The Bodhi Tree lost a member of our family last week. With heavy hearts a group of us met up after classes on Monday night, had a cup of tea, ate some Christmas treats, and lovingly remembered one of our favourite people. Tears were shed and stories were shared, as we closed we sent AUMs out to help Deb along her journey.
Deb was a long time student at the Bodhi. She began practicing with her daughter Ali about 7 or 8 years ago at our old College Avenue location. While Deb practiced asana (postures), her passion was with meditation. She interwove her passion for fibre arts, yoga, meditation, and pranayama creating a beautiful tapestry of practices that reflected her desire to spread peace and awareness.
Five and a half years ago, shortly after the beginning of the Renew Yoga for Cancer program began, Deb was sitting in Golden Willow Natural Fibre(the space where the Bodhi Tree currently is). Deb had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and was working to navigate her new path. I happened into the store to buy some fibre to make a new hat for my mom who was mid-cancer treatment. It was that day that brought Deb into the Renew program and brought her to the studio at least a couple of times a week if not more.
Deb, not only attended the classes, she quietly worked behind the scenes to make sure people felt welcome, the space was swept and clean, she passionately lent books to students and teachers, she spun and knitted yoga socks and gave them away, and she taught fibre spinning as meditation classes.
Deb fell for the practice and the Renew community, she often said it saved her as she managed her treatment. Deb felt so passionately about it she joined our teacher training program with her fellow Renew friend, Donna. As we celebrated Deb last night Alyson remembered Deb setting the tone for a loving supportive teacher training with her kindness and generosity.
After finishing the Renew program Deb began teaching in the Renew program with Donna. The Double D’s also offered a wonderful introductory workshop series at the studio called Bodhi 101- An Introduction to Yoga and Meditation. Deb was never one to be the center of attention and as such was often found quietly supporting people (both teachers and students alike), sharing ideas, and encouraging people to seize the moment and follow our hearts.
As we sat in the studio in the final vibrations of our AUMs last night I knew that Deb was still there in our hearts, minds, and in our yoga.
As a tribute to Deb we will be building a memorial yoga and meditation lending library. If you have any books you would like to contribute we would love your donation.