Lotus Yoga and Green Kids Tour April-May 2011

A teaching and training tour of 8 weeks, brought me from Winnipeg to San Francisco, Haida Gwaii, Vancouver, Whistler, New York, Seattle, Hornby, Vancouver and now back to Winnipeg. A zig zag tour brought about by work and opportunity, not a logical course, but one with a grace and flow. It was full of diverse experience and remarkable people and events. A true inner and outer adventure.

San Francisco Green Festival was our debut kids zone facilitation experience. Right in the heart of the festival, the zone attracted kids with a penchant for face paint, puppetry and carnival games. Here they also discovered the many talents of groups presenting storytelling, live reptile petting zoos, and music along with our theatre games and yoga with an environmental message. Green Kids MC’d the stage, introducing acts, engaging the kids and offering activities and a parade. We explored ideas of food security, vegan/vegetarianism, supporting local/organic farmers, the bads of factory farming, supporting local economies vs sweat shop consumerism and brainstormed/raised awareness about our impact on the planet. Why do we care? Why do want to make healthy choices? Because it feels good and it’s fun!

The message through our experience: Theatre teaches us how to work together, to express our ideas in a fun and informative way and to learn from one another… yoga gives us the tools to be calm and strong regardless of what’s going on in our world so that we can stay healthy and make positive changes.

We hosted all sorts of great performers and characters in the kids zone… from a guiness world record holding hula hooper, to magical storytelling musicians, to wilderness awareness folk, to Hippo Works animation on climate change, Creepin Critters musical organic gardeners, a free style rap Marxist… it was a blast.

After Green Fest SF, I went up to Haida Gwaii, a northern island off the west coast of BC, close to Alaska. It is a stunning, raw beauty, full of long sandy beaches, surf and amazing artists and indigenous culture. I got to meet local artists and educators, making contact for future Green Kids tours.

I toured the Whistler/Pemberton/Vancouver areas and brought theatre and yoga workshops to schools, grades 3-8. I also got asked to teach a group of twenty-somethings who worked for a company called Zip Trek.

Zip Trek generously sponsored our tour and offers environmental education and awareness through their adventure zip lines through old growth forest canopies. I didn’t tailor the workshop to their age group, I instead asked the crew to invite their inner 10 year olds to play. They got into it, and it was absurdly fun. The Zip Trek crew were really up on environmental stewardship issues, so it was inspiring and fun to share.

With the beauty of nature in my bones, and after the Vancouver tour, I got back to SF for Earth day to lead kids activities. It was a fun celebration at SF City Hall,leading kids in a Gaia Gratitude Yoga class. The largest Earth Day event in North America, Earth day SF was a fun and inspiring community event. I got to see such great work, from the sustainable living roadshow
To OmShanTea Tea tent, to many earth based performers and activities…
It was a delight to be part of.

After this west coast journey, I got to travel to New York to visit yoga buddies and sit a 7 day meditation retreat… followed by more kids zone at Green Fest Seattle and then Hornby Island Deerheart Sanctuary yin retreat. But more on this later!


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