A Note For Our Newer Community Members
One of our long time community members Aldona wrote this piece for us making us laugh and feel filled with gratitude for the space we have created on Ottawa Street. At our 5 Year Anniversary party we celebrated Aldona having practiced almost 1000 hours of yoga at the studio with a gift that she shares below. A quick note for our newer community members who may not know who Gus is! The studio owner, Helena McKinney took an orange kitten in bringing it to the studio to stay for a short span of time until she could bring him home with her. In the short time he spent at In Fine Feather Yoga, many students found joy in spending time with Gus before class, including Aldona. He is missed well at the yoga studio but loves his home with Helena where he has lots of toys and sun rays to lay in.
You've seen me at the studio. I'm usually one of the first people to show up for a class. You've probably seen me sitting on the bench in the front lobby talking to reception or chit chatting with another participant or casually pointing out directions to a new member. Back in the day, when Gus was in the house, I'd be the one fussing with him. Either playing with him or brushing him or putting him in the back room just before we started our practice. I really enjoyed my time with Gus . It was my furry meditation prior to my physical practice. It seemed silly to some but to me it was important.
I first came to Yoga years ago when the fitness gym I was at started offering a single Yoga class. I was one of the first people who started coming to class and instantly feel in love. Fell in love with what Yoga did for me, both physically and mentally. I knew Yoga would be part of my life for a long time to come.
When an athletic injury temporarily took me away from my mat, I knew in the back of my mind that I would return to my mat ...one day. That 'one day' came in the form of a new Yoga studio opening in Hamilton on the comer of Barton and Ottawa St. It’s name, In Fine Feather and it’s director, Helena. My first class at the studio was led by Helena and even though I could not do all the poses, I enjoyed her style of teaching. I knew that returning to my mat was the right thing for me. No matter what mood I was in, no matter how sore my body was, no matter if I could ‘do’ all the poses or not, practicing Yoga always made me feel better.
As the studio grew, so did my practice. IFF moved into it's present location and I started coming more often. Whenever my schedule allowed, I would keep returning to my mat. I saw the benefits Yoga provided me and I knew that my mat and I would be friends for a very long time.
A Surprise Gift
A few classes later...... I found myself sitting in Gage Park on an unusually cool September morning getting ready for a class. I wasn't happy with the temperature outside but IFF was celebrating it's 5 year anniversary and I wanted to attend. After the practice Helena stood to say a few words and all I could think about were how cold my feet were: I'm the one in the studio who never thinks it's too hot...EVER!! She started talking about a participant that had done almost 1000 hours of class time and I started to wonder how many classes I had done at IFF. The more she talked, the more I noticed that she was staring right at me. When Helena announced that she was gifting me a scholarship to one of the modules in her teacher training... well, needless to say I was a little surprised.
New Year Plan
I'm so grateful for the opportunity to enhance my existing practice, to expand my knowledge, to spend time with fellow Yogis at the studio and to deepen my friendship with my mat. I hope my appreciation for Yoga will grow so that I can experience even more benefits that a Yoga practice can provide. It's given me so much up to this point and I'm certain that I will take in so much more...if I just keep coming back to my mat.
Helena, your idea of a scholarship was generous and I’m honoured to be the first recipient.
I look forward to starting the new year off on my mat in an environment that’s friendly, comfortable and what has come to feel like a second home.
Thanks so much for this gift. It truly means a lot to me.
And if I’m lucky, there might be a visit from a certain furry orange guy....hint, hint.
Interested in Joining the IFF Community or Furthering Your Yoga Knowledge?
Find our class schedule here and start your own yoga journey with our New Student Intro Pass here. If you’re interested in joining Aldona in one or all of our teacher training modules, click here for more information.