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I am the centre of my universe!

“I no longer see community as a safe place, or as a specific structure. I think of it as an attitude and a process. It is understanding and practicing interdependence, recognizing that we need one another for everything that makes life worthwhile and even for survival itself.” – Arthur Gladstone

I an attempt to understand what community looks like and means to me, I drew this little diagram*. In the middle: me! And radiating out are my various intersecting and overlapping communities, and the people who make them.

My yoga community is bunched up in the bottom part ~ it’s made up of rad’a (the space where I teach, in the former ascent headquarters), the Montréal Anusara crew, Yasodhara Ashram (where I lived and studied for 2 years) and “Mtl yogis” (which refers to other yogi friends in town who don’t fit in the previous categories). In reality, these spheres intersect and overlap, rather than function independently.  “Former ascent staff,” my beloved friends and co-workers at the magazine, are tangental to my yoga scene ~ and still, happily, part of my life. “MEM yoga” is another teaching space, at the Mile End Mission in my neighbourhood.

I’ve drawn a line from “MEM yoga” to a big cluster in the top corner, which represents my physical neighbourhood, Mile End. Most of my social and community action happens in my lively ‘hood, and it plays a big role in my life. Definitely, my sense of belonging and connection comes from my location. It’s the little things, like bumping into people at the cafe or the fruiterie, which create feelings of community on a daily basis.

Up in the top left is my blog, and the joyous little online community that has sprung up around it’s all yoga, baby. The participators and active commentors such as Linda-sama, Bob WEcoYogini and Montréal yogi/blogger Adriana (who I’ve never even met in RL, even though she lives just a few blocks from me) are the heart of this community. And spiraling out from there are the “global internet yogis,” who stop by on their interweb meanderings (I know you’re out there, thanks to Google Analytics!).

Other aspects of my community world are my family and hometown friends in BC, my boyfriend, my knitter friends, my pan-Canadian writing friends ~ and my cats! Now that I am a Person-Who-Works-From-Home, my cats Qyogi and Kaiser are my co-workers (and I’m glad they’re not my employees, because they’re rather lazy and I’d have to fire them). They’ve taught me so much about interdependence (and love, and service, and fun), and they make my life, my single apartment-dwelling urban life, more worthwhile and enjoyable.

* Adapted from Carolyn Shaffer’s book, Creating Community Anywhere: Finding Support and Connection in a Fragmented World.

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"Uptown" Waterloo & the building where I'm working!

Those of you who have been following it’s all yoga, baby for the past little while know that I have been unemployed since the closure of ascent magazine last spring (and that basically, I just created this blog to keep myself entertained). Well, those long lazy days of unemployment are over: I’ve found a new job!

I’m excited to announce that I will be working for the excellent and amazing Tamarack Institute, as the “social media web editor” (that’s not quite my official title ~ I haven’t yet come up with one, but that’s essentially what I will be doing) for their Seeking Community campaign.

So what this means is that I’ll be able to put to good use all the blogging, conversation building and social media skills that I’ve picked up over the past few months. I’ve really learned about the power of online connectivity, and the potential that internet communities have to foster real live community in our everyday lives. I love print media, and I always will, but I am definitely much more excited about the possibilities of online media ~ it’s so much more dynamic, engaging and immediate. And I’m especially excited to be able to apply these skills in a larger context, and possibly even affect some kind of actual social change!

And this also means that I’m spending the week in glamourous Waterloo, Ontario so I can experience life at Tamarack headquarters (at the end of the week, I’ll return to my cozy home in Montréal, and work from the comfort of my living room with my cats). I’ve been spending my evenings getting to know the local yoga scene ~ I took a wonderful class tonight with the lovely and inspiring Leena Miller. And I’ll be checking out  more teachers and studios over the coming days.

While I’m all talking about social media/online connecting, I’d like to encourage y’all to become a fan of it’s all yoga, baby on Facebook! I tried to add a little box thingy on the left column, but apparently the Facebook fanpage boxes don’t really like WordPress. Anyway, please do show your love for this wee blog, and tell all your Facebook friends about it!

Huge thanks to everyone out there who has commented on or linked to it’s all yoga, baby ~ you’ve inspired me, pushed me, challenged me, and helped me understand the power of this worldwide web that we are all part of!

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