Spring Treasure, Bizarre Weather

Recent news from Trinity Yoga

Spring Treasure – Bizarre Weather
Spring Equinox Newsletter
Happy Spring! I wish this for everyone as I sit in my Vancouver home surrounded by the sweet newborn fragrance of hyacinths blooming on my deck. This is in current contrast to the four feet of snow and blowing blizzards in eastern Canada. (I feel for you!) At a certain point we all crave the promise of spring, no matter where we live. It’s feeling ready to be done with the thaw of too many snowfalls and darker days of winter. And indeed we need it!
Unknowingly and often unwittingly, we must surrender to the eternal life force of cycles and the changes of rebirth and death. Even in parts of the planet where there are less dramatic changes of season, there are noticeable differences in the four quarters of the year. This is particularly true when we take into account the spring and fall equinox and the summer and winter solstice. For the millions of years the planets have been turning, so too have the seasons been cycling and repeating their rhythmic beat to the earth’s constant evolution.

I often ponder how we as a species have adapted to the changing cycles of weather on this planet. We figured out how to go from living in a warm climate in Africa to sorting out what it would take to live in northern climates under many feet of snow. That adaptability is unique to our species.

Since becoming paralyzed, I have witnessed in myself and others in the differently-able world, remarkable adaptabilities of the human being and body. I’m amazed at what spectacular adaptogens we are. I feel like I’m in a living lab of adaptability and I see that in others. Against all odds, a person can find new pathways, utilize other parts of the brain to take over functions that are lost and recapitulate oneself emotionally and physically after losing all familiar functions. In truth, it has nothing to do with the individual (however, it will just happen.) This surrender to the powerful and omnipotent life force is so strong as to be unavoidable.

We may think we have all the control and all of the details of our lives figured out: my career, mate, investments, RRSPs, retirement fund, etc, and we can do a pretty good at that. But at some point life will take us by surprise. Whether the event is personal, social or environmental, we are called to on to discover and uncover that incredible capacity within ourselves to adapt. Like the bulbs and small seeds waiting to push through the earth, the most important piece of becoming is first the surrender of being.

Like all of life, the surrender happens not because we know what will come, but because we learn to trust in the ancient wisdom, constancy and intelligence of the life force. With time or experience (or both), we realize that we are that life force and are ultimately surrendering to that which is the best in ourselves.

There are many ways to learn more about adaptability in this seasons offerings. These include the classes listed below. We also have classes and events listed on our Facebook Events page.

As one of my favourite teachers would say: “We can’t argue with reality but we can learn how to master it.”

I am pleased to say that you have many opportunities to try on something new this spring and summer and stretch into your own adaptability. That is something we at Trinity Yoga have been doing and I am pleased to announce our new program of Advanced Teacher Training. This is an awesome opportunity to hone in your teaching skills if you’ve been teaching or feeling like you need inspiration or you want to stretch and specialize or develop your practice more. We have an awesome roster of Senior Teachers for the Level 2 slated for June 21-26 in Fairmont BC. We are thrilled to be joined by Trinity alumni, Brenda Cartier, Sophie Ann Dufresne, AND Jennifer Steed!! Also, the new Adaptive Yoga Training is being offered in Vancouver, Cranbrook and Kelowna, be sure to check out our website for details. This month Jennifer steed will be featured on our website www.trinityyoga.net with her new CD release Every Day Yoga.

Bountiful Spring Blessings, Mary-Jo

“Destiny grants us our wishes, but in its own way, in order to give us something beyond our wishes.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Adaptive Yoga Training – VANCOUVER
Come and learn the life-giving techniques and theories of Adaptive Yoga from one who knows. Mary-Jo Fetterly ERYT-500 will conduct a15 hour training for yoga teachers, healthcare professionals, family and friends. All you need to know to safely and creatively use yoga for different physical conditions and challenges. May 2nd and 3rd, Inner Evolution 16th & Heather $250, $200 before April 15th. Clients FREE www.trinityyoga.net, 604 754-4488

Practice, Power, Purpose – Tantra and Healing Power of Yoga – CRANBROOK
The ancient science of Yoga offers volumes of knowledge on how to live your best life possible. Tantra yoga is the system of tools and techniques that guides practitioners progressively toward this exalted state. Understanding and being able to access the potency and limitless-ness of Prana, to have more freedom, more health, a greater sense of knowingness & intuition and spontaneous creativity, with less fear and more joy- is the promise of Tantra yoga. 3 hour Mini-Workshop on Friday May 29, 6 to 9 PM. Exhale Yoga Studio 14A 201 13th Ave So. $45 Contact Brenda at Exhale Yoga or 1-250-489-9210

Adaptive Yoga Training – CRANBROOK
Come and learn the life-giving techniques and theories of Adaptive Yoga from one who knows. Mary-Jo Fetterly ERYT-500 will conduct a 15 hour training for yoga teachers, healthcare professionals, family and friends on all you need to know, to safely and creatively use yoga for different physical conditions abilities or challenges. May 29th 30th, Exhale Yoga Studio 14A 201 13th Ave So. $287or $225 before April 30. Clients FREE Contact Brenda at brendacartier@shaw.ca or 1-250-489-9210

Trinity Yoga Teacher Training – Level 2
Prepare yourself to advance your teaching to the next level. The continuation of Trinity Yoga 3 tier training. June 21st-26th, Fairmont Hot Springs Resort in the Columbia Valley of BC. Must book by April 30. Details at www.trinityyoga.net/events or maryjoyogo@gmail.com.
Teachers Advanced Yoga – Trinity Mastery Training at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort
A opportunity for current teachers to study in greater depth the advanced techniques and theories with Senior Teachers. Learn techniques from experienced teachers in a broad range of subject areas. You will learn more about the business of yoga and how to make it work for you, about sequencing and the Art of composition, the theory behind the Doshas and the Gunas relating to a student’s practice and physical & mental health. We will delve further into the chakras and the energy systems as well as offer specialized classes and theory on: restorative, adaptive and therapeutic yoga. June 22nd-25th, 9-5 PM, Fairmont Hot Springs Resort in the Columbia Valley of BC. $125/day or $300 for all 4. Details at www.trinityyoga.net/events or maryjoyogo@gmail.com
2 Offices for Rent in Beautiful Yoga Studio
HOT SPRINGS YOGA STUDIO is nestled in the Columbia Valley between the magnificent Rocky & Purcell Mountain Ranges, just a few minutes away from the therapeutic natural mineral pools!!! A great location to capture the attention of the annual tourist market located in the Fairmont Village Mall, Fairmont Hot Springs, BC. We currently offer Yoga, Qi Gong, Zumba, Holistic Bodywork, Coaching, Workshops & Retreats! There are 2 offices available to rent within the studio. Contact Pamela 778-525-0022 www.hotspringsstudio.c

Unsubscribe if you wish. Blessings…

Trinity Yoga
Vancouver, BC


Living a 'Spirited" life - Spirit-U-ality, people's stories, rehabilitation-hope

What happened to Christina and Rehab in BC?

She was a beautiful young woman, her golden hair – thick and shinny, framed her sweet innocent face, one that was a breath of fresh air in my stale hospital room. I met Christina at GF Strong, the largest Rehabilitation Hospital in western Canada, and one which I spent 8 months at back in 2004. My own daughters and Christina were similar in age and she would often spend time with us out & about, or in my room as her family didn’t come around much, if at all.

I loved her youthful spirit and determination, she was so motivated and passionate to help make her situation be anything other than a life sentence of paralysis with no hope of recovery – at eighteen years old. Although the car accident that broke her neck and rendered her a quadriplegic was tragic, nothing to me was more tragic than Christina’s pointless death last November from self-starvation due to frustration and complete hopelessness at the lack of rehabilitation and support here in British Columbia.

Christina’s story is not unique. The incidence of depression, poor health, addiction and suicide run high among many faced with a tragic life circumstance like paralysis, especially in youth or those less advantaged financially and without family. According to the Canadian Paraplegic Association, about 900 Canadians suffer from spinal-cord injuries every year, and that number is generally skewed toward the younger population for the obvious reasons – car accidents and extreme sports, none of which, are on the decline.

“My legs were weak when I started,” Christina Clippingdale told the Georgia Straight in an article, (By Carlito Pablo, February 7, 2008) . “After the six months were over, my muscles were stronger. My muscle bulk increased. My bone density increased a third. My self-esteem was a lot better.” After the research was completed, she asked staff at G. F. Strong if she could continue using the bike. She was allowed to do so, and she maintained a routine of going to the hospital last year. Then, she was informed that she could no longer use the device.Clippingdale was then 21, and all she wanted to do is keep her broken body as healthy as she could.

That article was published in 2008, the same year the much awaited and anticipated ICORD and Rick Hansen/Blusson Spinal Cord Center opened. Christina’s hopes as were many, were resting on that center.I too, had great hopes for what was being touted and campaigned as The World’s leading center for spinal cord discoveries: CORD -Collaboration,Innovation, Repair on Discoveries, which was originally founded in 1995 by Dr. John Steeves with the support of Rick Hansen Foundation and then UBC president Dr. David Strangway. I was a patient at GF Strong when like Cristina, I had herd wind of a new ‘spine center’ being developed, that was in 2004.

Many of us with the brutal prognosis of quadriplegia, were eager and diligent at sourcing out the latest and most promising options and discoveries available anywhere for paralysis and were, of course thrilled to find out a center would be built here in our city. What kind of “center” it would be wasn’t exactly clear and, as in most cases of things taking form, this manifestation involved many interest groups and a lot of funding.

It began to stir up questions within the recipient community, as well as a ‘quiet’ undercurrent amongst the professionals that could be palpated in the air, at the only existing Rehab facility in Western Canada, G.F. Strong.What would happen to G.F Strong and rehab services, was the question already raising eyebrows, many of which we witnessed whilst patients as our rehab and available support services and therapies were being cut more and more by the newly elected government, right before our eyes.

G.F Strong was at one time a world leader in rehabilitation services and supports. It’s original purpose and mission was lofty and ahead of its time, and had respect and distinction for providing the most successful and thorough rehabilitation program for young vets. Following World War ll, there was a large influx of soldiers returning to Canada with permanent disabilities, and there was no facility located in British Columbia/Western Canada to accommodate their needs.

Dr. George Frederick Strong was a driven advocate for the building of a rehabilitation center in BC after his daughter sustained a spinal cord injury. Dr. Strong joined with the Western Division of the Paraplegic Association to realize his dream, and opened ‘GF’ in 1949. With a definitive mandate to rehabilitate and restore as much “quality of life” as possible to each individual, they developed ‘boot camp rehab’, “A (sought after) program which encourages patient’s to realize their abilities and set goals towards rehabilitation.”(Wikepedia)

That was then. By 2006 rehabilitation services in the spine program had dropped back from a full infrastructure with all support services available, to one third of what was offered to me in 2004, and I was in the second wave of cut-backs. At that time, stem cell research and excitement were gaining huge momentum, and paralysis due to spinal cord injury was one of the last on the bucket list as ‘medically unsolvable’ and high on the list of potential benefactors for “the stem cell cure”. It seemed the trend of the medical system and their fund sources had shifted from how to “restore & rehabilitate as much function and quality of life as possible”, to let’s find the cure.

In 2008 CORD then changed to ‘ICORD’, and according to their website this is what happened and what it was to become: “With the opening of the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre in November, 2008, many of ICORD’s multidisciplinary researchers are together under one roof where they can work closely together, and with people living with spinal cord injuries. This has accelerated the discovery, development, and validation of therapies and practices to promote full functional recovery and improved quality of life.”

Surely that would include rehabilitation “practices” and infrastructure, equipment and services that “promote full functional recovery and improved quality of life.”, what else would “development and validation of therapies” mean and how could we do that otherwise?

Recovery and rehabilitation from anything, we all know, is a process, in most cases slow and at times – painstakingly difficult. Therapy at best is also complex and generally expensive. The experience is a metaphor for life, nothing of true value comes easy. By definition the purpose of rehabilitation is to: “restore some or all of the patient’s physical, sensory, and mental capabilities that were lost due to injury, illness, or disease.”

“Rehabilitation includes assisting the patient to compensate for deficits that cannot be reversed medically. It is prescribed after many types of injury, illness, or disease, including amputations, arthritis, cancer, cardiac disease, neurological problems, orthopedic injuries, spinal cord injuries, stroke, and traumatic brain injuries. The Institute of Medicine has estimated that as many as 14% of all Americans may be disabled at any given time.” (Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003

The metaphor also is: We all need rehab. I’ve had to “rehab” from many ‘dis-ease’s’ like anorexia to natural occurrences like pregnancy, to unwanted misfortunes like concussion, bone breakage or love-forbid paralysis. Every one of us has to ‘recover’ from something. The real metaphor may be then: Don’t forget the basics in search of the golden egg or goal.

In the summer of 2009 I got a call from Christina, and honestly I didn’t know what to say to her as I listened, while through her tears and anger she told me she could no longer use ‘the bike’, the only light in her day that got her up and out. I tried to encourage her to get out and participate in research, something I had been involved with since the newly christened ICORD had opened, or come and learn from me in my living room or go to the local 50 year old pool the only local option publicly available for differently able as out patients, and yet I could hear the shift in her voice.

“What are they doing at ICORD? Christina demanded frustratingly. “Why do you bother with raising donations or doing research when none of it benefits us?” Good questions and truthfully ones I have been asking myself.”Without access to a functional-electrical-stimulation bike, Clippingdale is at a loss how to get exercise without the risk of injuring herself. “It’s very frustrating, and I find it very unfair,” she said.Bless her heart and may she be peaceful. Unfortunately due to depression and complications from not eating Christina Clippindale is no longer with us. She needed a SCI community rehab center. I felt like I failed this young woman, yet I could not offer her what she needed most.

For me as a massage therapist, yogi and extreme athlete, landing in these boots was one thing, what to do with what I got – based on my aforementioned perception and that of the prevailing breeze, is a whole other conundrum. I have chosen to let my body heal and to support that in the best way possible, that’s not easy with a condition like paralysis and NO professional guidance – but its working and I’m truly living science as my completely severed cord & paralyzed body defy the ‘norm’.

Without a doubt the reality and landscape for a person instantly and traumatically paralyzed has changed incredibly due to the above pioneer’s; not, for sure on all fronts, but nonetheless; and the world is a kinder place to land, in a wheelchair, than it was 10 and most certainly 20years ago. Things like the Federal Rehabilitation Act in 1973, to universal access, to public awareness and a variety of private & independent offerings, not to mention the advances in medicine and research efforts for paralysis. What hasn’t changed is the need for movement, rehabilitation and support services after discharge when the reality hits the fan.

I too, like sweet Cristina ( RIP) have taken the road less traveled in the community of ‘wheelies’, of seeking and noticing the physical and psychological benefits of movement, by getting rehab. I pay dearly for this and find like Christina did, a lot of frustration at why we in B.C., with two potentially top-notch facilities and many sources of private and government funding, have no active, state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility for ongoing treatment & side-by-side research of an ongoing, continually changing, scientifically important, debilitating, and socially expensive condition like paralysis.

After years of being touted as the best GF Strong in BC reduces services, ICORD touted as the place they would “innovate & collaborate” is a research lab, and if you want rehab in BC pay dearly and travel far.