My First Time

Everybody has an interesting story about their first time. Doing yoga, that is. Overwhelming, terrible, sweaty, euphoric... we heard it all in our My First Time Zine (available at Tight Club, Little Mountain Shop, Hot Art Wet City, Nice Vice, The Juice Truck, Landyachtz, MELU Juice Bar, and more!) Here are some of our favourite stories, because there's nothing like a little throwback to remind us how far we've come.


I was 23. I was working as a marketing assistant for a tech startup and I didn’t know anyone, and the girl who was in charge of the fun things at the startup would bring in a yoga teacher. Her name’s Allie Maz. I surprised myself; I was pretty bendy, I was pretty flexible, but I’d never done anything slow and controlled before.

It was in the office. We turned our work environment into a zen environment... and it was great. It was cool to be around people in a more vulnerable state than how I knew them. I was the new girl. Everyone was really good at their job and I kinda sucked at my job, but when we were doing yoga, we were all the same. We didn’t suck, we weren’t good, we were all just doing it. And there was no sense of competition. I think there was four or five of us, a nice small group.

I didn’t know what to wear, and this girl brought her hot yoga onesie with her just for me, because I’d forgotten it was yoga day. It was a very sexy, very minimal lululemon onesie with, like, underwear lining. There was no bra lining, so I think I had to wear a normal bra with this yoga onesie and I looked ridiculous. I felt very comfortable, the movement was very free, but it was like... cool, I’m doing forward folds in front of a bunch of dudes. So yeah.

Fast forward five years and Allie Maz is one of my best friends, and she owns a rad studio in North Van called The Distrikt.

 

Yash @ this open space

My first time doing yoga was at Bikram Yoga on Commercial Drive... I was 22 or 23. I didn’t realize it was going to be that hot, so I had normal clothes on. I was kind of awkward about taking my shirt off, but then I did fully after like, the first pose. It was really crowded, I remember, and I didn’t realize there was going to be so much ass-in-face, but it was really enjoyable. I like the heat and I like the lengthiness of it, and I usually fall asleep at the end of Bikram when we’re in Shavanasa. I went for a few years after that.

The last time I did yoga was at Social Yoga. It was a surprise birthday gift. I like to go, I just don’t, so I was surprised and forced to go.

 

Natasha @ Little Mountain Shop

My first time doing yoga was in Toronto, my cousin wanted to go. It wasn’t that long ago, to be honest. I was probably in my early 20’s. We went to Moksha, and I didn’t have any yoga clothes with me, so they found me a really small tank top. I had never done yoga, but learned I was really flexible, because I was able to do all the moves. It was my uncle, my cousin and I... a nice family bonding moment.

I found out that I actually really enjoyed sweating, because usually I’m not athletic and I don’t do any sports, so hot yoga was a nice way to learn how to relax and get some fitness in. I think I fell asleep in my first shavasana. I just remember feeling good, feeling cleansed.

From there, I tried different studios when I was back home in Vancouver. I had always owned yoga clothes before, and never used them for yoga, and now they actually had a purpose.

 

What We're Reading: Bird By Bird

Bird By Bird: Some (Hilariously Biting and Widely Applicable) Instructions on Writing and Life


Bird By Bird is a sharp, funny, and deeply relatable novel by Anne Lamott about writing and the writer's journey, framed by practical advice for people who may or may not write. It offers convincing bits of solace that you are, in fact, not alone. Be it feelings of jealousy, insecurity, or uncertainty about the future, Lamott make them easy to laugh about. 

Insight speckled with snort-worthy quips kept us turning pages and taking notes through the personal anecdotes and hilariously relatable paranoid internal monologues.

Whether you write for fun or work (or neither), Bird by Bird offers the sense of urgency to go out and get shit done... a kick we didn't realize we needed so much. 

"When you need to make a decision, and you don't know what to do, just do one thing or the other, because the worst that can happen is that you will have made a terrible mistake." (114)

There's advice on relationships:

"You don't want to spend your time around people who make you hold your breath. You can't fill up when you're holding your breath." (170)

And on the importance of finding a passion:

"To be engrossed by something outside ourselves is a powerful antidote for the rational mind, the mind that so frequently has its head up its own ass - seeing things in such a narrow and darkly narcissistic way that it presents a colo-rectal theology, offering hope to no one." (102)

Plus, some truth bombs to remind us how to wield our powers gracefully:

"You don't always have to chop with the sword of truth. You can point with it, too." (156)

Looking for a new read, or just to get back into reading? Bird By Bird has got you covered.


(all photos via Instagram)

Yoga Off The Mat: Farm Life Every Damn Day

After becoming increasingly interested the in farm side of farm-to-table food, I spent the month of August WWOOFing on a permaculture farm 45 minutes outside of Seattle. What I learned changed the way I consider food systems, nature, community, and the cycle of life. However, I'm not so sure that the "pre-yoga" me would've had the mental or physical capacity to hit those pinnacle moments, and here are some of the reasons why.


Patience

 Because rams love untying knots with their horns

Because rams love untying knots with their horns

Ducks don't shit in their food because they know we'll bring them new food. Goats don't break out of their pasture enclosure to spite me. Chickens don't crush their own eggs and eat them in front of us on purpose (so I tell myself). Find better ways to feed the ducks, learn to tie sturdier knots, and come up with creative ways to keep eggs safe. 

Animals are inherently innocent.

Taking the time to observe them, understand their behavior, and stay calm when it seems like they're destroying all your plans is a process. That said, it's a beautiful one, and the nature of beings--furry, feathered and otherwise--can't be accepted without a healthy serving of patience.

Ergonomics

A regular yoga practice translated to body awareness, sensory mindfulness, and a better understanding of ergonomic safety than I could've imagined.

 Cleaning carrots in malāsana ALL DAY

Cleaning carrots in malāsana ALL DAY

Harvesting carrots and cabbage for homemade kimchi? Without a squat game that's absolutely on point, getting through more than an hour of labor-intensive, ground-level work would've been hellish. 

A day spent shoveling wheel barrows filled with high quality duck pond can destroy shoulders and backs, but a lifetime of chaturanga helped me figure out scapular engagement within the first few scoops. When hazelnut and plum trees are at stake, keeping them healthy is a worthwhile investment with a delicious reward. 

Breathing

Before I started yoga, I'd never taken any active strides to control my breathing (unless we're counting holding it underwater all the way to the other side of the pool and back.) From the tang of aging goat cheese to apples baking in the oven, smells wafting through the kitchen warranted deep breathing all on their own. This is something I often forget to do when I'm in the city. 

The less palatable smells -- that of an active compost pile, or a dirty goat pen -- took some getting used to, but because all of these scents served as constant reminders to breathe, I did. Taking it all in and experiencing my surroundings in full definitely takes a few solid inhales, and the effect of that wash of oxygen is not to be missed.

Meditation

Threshing rye, felting wool, husking nuts, slicing tomatoes, collecting eggs... tasks that busy the hands can free the mind.  Each simple, repetitive motion took on a quality of active mediation if I allowed myself to experience things from my senses, rather than from the chattery weirdness of my mind. The liminal space is a place I could return to by way of the thousand+ times I reigned in my thoughts during yoga.

When thoughts did emerge, they were crystal clear amidst the stillness.

Digging Deep With Kelsey

This week, we're digging deep with Kelsey MacDougall, a holistic psychotherapist & nutritionist. She'll also be serving as our fearless leader for re-shaping language with ourselves, boosting confidence, and calming our inner critics at The Self Series, starting next week! 


How did you first become interested in holistic psychotherapy?

Psychology has ALWAYS been a major interest of mine. From a young age, I was intrigued by dreams, people watching, and getting to know what makes people tick. I started studying psychology while I was still in elementary school! 

The "holistic" piece came into play when I was 15 on the day I went to a naturopathic doctor to seek resolution from my life-long journey with sickness. It was through him that I learned about the significant impact that food and our environment has on our body. As I grew, healed, and learned, I knew my purpose was to integrate these two passions to support others in their own health and happiness journey.

 

If you could tell the world one thing...

Oh, here comes my inner-hippie... I would tell the world: You really are enough. Within each and every one of us is a deep, radiating glow of love. 

Sadly, we've all got a lot of layers covering it all up. Starting from that kid who kicked you in kindergarten, to that time your dad made fun of your weight, to when you lost someone who deeply love. All of these things add up and lead to feelings of defeat and being "less than." 

Some layers are thicker than others, some are easier to let go of, but trust me... deep inside, you are full of love, and you truly are enough. Let go, and let it shine.

 

Best low-key way to de-stress at the airport?

My go-to de-stress involves a technique called "tapping," also known as emotional freedom technique (EFT). I'll be teaching about that, and a few other gems, in my upcoming workshop with Social Yoga. The Coles Notes version is this: you tap on particular meridian point of the body to get energy moving (think acupuncture points), while stating specific mantras. It's quick, easy, and effective. I use it any time I am feeling nervous or stressed out!

Personal and/or professional motto:

I feel like it changes all the time! It's totally dependent on where I am and what I'm going through professionally and personally. 

Right now? Connect to and whole-heartedly believe in your purpose, and trust that everything will fall into place as it is meant to.  

 

Favourite place for tea (or coffee) in Van?

My fave place for tea (or if I'm feeling fancy, a decaf almond milk latte) is Greenhorn Cafe in my 'hood, the West End. It's tucked away, has super friendly staff, and they make a mean Irish Breakfast Misto. The food and gluten-free treats are also amazing!

 

What was your last Halloween costume?

Oh, this was a good one! I was cookie monster! The best part? My friend went as a cookie! I still laugh every time I think about that.

One person that's inspired your career path?

Y'know, it's funny... I was asked this question a couple days ago, and honestly, I don't have any one single person who has inspired me. I've just always had a dream of helping others. Don't get me wrong, there are a ton of amazing, incredible, inspiring people, and I have gotten tons of value and insight from many of them. I just feel like I have my own unique path and mission, and I'm figuring it all out, one day at a time.

 

Tell us about one special object of sentimental value to you:

My most beloved possession is a ring that my parents gave me for my 18th birthday. It's the first ring my dad gave my mom (who, I'm proud to say, are still happily married.) Not only do I adore the sentimental value of it, but it's such a unique piece of jewelry and I have never seen anything else like it. It's my favourite thing, for sure.

 

Last amazing book you read?

I am SO glad you asked this question!  I have been raving about this book to all of my girlfriends, it is a MUST READ!  

Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller. It's all about how to form relationships with our romantic partners. I have studied a lot of attachment theory in my day, and this book still opened my eyes to my own attachment patterns as an adult. It helped me develop a deeper understanding of how that impacts my relationship with my partner, and how my partner's attachment style impacts me. It's a game changer. Seriously. Go read it. Like, right now. Whether you are single, in a committed relationship, or in that "it's complicated" phase (especially if you're in that phase!) this book is for you.

Digging Deep with Armin from Lost Boy. Cards

Can you describe yourself in three words? 

Charismatic, Imaginative, Ambitious

You're a busy guy, what's on your plate right now? 

Currently working full-time on my clothing line, Priory, which I co-own with my business partner. And making greeting cards of course!

 

It looks like fashion is a big passion of yours, how did you get into greeting cards? Where did the inspiration for Lost Boy. come from? 

I was always doodling when I was younger and I got inspired to start making greeting cards when I wanted to put my ideas into something bigger. I had an emotional outpour of creativity after a confusing time post-breakup, so I partnered with my technically-inclined friend Abdallah El Chami to start Lost Boy.. 

 

Can you walk us through the process of creating a card? (Eg. where do the ideas come from?) 

I use the inspiration I get from the relationships I’ve had and put them onto paper. From there, we choose which ideas are best and then start the design process. After, the cards are sent to our printers for production. 

 

Hollywood and Cosmo likes to paint guys as these emotional walls. Were you always in touch with feeling the feels? 

Let’s just say I always cry at the end of Jerry Maguire when Tom Cruise says “You complete me" to Renee Zellweger.

 

Have you ever used one of the lines from your cards on someone you were dating? 

It’s mostly the opposite. I’ll be dating someone and I’ll say something or maybe even they say something to me and I quickly jot the words down. Everything you see on the cards/doodles is authentic and has been said or drawn to someone before. Shoutout to my exes/girls I’ve been in love with.

 

What did you cover in your emotional intelligence workshop for youth? 

Was inspired by a friend who actually concentrates her studies on this topic and eventually worked with a teacher to try and form a fun, casual program to work with kids on. Not really trying to teach anything, but more to spread a positive message and make it “cool" to have feelings!

 

What can we expect from your workshop at the summer studio?

Just talking about our feelings and trying to express creativity through feelings of love!

 

And lastly, with all that you do, how do you unwind? Do you do any yoga? 

I love to read and play sports (mainly soccer and basketball), but running/swimming is the best way for me to get into my head and lose myself in the moment. I’ve been doing yoga for almost ten years as well, which also helps.

RETREAT RECAP: #YOGAGOESCAMPING in July

It's been a few weeks since we've gone camping and to hype us up for this weekend's retreat (still two spots!), we decided to walk down memory lane and recap our last retreat in July:


After rounding up the troops and packing our lives into five double kayaks, we were off and away to Dinoisio point from Retreat Cove on Galiano Island. We were told it would be a 4 hour paddle so we took our time, admiring the incredible homes along the shoreline.  (Pictured: Not an incredible home but an old (& possibly, definitely haunted) old Marina.) 

Just two short hours of paddling later, we arrived! First view from Dionisio Park during Lunch. 

Our crew quickly settled in with some kicking back for a beach read and others going for a swim & tan on the sandstone shelves. 

Eventually, we got ready for yoga- smoothing out the sand to create a makeshift studio. 

As the sun started to set, we gathered 'round and had dinner 

Post dinner- not pictured: Monopoly Deal, & the chats we had around the lantern. 

The next morning, we were up bright and early- seemingly before the rest of the world woke up. 

We took down our tents, made breakfast, and then we were off to make sure we made it home before the currents became less favourable. 

Watching the rest of our crew as they made it past the tricky Tricomali Channel. 

One of two ferry rides with the best gang around. Not pictured: a heated game of The Resistance. 

Til next time, Gulf Islands. We left a little piece of our heart here. 

All photos from Anita or #yogagoescamping hashtag. 

Digging Deep with Riley Harris from Landyachtz

We love boardsports of the surf & snow kind but something's always held us back from diving into that #skatelyfe. (Perhaps it's the idea that when you bail, you bail onto cold, hard, unforgiving concrete.) Luckily, we have Riley, an expert from Landyachtz, in the studio next week to teach us a thing or two. Kick, push, and stretch with us in class here: (link) and read up on the man, the legend, below. 


Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m 24 years old, I originally hail from Calgary, Alberta, and I’ve been a professional longboarder for 7 years.

 

How long have you been longboarding? 

I’ve been longboarding for over a decade now.

 

Best city to skate in?

Vancouver, British Columbia of course!

 

Favourite board sport? (surf, snow, etc.) 

Longboarding for sure. Snow skating is a close second. Also recently tried wakeboarding. Great fun!

 

Most memorable experience on a board?

Becoming the 2015 Sullivan Challenge Champion

 

Most memorable experience at Landyachtz? 

The Christmas party in 2014 – things got interesting once the karaoke machine was turned on…

 

Where is your secret Vancouver spot? (to hang out, for food, whatever) 

There is a special tree somewhere along Cambie Street that is ideal for hanging out and climbing. You can’t be told where it is, only showed by someone who knows…

 

Can you give us 3 hot tips for beginners? 

How about we leave that for the skate lesson. See you there!

TCYRE Recap

We kicked off The Cheapest Yoga Retreat Ever series by kayaking up the The Sunshine Coast, camping on the beach, and downward dogging on the warm, island sand. Check out the recap below, and hop on one of our next trips in July or August!


After picking up the crew, we hopped on the morning to ferry to Langdale and enjoyed the sea breeze, tea and coffee in hand. Once docked, we were back at it in double kayaks, paddling our way to Thormanby Island (with a few stops to say hi to friendly harbor seals and bald eagles along the way.)

We set up camp on Buckaneer Bay with Grapefruit Ales and Hey Y'alls in hand, then rewarded our hard work with a total smorgasbord of good cheeses, olive tapenade, smoked oysters (waddup), hummus, crackers, veggies, and chocolate. 

Everyone grabbed a brand new lulu towel from their Social Yoga swag bags, and we hit the sand for vinyasa to the sound of waves crashing + Anita's portable speaker (shoutout to this playlist).

After shavasana, the whole squad took to the water, and some of us even took a mud bath... rustic spa day, anyone?

Two of the gals collected wood for a campfire, and everyone dined fireside on fresh sourdough toast and veggie chili. We took a long pause to watch the sunset over the ocean before sighing our way back to the fire for salted dark chocolate s'mores. We roasted one-too-many marshmallows and let the giggles from spooky and silly story-telling carry us off to sleep.

In the morning, we hit the beach (aka walked two steps out of our tents) for tanning, reading, and lounging on driftwood. We did breakfast right with eggs and avocado toast + Sriracha, plus fresh fruit and tea to fuel up for the kayak back. After packing everything in, we launched our kayaks and headed to Sechelt. 

After returning to civilization, we stopped off for tea & coffee, then headed to a grassy beach for partner stretching and acro yoga. After testing our trust, balance, and partner work skills, everyone worked up a major appetite. We had a massive picnic in the park, chatted in the sunshine, wrote each other letters, and headed back to catch the ferry.

On the ride home, we did a guided meditation on the sun deck and practiced inversions with the added challenge of boat rocking. Everyone hit shore blissed out... now we're just waiting for our next TCYRE in July!


 

 

Digging Deep With Vince

Meet Vince, the brains + brawn behind the Burrard Bike Crew. Catch him at the Social Yoga Bike Gang on July 14th for a cruise around town, yoga, and craft brews.


Tell us about the inspiration behind the Burrard Bike Crew -

I founded Montreal's biggest fixed gear crew, The Starley Rover Society. (CBC did a little piece about me and that club - enjoy if you understand French!) I also am sponsored by Team iBike, a fixed gear racing team based on the east coast. Team iBike is supported by lululemon in Montreal, so when I moved to Vancouver recently, lululemon offered to keep supporting me on the west coast, and with the help of my friend Richard Morris, we developed the idea of a casual bike crew based around the simpleness of the fixed gear bike, yet open to all types of bikes and riders.

It's a simple and fun way to gather fun people and explore Vancouver, and mix cycling with other fun activities.

Strangest place you've fallen asleep?

On the WWII D-Day beach in Normandy, while touring in Europe on my bike.

 

Tell us about your very first bike:

Simply the most amazing piece of engineering and raw beauty I ever got my hands on. I was 5 and my dad got me a brand new Raleigh kid's mountain bike. It was very basic, yet for me, simply the most amazing thing I could ever ride and show off.

I've had many bikes since then, but that Raleigh was like the first time you have sex. You get hurt and have vivid memories of those moments. Things improve after that, but there'll always be something unique about that first time.

Favourite late night snack:

Classic drunk or hangover poutine, of course.

 

Best bike route on a rainy day?

Half Nelson, Tinder & Your Mom mountain bike trails in Squamish.

 

Best bike route with a view?

The suburbs of California: https://vimeo.com/164373281 

Last great movie you saw:

I don't spend a lot of time watching movies, as I feel they're a great way of missing out on staying fit and enjoying the outdoors. Yet I have to say, I was really charmed with the movie Her. Interesting perspective on how mobile devices and artificial intelligence are on their way to taking too much space in our lives. I have a love-hate relationship with cell phones and social media.

 

Any advice for beginner bike enthusiasts?

Invest in a decent bike. You won't want to bike more if you're riding a Canadian Tire bike. Support your local bike shop. Don't be afraid to wear tight, sexy, aerodynamic and comfortable spandex. Remember that it's just riding bikes. Just have fun and push yourself to explore more places on your bike. Do have beers and connect with fellow riders after rides.

 

Current obsessions:

Single speed cyclocross. That crispy chicken burrito from Tacofino. Surfing. Disco music.

Digging Deep With DJ EL RIZZY

This week we're digging deep with DJ El Rizzy (aka Rob, aka Rizzy F Baby) aka Social Yoga's resident DJ. El Rizzy kept it lit during Anita's flow class at the 604 summer series kick-off this Wednesday, and soon you can find him spinning at The Summer Studio


 

If you had a pet, what would it be and what would you name it?

Broccolis the Dog would be a Shiba/Husky cross and we would never be apart. I would drop all of my other friends and he would play all my opening sets.

 

What's one weird way you unwind?

I love boxing and full contact sports, but in my quietest moments I'm planning Dungeons & Dragons games for my friends. I am not-so-secretly a huge nerd.

 

Least favourite word?

"Exposure" as in "We don't have a budget but this would be great exposure for you."

 

Top 3 music industry role models?

DJ-wise, A-Trak is incredible because of his ability to play all-genre free format sets. He has been at the top of the industries of all sorts of dance music: He's won the DMCs turntablist competition, his label has put out important dance and hiphop albums, and he brought back Armand Van Helden and "fun" house music again from the 90s. I really like people who don't define themselves by a single genre or type of music.

Chance the Rapper has possibly the worst name of any MC, but puts out such amazing, heartfelt music. He raps about his faith, his family, his dreams and things that create a type of intimacy you don't get with most musicians, let alone hip-hop artists. He also releases all of his projects for free and is on some next level business planning.

Ryan Hemsworth is a Canadian treasure who constantly strives to put out music that uses sounds and samples that nobody else would consider. He also runs a great label that brings us others pushing the envelope of modern music.

Best restaurant in the city?

New Town Bakery and their pork buns 90% of the time, the best price/tasty ratio in the city. Hawksworth if I'm fancy (I AM NOT FANCY).

 

One venue where you'd really like to perform:

Has anyone DJ'd in space yet? I feel like space music hasn't really gotten its due. After we lost David Bowie people aren't making enough albums about astronauts and shit. We have Coheed and Cambria and NO ONE ELSE.

 

How do you really feel about Kanye? 

Kanye is an egotistical jerk and a literal crazy person. That being said, he channels that into his art so much that he lives under immense pressure to deliver on his insane claims. He believes he is this generations most important artist and therefore everything he produces is the best possible work. I think Kanye is incredible just as someone with that kind of drive. The Life of Pablo is a top 3 of 2016 album unless you're boring or a mole person, so what he's doing is working.

Currently listening to...

My own internal monologue, Kandi-Don't_Think_I'm_Not.mp3, Douglas Coupland's "Microserfs" book on tape for the 20th time.

 

Tell us about one of your top DJ'ing experiences:

I've been lucky enough to have DJ'd in a lot of places for big crowds, but I think my ultimate favourite DJ experience is small party we do every year at The Distrikt retreat. We jam some sound gear and 30-40 best friends in a cabin, and everyone knows all the words to every song. I get to wave my hands around and play secret music that clubgoers don't have the patience for. There is something special when you have a close relationship with the people you're playing music to. 

Digging Deep with Rachel

Rachel is the gal behind Social Yoga Online and resident acro + yoga instructor. She'll be discussing the history and mystery of yoga as a featured speaker at The Storytelling Series, our Ted Talk-meets-yoga class.


What’s your story?

Deep South native / raised in the Southwest / studying in New England / taking a semester in the PNW... unromanticized nomadic yogini by lineage, mostly because I got dragged long distances by yoga-practicing adults as a kid. 

I ended up here because I fell in love with BC on a 3-month-long road trip last summer.

During Vancouver Pride, my best friend and I ended up doing acrobatics on a float (in short, we thought the parade was over and started walking down the middle of the road, only to be swept up onto the approaching "Whatever Floats Your Boat Float." Fitting.) 

From there, met awesome folks who connected us with the badassery that is MuseumEats, and I found Social Yoga via their collaborative events.   

Give us some straight talk:

After years of being lukewarm on Beyonce and vehemently anti-sheep mentality, especially about music, I've been converted by Lemonade. It's brilliant, and so raw. I ain't sorry.

 

What is your favourite mythical story?

My teacher used to tell us this story about the most renowned Vedic chanter in the world. He dedicated everything to his practice and people came from villages far and wide to hear him chant. At the end of his life of devotion, Shiva (the Destroyer aka The Auspicious One aka The Real 6 God) came to the chanter's home, only to approach his bedside and tell him that he was going to have to do it all over. "Hmmm, I guess I wasn't good enough..." thought the chanter to himself.

In his next life, the chanter studied harder, became even more dedicated, and gathered an even larger following. However, his efforts were in vain. As Shiva arrived by his deathbed, the chanter was sent back to Earth to try once more. The chanter couldn't believe his luck, especially after chanting better than in his last life (which, not to flex, wasn't too shabby.) At the end of his third lifetime, Shiva just walked up, shook his head, and said,

"If all that you have learned dies with you, then it is for nothing."

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So the chanter was reborn, but this time, he shared his knowledge with anyone who took an interest. All throughout his life, he taught as he learned. When he lay dying, so many of his students came to honor him that Shiva could barely get to the front door. Shiva saw that the chanter understood his past error and finally granted him the ability to transcend human form.

Then, the chanter was like, "Dude, you couldn't have told me that on like, my second life?" That's not what he said, but you get the idea. Don't hoard knowledge, share it.

 

 

If you were a goddess card, what realm would you rule? (eg. Love, peace, pizza)

Ice cream. 

 

Can’t live without...

- Going places

- Bending into shapes

- Doing stuff with words

- Combining foods

- Green space

 

Best Vancouver memory?

One of my favorite quintessentially Vancouver-y days included climbing to the top of a giant tree in the median at 26th & Cambie, going to Off The Grid for matcha cheesecake waffles and milkshakes, and then doing acroyoga while the sun set over Crab park.


Whats next for you?

I'm headed to Woodinville, Washington to WWOOF on a goat farm. I've been waiting for the opportune moment to learn the art of cheesemaking.

 

THE TOFINO TOP 10

The Cheapest Yoga Retreat Ever (TCYRE) kicks off tomorrow and we couldn't be more excited! This time we're headed to the Sunshine Coast, but we'll be exploring awesome locations around BC all summer long. To get you inspired, check out some of our top picks (THAT AREN'T SURFING) in Tofino, one of our all-time favourite spots in BC.


1. The WWII Bomber Plane Crash Hike

This trail, which begins on the side of the highway, is one of the most unique hiking adventures ever. The path begins 15 telephone poles past the Radar Hill parking lot (if you're headed away from Tofino) and leads you to the site of a crashed WWII plane hidden deep in the rainforest. Look for a little sharpie drawing of a plane on the telephone pole to mark the start of your journey, and follow the flag markers all the way there.

MUST BRINGrain boots and a camera. This trail is extremely muddy, but totally worth it.

 

2. The Original Tacofino Truck

You can't fully appreciate the Tacofino taco until you understand its humble beginnings. Check out the first location, a wheel-less truck parked behind a surf shop, for the most epic fish taco this far north of the equator. It's always packed, but the wait is worth it. Plus, then you can go sit and reminisce in a Vancity Tacofino when you get home.  

 

 dreams do come true at the  Jensen's Bay Loft

dreams do come true at the Jensen's Bay Loft

3. Stay in an Airbnb 

Tofino's island-village vibes give way to some stunningly inspired next-level cabins. Check out Airbnb in Tofino for surprisingly affordable places to rent for a weekend, fill them with your friends, and then split the bill at the end. You'll pay less than what you would at a hotel, and you get the hot tub all to yourselves. This was, hands down, one of the most amazing places I've ever slept. 

 

4. Try the Kelp Stout at Tofino Brewing  

Speaking of seaweed, Tofino Brewing brews 40 pounds of it into their house stout. It tastes like salted chocolate, and the bottle art is worthy of getting as a tattoo. Plus, beer flights are cheap if you want to try all the flavours of the island (you do).

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5. Visit The Wickannish Inn 

 It doesn't take long to start feeling like guests

It doesn't take long to start feeling like guests

You don't have to stay at The Wick to bask in its glory. This seaside resort and spa is an absolute must-see, even for budget travelers. Go for a stroll or surf at the beach, then catch the sunset over dinner and drinks in the lounge at The Pointe Restaurant, where you can blissfully linger past 11pm.

MUST TRY: The Tonquin Smash... house ginger beer, fresh fruit, crushed ice, and a cinnamon stick. Spiced heaven in a glass.

 

6. Party Late Night Style at Wolf in the Fog 

The upstairs at Wolf in The Fog might be the most turned-up spot in town. The drinks are killer, and the late night food menu is a far cry from greasy donair or pizza (there's a time and place for everything.) 

If you've got a group of hungry meat-eaters, order the "Block Party" (a massive skillet of BBQ ribs, pulled pork, fried chicken, cornbread, and smoky kale, served with a side of watermelon.) It's the best Southern-style block party spread this side of the Mississippi, and it's available after 10pm. If plants are more your speed, they've got a stellar local seaweed salad. 

 

7. SUP to a Private Beach

Rent a paddle board from the Tofino SUP Shop in the Best Western at Mackenzie Beach. Paddle around the point, out and to the right, for access to a more secluded beach that's otherwise private hotel access only.

 

8. Eat Key Lime Pie at Sobo

Four out of four only slightly hungry people said that this was the best key lime pie they've had in their lives. Sobo's welcoming, airy feel makes lunch or dinner a good idea, too (especially if you're one of those people that won't just eat pie as a meal...) Their menu features creative, local seafood dishes and a knock-out bakery selection, to boot. They even have their own cookbook! 

We also tried gooseneck barnacles here for the first time, and despite their appearance, they were delicious.

 

 

 

9. Take a boat to Hot Springs Cove 

This excursion takes a full day (about noon-6pm) and costs around 120 bucks, but it defines a "once-in-a-lifetime kinda thing." The boat rides takes about an hour and a half (not for the faint of stomach) but you get to ride the open ocean, and boats will detour if they catch wind of orca or black bear sightings from other boats. We saw a pod of six orcas and rafts of otters floating by, all holding hands so they don't drift away.

 THAT'S AN ORCA

THAT'S AN ORCA

Once you arrive, you wander along 2kms of enchanted boardwalk to the hot springs, which are actually six little, connected pools. They fill up from a hot springs waterfall that begins at the first pool and flows all the way out to the ocean. It's as magical as it sounds. There's also a secret rocky beach worth checking on the way. 

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MUST BRING: water shoes and bug spray. The algae in the springs feels amazing once you're settled in, but it's slippery when you're trying to scout out a spot.

 

10. Do The Drive

There are no services on the last stretch of highway to Tofino, which is about 83km. If you ferry over from Nanaimo, stop in Port Alberni to fill up the tank, and grab a dope breakfast sandwich at SteamPunk Cafe. It's served on a cheese bun. You're welcome.