Hatha imageby Christine Davidson

At 23 year of age I was nearing the completion of my University Degree, I was in a relationship with a wonderful man, had the loving support of a couple of close friends and a large family.  I had recently been hired part time by a not for profit agency doing interesting work in my chosen field.  I even had a little time left over to engage in much loved sports & hobbies.  In spite of all this, I was absolutely miserable.  Anxiety and depression hung over every aspect of my life like a heavy suffocating black velvet cloak.  I tried conventional treatments but nothing could lift that dark veil.  At best SSRI antidepressants numbed me out of the habit of caring.

Quite by accident I happened one day to come into the possession of a series of audio cassettes by philosopher Allan Watts lecturing about Eastern Philosophies.  Listening to his elegant exposition on what was for me a totally foreign perspective my brain did something remarkable.  It stopped processing reality as many distinct separate things and started to process reality as a singular unified experience.  Anxiety and depression instantly vanished in that spectacular moment of illumination.  It is impossible to be anxious or depressed when you experience yourself as synonymous with the cosmos.  Even though the experience was brief and anxiety and depression ultimately returned the bonds that held them to me were weakened enough to give me hope.  I could envision being able to appreciate and enjoy the richness of my life rather than just feeling like I was surviving it.

Fast forward twelve years I found myself studying yoga in Rishikesh India, the yoga capital of the world.  I had been teaching yoga professionally for a little over three years by that point.  I was drawn to India to gain an understanding of the cultural, historic and philosophical underpinnings of the practice.  I wanted to put it all together, those precious insights from Mr. Watts transformative recorded lectures and the incredible calm I had come to realize through my yoga asana practice.  What I came to understand is that the culture, history and philosophy of yoga are the true essence of the practice.  They describe what the goal is and why the practice is important.  Yoga postures are one of several steps how one can achieve that goal.

Intro to Indian Hatha SyllabusUpon returning home I knew I wanted to share what my primary teacher in India calls the sacred scientific philosophy of Hatha Yoga.  I created a five week course for beginners that combines an element of interactive storytelling on topics in yoga history / philosophy and an element of practice consisting of asana (postures), pranayama (breath exercises), mantra (sacred utterances) and meditation (observing the mind).  Appropriate for absolute beginners as well as seasoned practitioners interested in deepening their understanding of yoga.  The course is structured as a progression from easy to beginner concepts and practices.  To learn more visit my website at www.thespiritualskier.com.  To register call 403-707-8056 or email me at christine.davidson@gmail.com.

  • Gaia Studio Wednesday evenings starting July 2nd at 7pm – 8:30pm
  • Course fee $100 for all five sessions and course guide
  • Drop in to an individual class for $20 space permitting
  • Mat rental and yoga props available