MARCH 6, 2018
Tamara exudes this quote. She lives her yoga and you can feel it in her teachings and in her hugs. She honors each person that comes to their mat and is dedicated to both her students and to the practice.
She is wise. She is passionate. She fuels compassion and leads community.
We had the chance to connect and Tamara shared with us what guides her as a teacher and as a being. Her honesty, prose, vulnerability, mindfulness, courage, and insights are a gift to read.
Learn more about Tamara below and meet her on your mat at the studio Tuesdays @ 9:30 am, Thursdays @ 4:45 pm & 5:45 pm, and Sundays @ 4:00 pm.
How did you first find yoga?
I started yoga in 1997 after my second child was born. I can’t recall how I found yoga. I was simply led to it.
When did you understand you wanted to become a yoga teacher?
This also was an unfolding. I had been practicing yoga for about 10 years before I entered my first yoga teacher training program.
The studio I practiced at was bringing in a teacher, Hart Lazer, from Montreal. He came to Calgary once a month over an 18 month time span to lead the teacher training program. Slowly an awareness showed me that my dharma was to teach yoga.
I had taught piano for many, many years, so teaching is innate to who I am. It is also amazing to me the co-relation of teaching music and yoga. In my opinion, music is not separate from yoga.
Why do you teach yoga?
“Out beyond the ideas of wrong-doing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” Rumi
I believe the world is our Field of Yoga. Yoga is a practice of inclusivity, boundless love, allowing and honouring different ways of being, loving and living a life.
I teach yoga because this is the world I want to live in. This is the world I want for all of our children and grandchildren. This is the world I want for all sentient beings. This is the world I lend my heart, mind, hands and energy too.
This is why I teach and do my best to live yoga.
What advice would you give to your younger self? What words of wisdom would you impart?
I would not change anything that has occurred in my life to bring me to where I am now. The grief, heartache, loss, confusion, betrayal, the joy, laughter, happiness, ALL OF IT, that I have experienced, both from the actions of others, and by my actions, is part and parcel of living a life.
If I was sitting with my younger self, I would hold my young self’s hand, look into my eyes, smile softly and gently say “Trust your life. Everything will work out fine.”
How do you bring your practice off your mat into your daily life?
This is an interesting question for me to answer!
I don’t see a division between my practice on or off my mat.
All is practice. Simply location and circumstances change.
I practice yoga on my mat for many reasons. One being it is a place where I am specifically training in mindfulness. On my yoga mat I am interested in cultivating presence, which is a training. These skills are transferable off the yoga mat, which is where most of my life is lived.
Equally important and valuable to support my life is that I am at the studio 6 days a week to be with my Sangha. (The Pali word for a community of spiritual friendship).
I believe that true belonging and authentic connections are vital for living a healthy, vibrant, happy life.
My yoga community supports me living a meaningful, embodied, whole-hearted life.
Share something we might not know about you.
I am directionally challenged!
My children and I use to spend our summers together at our beach home in PEI.
One summer we were on a quest to find the perfect wind chimes for their father’s birthday present.
We located an artist who made them. He had his gallery in a remote barn house, down some red dirt road. Think of the picturesque Anne of Green Gables scenery.
Well, my 6 children and I hopped in the van with food supply for a couple days for the inevitable occurrence of getting lost! (Just kidding. We didn’t pack a food supply. We did however get lost!)
Eventually, after having to stop and ask the patient gas station attendant, not once, not twice but three times, we finally located the artist and went home with a beautiful set of wind chimes.
So please understand, when I am teaching yoga from my mat and mirror imaging and cuing opposite right and left to what my body is actually doing, this takes tremendous effort for me! I don’t always nail it, but slowly, like the snail climbing Mt. Fuji, I am getting there.
Both yoga and life are a gradual path!
Share with us your favorite poem
As much as any yoga, mediation or dharma teacher, the poet Mary Oliver has profoundly influenced my life.
I love her and I am so grateful to and for her.
I don’t have one favorite poem of Mary’s. But the poem that held me for many a night was this one:
The Uses of Sorrow.
Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.
You can read Tamara’s teacher biography here.