Okanagan yoga teacher, Christine Jilek, chose Mother’s Day weekend to bring a group of students, her mother Johanna and daughter Hanna for a first-time visit to the Ashram. She reflects on the experience.
The beautiful natural environment of the Ashram created space to explore the influences we have on the lives of others. Mom was the foundation, the beginning of everything. We were taught to be with nature and this naturally influenced the way we ate, the way we treated our bodies – everything. Without knowing it, Mom was my first feminist influence – someone seeking balance, who sees everything equal, who has a base of respect.
Doing yoga led to another kind of evolution. I introduced some of that to Mom and now my daughter Hannah is carrying it on. She started even earlier. Everything is much earlier with the later generations.
I wish everybody could do this – come away for a few days with people of like-mind. We need to reconnect, not just with nature, but through nature back to Self. It gives us the tools – the stillness, the beauty. There’s so much symbolism. Everywhere I look – the trees, the mountains, the water – I see the yoga poses within those shapes. I can see how the asanas were developed from nature – a perfect circle of life and emotions, not just the physical.
Being at the Ashram you begin to look at things differently – it’s not just a beautiful place to come. There’s symbolism in everything and if you open yourself up, it becomes something that nourishes you. I find it very healing, very nourishing.