The curator of our community's newest art gallery, located in a modern building, collaborated with two local yoga teachers, resulting in their co-hosting of a unique yoga class in this inspirational space. The intention was to encourage participants to contemplate the works present in the exhibition, thereby broadening their approach to each posture. The first event, which took place earlier this fall, was so well attended that a second one was offered this week. Well, the creative energy in this big, open room certainly enhanced my practice, giving me the opportunity to experience another 'first'. During Tree Pose, a balancing posture aided by the use of a drishti point (focussing one's gaze on a particular spot), my gaze fell upon a large picture hanging directly across from me, on the far side of the room. It was a muted image of a wood framed window, with a white blind drawn down over it. While holding the pose, I soon sensed the smells of a musty, old classroom, which reminded me of my brief substitute teaching stint that took place in Lonsdale Elementary School in September 1978, my one and only foray into subbing. As I made my way out of Tree Pose, I made the connection - this gallery sits on the property where that same school, built in 1910, sat until it was torn down a few years ago. After class, while chatting to the curator, I was told that some of the original school beams had been incorporated into this new building, which houses school board offices, as well as the art gallery. When I took a closer look at the picture, there was no reference to a school but it sure was a wonderful, unexpected new experience to smell the past and be propelled back into this memory of my twenty-one-year-old self. Later, while writing this post, I discovered that another meaning for drishti is "vision" - how lucky to have embodied both meanings that night.
Photo credit: Gordon Smith Gallery