Thursday, 5 September 2013

New Semester, New Dawn

With a new semester comes new excitement and dawns fresh challenges. You see, in the Picard community, the energy revolves around the Ross Medical School calendar. At the same time, this is also a new school year for all of our friends and family back home... and mostly around the world. It happens also to be the Jewish New Year. Aptly, as Steve faces his new semester, I am also meeting new opportunities.

But let's back up a little bit and bask in the glories of the past month. I got to do a few of my new favorite things with friends new and old. Britney and Donald (Steve's best bud since days of yore) came to visit. We filled our schedule with activities that we hoped would blow their minds. I know Donald was playing it off when he remarked that "yeah, Dominica's nice"... but I know they thought that Dominica and our sailing trip were rad. We went on a hike to one of the most magnificent waterfalls I have experienced yet: Victoria Falls. The falls size and might were utterly terrifying, but after swimming against the current, climbing up the face of the rock, and jumping back in... I felt completely energized. One way to overcome fears, and come out feeling 110%.

Aba Wavine Hike w/ Donald & Britney
Victoria Falls

Hiking to Victoria Falls

Another favorite: snorkeling in bubbles. That's right, champagne bubbles do exist underwater here in Dominica at Champagne Bay. They are actually underwater volcanic vents. Too bad none of us had an underwater camera that day. The sound of the bubbles was intriguing, inviting us to swim in deeper. Then more and more champagne like bubbles kept appearing as we swam into the fizz and towards the rock inlet of the bay. Woah. Also, the fish watching at Champagne... unbeatable.

Final favorite activity shout-out for this post: sailing. But not just any sailing. Sailing to a little Caribbean France, dubbed Les Saints. Oh and our welcoming committee into the port? A mommy and baby dolphin. There's one life long dream checked off the list.
Basking in the sun on the sail to Les Saints

Our welcome committee at Terre d'Haut, Dolphin mommy & baby

Riding to shore of Terre d'Haut

Okay now back to new semesters; new challenges. I am super excited about the requests I've received and challenges that I've accepted. I've been teaching yoga now for 4 years, but since I've been in Dominica, I've gotten into a regular schedule of teaching out in the world. You see prior, I taught mostly at Sivananda Ashrams to serious yogis who have a rather committed well-rounded yoga practice. Not to say I haven't experienced all levels, just that ashramites tend to be more of an audience committed to higher goals using yoga as a tool. Now I am adapting to give my students what they want and truly need: healing, stretching, and strengthening in the body and mind using hatha yoga as the exercise tool. I keep my teachers' and gurus' lineage always as my foundation (Swami Sivananda, Swami Vishnudevananda, Swami Sadasivananda, Srinivasan, Mahadev Chitanya, Gauri Devi), but I have opened my repertoire to a greater variety of exercises. Instead of a stock standard class, we have a little more fun. I have the chance to open up to a more creative flow, and help lead students to a happier, healthier, and stronger place at the end of each class.

For the past month I have taught classes consistently at one of our favorite Picard establishments, The Champs. A popular restaurant, bar, and hotel in the hills above the Ross Campus. Wednesday mornings have brought a great crew of students who drive in from Calibishie as well as Champs hotel guests. I've really enjoyed adapting the yoga class to meet the students where they are challenged, but able to feel accomplished. On Saturdays the class has been mostly Ross students and faculty. I tend to make Saturday evenings a more rigorous class. More strengthening and deeper stretching. But each week the energy changes, so what a blessing it has been to have this experience to (in the words of Swami Sivananda) "adapt, adjust, accommodate."And did I mention Champs' has the best view in Picard? Each rainbow, glimpse of the sea, and sunset are the purest of mother nature's majesty.

Wednesday Morning Class at The Champs

Saturday Evening Class at The Champs

The new exciting opportunities ahead are teaching yoga exercises at the senior home in Portsmouth, The Grange, Teaching some prenatal, and teaching Mommy & Me. In addition, I will continue with the after school dance classes, and with a number of new dancers! What a joy it is to help others move, stretch, and open up through dance and yoga.

But what's that you say, I'm talking too much about myself? Yeah, it's true. Let me take a moment to praise my incredible husband. I am so so so so, well words can't express how proud I am of him. He finished out last semester with an A and a high pass. This semester he has been invited to be a HEAD TA in the anatomy lab! He is one of three head TA's selected out of 2nd through 4th semester students. He has also accepted a position as a peer tutor, as a supervisor for Ross EMS, a board position for Salybia Mission project, and (of course) the Presidency of the Ross Biker's Club. He's going to be a busy man this semester, but I know he can accomplish each task with tact, skill, intelligence, and love. Steve loves Ross, and medical school is totally his thing. Oh and in addition to his hard work leading him to these awards of prestige and great work, he's made time to still be my best friend and companion.

Love ya'll and miss all of our friends and family wherever you are!

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