eco-kitchen product (if we had one) would be a handmedown cast iron frying pan that we found in my grand-mère's attic (I'm reading the questions aloud to him as I go along lol). This is a difficult question, as we have a tiny kitchen and my cooking skills are somewhat lax. I do love my bamboo cutting boards (one for meat and one for veggies) and I'm a fan of the microcloth that I got in BC. It really does pick up everything! I also love "Attitude" cleaning products, they don't have any sketchy chemicals hidden away in their ingredients (like Ecover does; see SLS and "parfum" read: hidden chemicals), they are Canadian and they work! Also, if this counts, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Lioli Pog-Sac produce/grain bags. Seriously, they are fantastical. So, I guess no favourites?? lol.

4.)  If you were invited to teach an eco-class to children, how would you introduce them to living green?
Wow. These are tough (but good!) questions. It would depend on their ages. I work with preschoolers and could probably think up a fun "lesson plan" for 3-5 year olds on eco-living. School aged kids though... they are somewhat more of a mystery. Younger children are usually much more concrete and visual, so a trip to the local landfill or dump should be an interesting learning experience of the fact that our garbage never "goes away". I would say that one of the major hurdles we have today as a society is the re:thinking on how we consume and our societal mores around pollution and waste. A huge component of teaching a class of school-aged children would be to encourage school programs that they organized, managed or had input. I love the idea of children having "real food" sit-ins and taking ownership of how their actions impact the environment. Having student run school gardens, compost/recycling systems, lunch planning and carbon reduction would create a sense of ownership, pride and responsibility for a planet that is just as much theirs.

5.) What would your favourite dinner consist of?
My favourite dinner- you mean supper? I get so confused as we grew up with "dinner" and "supper" for "lunch" and "dinner"... Must be the Acadian-french culture. In any case, as a compromise to decrease Andrew's confusion, we now use "lunch" and "supper" lol. My favourite supper would be lobster chowder, made by my parents. Mmmmm. So yummy and fantastically comforting. I shared the recipe here, and some thoughts on the "eco-ability" on lobster here. Since dad is a lobster fisherman, fresh lobster is a must (I grew up spoiled) and just between us; "tinkers" or baby lobsters (not from my father!) are the best. (Our "chair" poses at sunset).

Phew! That was a blast! If anyone else would like to be interviewed, please just leave your email address with "interview me!" in the comments below and I will email you 5 personalized questions :) Here are the "rules";
* leave me a comment with your email address saying: “interview me”
* I will e-mail you five questions of my choice
* you can then answer the questions on your blog {with a link back to my blog}
* you should also post these rules, along with an offer to interview anyone else who emails you, wanting to be interviewed
* anyone who asks to be interviewed should be sent 5 questions to answer on their blog
* it would be nice if the questions were individualized for each blogger

Happy Blessed Sun-Day!


  1. Hey Ms Yogini! Please interview me!

  2. Yippee!!!

    I can SO understand what you mean about the competitive nature of both yoga and eco-living...especially the eco-living bit -- there are some seriously bent zealots out there. Sorry, can't do the wash 'n reuse "loo cloths"..ACK!!!!

    Glad you're embracing the 'small is beautiful''s a grand idea, isn't it?

    Awesome answers to some really, really good questions....

    And I would soooooo enjoy being interviewed by you.....

    *giggles girlishly*

    ~much love~

  3. Such thought-provoking questions...
    I'd love to be interviewed! :)

  4. Whatever! I obviously don't want it published but I review all comments before posting so can delete a comment after reading it without publishing it to my blog. Or you could do that for me...

  5. EcoYogini, I honor your "journey towards ahimsa and peace with myself and toward others." And I think your values are in the right place. Be well!

  6. All posted! Thank you for that!

  7. Hi there, I have added the "Small is Beautiful" banner too! May the force be with us...

  8. (applause!!!)
    What awesome answers!!
    I LOVE your idea of having student-run gardens and composters at the schools...wouldn't that be great?
    Cool lobster sharings too! Very interesting life you've led!

  9. Hey there. I'm here from Mel's blog.

    I'm so glad to hear of another Blogger opting for authenticity instead of grandiose perfection. :)

  10. Thanks for the questions! They're awesome and thought-provoking... it's gonna take a day or two to post some answers. Fun!

  11. Hey Ms Yogini, it occurs to me that you commented on my interview post... would you like another interview? *grin*

  12. Ok so here we go....

    1) Obviously you like practicing yoga out of doors, given how much you invest in your practice and your connection to the environment, I imagine this can be a little intense sometimes. What was the setting of your most intense outdoor yoga session?

    2) You mentioned music rather briefly, are you a musician or singer or both?

    3) You have implemented many changes to your life to make it more sustainable. Which change has been the most difficult for you to make? Which has had the biggest effect on your life?

    4) Some of the foods you have eaten are ones that are not so common in many peoples lives (I would love to eat lobster more than once a decade), what is the most exotic food you have ever eaten and what food would be a step to far for you?

    5) I am borrowing this question, most recently from Mel but from many, many people before: If you could have any three people from anytime and anyplace who would they be and why and what would you eat?

    oh and reading about the fun you were having cooking your veg, I thought you might like this website as they have a huge recipe section.

    Hope you enjoy!

  13. Hiya! Did the comment with the questions get through or did I wait too long before posting it?

  14. Oh, I could say so much about this! How does that happen? We start out with the intention to share our stories, and our efforts...and then we find ourselves feeling like we have to do more more more. It is so crazy!

    I think we have to challenge ourselves, but at the same time, listen to our inner wisdom and be gentle with ourselves. Like you said about no-poo and aquariums. (Confession: I own an SUV, and I don't want to get rid of it because it makes me feel so safe in our snowy/icy winters!)We can't pick out one choice and let it define us. We are the culmination of the millions of choices we make. (And BTW, going no-poo is the least of anyone's worries. There are so many great, eco-friendly shampoos out there these days.)

    We have to focus on the big picture. How much are we doing overall? If I think of how many Ziplocs I just threw out after my trip...ugh. But does that make me a bad eco-gal? No. Just in progress.


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