2009-10-24

Crossing Borders

Was it dangerous to be at the border? No. Exciting? Yes. Nationalist? Extremely.

To be honest, it was more like being at a foot-ball game than at a ceremony that celebrates independence, identity and culture. It was a maze of anticipation before the half hour ceremony called "lowering of the flag" began. People were dancing on the road, the border security were directing the crowd "how" to cackle and officers tried unsuccessfully to get people to sit down. The ritual takes place every evening from about 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. I say 'about' because on our way to the border there seemed to be a lot of confusion as to when it actually started. The hotel receptionist insisted we get there before 4:30 p.m., the taxi driver assured us that getting there by 5:30 p.m. was fine and the vendors at the border told us that nothing gets started until closer to 6 p.m. It was like asking directions for the same place but getting five different answers.

Once at the border, which was organized more like a stadium, I could not see much more than the heads in front of me. To make up for this the man next to me kept creating shrill-like calls that lasted for far too many seconds! I have to say that being there had a certain alluring quality, but I started to think about many things.



I started to think if people's desires, motivations and intentions are not completely misguided. It's not that the border ceremony is unimportant. It's more the possibility of channeling all this energy to create world peace as well as ending poverty, child-labour, domestic violence and abuse. Somehow I was only reminded of the superificality of our so-called 'good' intentions as well as the lack of consciousness we have regarding what we are doing and why we are doing it.

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The Journey So Far

Life is an adventure and yoga is the greatest one of all. Here I share my love of Yoga, travel, practice and becoming a part-time cook. My life adventures have taken me from growing up in Toronto to living and working in South Korea to studying in India, marriage and finally closing my Yoga school of 15 years.

What I can say so far is that I truly believe that it is necessary in life to let go of one dream in order for another to be born. This might be painful to do so but it is the only way to move forward. We often believe that if our original plan does not succeed it is the recipe for failure. But what if it is the door to something new and great? The horizon is wide and life is not a straight line. This is the way I see it and my journey so far. Having also recently given birth to my first child and at 43, it is another new beginning.


ME

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Heather Morton
is a perennial teacher and devoted student of yoga. Having made 18 extended trips to India she studies with her teachers annually. In 1997 she founded and directed The Yoga Way (TYW), Toronto's only school for 6-week yoga programs and not drop-in classes. For 15 years, TYW was a part of the growing Toronto yoga community and supported many charities by offering karma classes. As a teacher she holds many academic degrees including a BFA (Fine Arts in Theatre) and a Masters of Education. With a published thesis on Yoga for Children in School, her post-graduate work was a 2-year ethnographic project in the Indian school system. Heather has produced 2 dvds, meditation cds, a backbending manual and podcasts. Freedom of the Body DVD is the first of its kind as an instructional practice to the backbends of yoga. Heather has been featured in the Toronto Life magazine, The Globe & Mail, Yoga4Everybody and other on-line sources. She contributes to MindBodyGreen, Hello Yoga in Japan and Elephant Journal. She writes to inspire and share her experiences with others on yoga as a life's practice.
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