Yo-Cana-ga

Confession: I am deeply, madly in love with our neighbor.

To the north.

Specifically, Canada. And even more specifically, Vancouver.

And wouldn't you fall in love too? After seeing this:


I won't go on about how I loved Air Canada (But I did). I am a sucker for a big tv on a plane with lots of entertainment options to keep me distracted from the powerpoints that I should have been working on. After all, this is a WORK TRIP. And, believe me, there have been hours and hours of work, but also, some fun:


This is a relieved corporate yogi, after delivering a big presentation.

I was SO excited to see this. Luckily, my coworkers are obliging to my constant "take my picture" requests.
I love the Olympics!

In the treeptop terrace at the Capilano Bridge - absolutely beautiful forest just outside Vancouver.

But in addition to being beautiful, clean, full of forest and water and all other sorts of nature, Canada has got its yoga on.

I'll admit it. I used several hours of my only free day for a small pilgrimage. Lululemon Athletica was started in Vancouver. I love lululemon, and I'm not ashamed of it. They have wonderful products and as a company, embrace good corporate citizenship. And ladies and gentlemen, no matter what side of the lulu fence you may find yourself on, they make a great pair of pants. Pants - I might add - that initially were $150 when Lululemon started with just 57 customers. So when you are pulling on those groove pants, think of what a discount it is from the original! Major sarcasm, but still. I enjoyed going to the Lulu lab - where young designers create lines of lululemon that are almost exclusively for Vancouver - pieces in very small quantities - 10 to 20 - with some of the designs going into major production for the larger company. I now have a one-of-a-kind lulu circle scarf, which is fun - and useful for San Francisco. Finally, I took a trip to Kitsilano, a cute neighborhood across the water from downtown Vancouver, where the original Lulu is:

The original lulu!

One of lulu's most loyal fans.
And it hasn't been all about dressing for yoga. I popped into several really neat studios all around my foot tour of the city - and stopped into say hi and see what kinds of yoga Canadians are practicing. More of a mix between Hatha and Vinyasa - but also lots of meditation and kundalini. Had this been a personal trip - I definitely would have sought out some Forrest :o).  Luckily, I found a great yoga studio just blocks from my hotel for my practicing this week. And much like my love affair with Vancouver, I'm also in love with this place:

Catching myself in the picture.

flow wellness in Vancouver
Flow Wellness: Beautiful facilities, gracious staff and an overall wonderful experience. Friendly! I did the two week special because I am taking more than one class this week. And it comes with mat rental, yogitoes-type rental, and a towel - all included every time for the first two weeks! How awesome is that? Even the drop in fee was fairly reasonable at $15 if you chose to go that route. And I actually liked the mat cover a LOT - because it was thinner than my regular yogitoes - and softer - so I might pick one up before I leave.  I took a power class today, even though I was really missing the slowness and stillness of Forrest. I love it when the universe steps in - the teacher introduced the class by saying that she was taking it in a different direction - holding poses for a long time so we could "really feel" what the pose does to our body. It was a great class - small because the weather was so unbelievably nice outside.

And I loved the quote that she closed with from Marianne Williamson:

"Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are."

Canada and I can be in this loving relationship for three more days. And even though I'll be running around in a suit 10 hours a day, I'm hoping to squeeze in some time for one more practice (or maybe 2). And yes, I'll be wearing my lulu.

Oh, Canada....