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The importance of guides

Spring is on my mind and new life is greening up.

I’ve gardened for years reading up on deer resistant plants, delighting in early harbingers of spring – daffodils and forsythia, and trying this plant and that with mixed success. I welcome conversations with plant enthusiasts – knowledgeable about what best grows where but also fully cognizant that there are no absolutes. Experiment. Enjoy the process!

A good plant store offers healthy plants, variety and expertise but equally important staff who seek you out to talk about plants listening to you describe your landscape and offering suggestions. I want a friendly guide, not an expert, at a plant nursery.

What’s the difference? Guides have invested time in learning the terrain – whether it’s studying horticulture to understand soil, light, and climate requirements to grow healthy plants or training to be a yoga teacher with knowledge of postures, sequences, and anatomy. Experts have often toiled many years to acquire mastery of a specific subject, for example, economics, zoology, physics. Their expertise tends towards depth and narrow focus backed up by evidence-based research. Experts are detached; guides are engaged.

Guides invite participation. Experts hold their knowledge a little closer. I submit that in many areas of our life we need guides if we’re eager to join and learn. As an enthusiast for yoga and gardening, I’ve talked to individuals who are sure they can do neither. “I am so inflexible.” “I don’t have a green thumb.” And I am confident with patience and curiosity they can do both. That doesn’t mean that your yoga practice will look like the cover of Yoga Journal. Mine certainly doesn’t. Nor does it mean that your garden will be featured in Southern Living. Mine never will.

What does it take to practice yoga and gardening?

  • Finding a knowledgeable guide who invites you to enjoy, not judge, your experience and avoid ill-suited postures or plants that won’t flourish

  • Setting aside comparisons, a fruitless exercise in all life honestly

  • Committing to the process of learning - being curious

I love taking yoga to unexpected places - retirement communities, clinics and libraries, for example- to squash preconceptions of what yoga looks like and foster an experience of movement uniquely individual. I also delight in offering a slower, meditative practice in studios and fitness centers. Above all, I serve as a guide to a safe exploration of movement linked to breath yielding mental calmness and more ease.

Come join me! Namaste.



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