We would like to express our gratitude to all of you out there who are staying in touch with us during this time of self isolation and social distancing. We have received many emails and phone calls, and what is really exciting is the numbers from our online streaming service: we have 85 subscribers in the last few weeks and our on-line classes have had more than 300 views! You are staying connected with our teachers and we feel blessed.
For those of you who have not yet signed up to Namastream, our online yoga class platform, and would like to practice with Vraie Nature yoga teachers please click hereWe have summarized what you need to do to get started, each step is outlined below:
Create an account with Namastream (this platform is not compatible with your MindBody details)
Accept Terms & Services (you cannot proceed if you miss this step)
click the REGISTER button once you see the classes come up and you should then be able to stream them .
Another huge thanks those of you who have made a donation on our GoFundMe page. We are raising money to support both the studio and our teachers in these unpredictable times. With support from community members, we as a small business will survive the Coronavirus crisis and continue to thrive long after!
Stay safe, stay healthy and we look forward to seeing you all in person as soon as possible.
Lesley and Pam
Tales from India !
Our beloved yoga teacher Brenda-Lee Wilson is biding her time in India waiting to be repatriated. With over 15000 Canadians looking to return to Canada since flight restrictions were put in place all over the world, Brenda-Lee and her partner Jean are still trying to book plane tickets home. Life in India is very different from daily life here in Chelsea, QC under normal circumstances and I think we can appreciate how challenging it would be under a nation wide lock down!
We have had a few very interesting emails from Brenda-Lee in the past month and asked if we could share one of these emails in our newsletter. Please read below for a recent installment!
Jean and I are basically fine, and healthy, but we have been working since the beginning of March to get our tickets arranged to not fly through Europe on our original booking, then bought new one way tickets to return early to Canada. All of our flights have been cancelled and we are out of pocket $4,000 with no way home yet. And for several days we had no food as shops were closed and people panicked during the country-wide lockdown which is still not over. We are in contact with the embassy in Delhi. They are trying to respond to 15,000 of us here, so all we get are group emails saying they are trying to repatriate us for another cost of $6,000 for the 2 of us. But there are no planes from our state of Goa and Mumbai is more than 15 hours by road which is closed anyway. Whew.
On the positive side, it is sunny here, we now have food and a decent room at $20 per night and the ATM works. But we have no transportation must walk to get food. That is ok because with no contact with others or chance to go to a coffee shop or restaurant at least we get some exercise. And I do a yoga practice faithfully before breakfast.
I miss you all and wish the situation were easier for all the self employed workers in Canada. You at the Studio have had some great ideas for staying connected. How are things with your family?
I will close now, and append a little story I wrote a few days back. By for now and thanks for checking in on me and Jean.
Brendalee Wilson, Yoga Instructor &
Photographer : brendaleewilson.smugmug.com
Black Market Developing in Goa
31 March 2020
Agonda, Goa, India
We found vegetables, milk, and cooking oil -- Or, the first food delivery in 6 days
I know that does not sound very exciting, but after several days of food shops being closed in our little town of Agonda, Goa it was a huge relief. Not without effort, mind you.
My kitchen mate, at our Jungle Resort CUM youth hostel, took her scooter-- with me on the back-- and descended the dusty red, rock-laden road to town at 8 a.m. today.
We followed the deserted main street, me looking left and right at the shops' metal doors pulled down tight. I scanned from the back of the scooter for any point where a gathering of locals and tourists might be waiting in a line, conjuring up images of bread lines in the Depression or during the Soviet era. Sometimes a line was just disbanding with resigned signals meaning "Finished". Nothing left.
We repeated this a few times, including once when we were turned away, because, I suspect, we were foreigners and for some people we mean "CORONA!" A few days ago while on a walk in the jungle on the dusty red road, a scooter with two local lads whizzed by while they pointed and shouted at us: "CORONA!"
But back to the hunt for provisions. With no luck so far, we took a road out of town and climbed 3 kilometers up a hill, away from the tourist zone. We had had a tip earlier, that one shop up there would be open this Monday morning. But when we arrived, the shop in question had just sold its last kilo of tomatoes.
Dejected, slightly, we turned around to go back into town. We passed a cement block building, completely nondescript, with a couple of locals leaving with rather full bags. This of course, is a tell-tale sign that some vegetables may be nearby. My shopping companion trundled past, but in true Brendalee style I said, "Wait a minute " and we turned around to investigate. I cautiously approached a fully closed door of thick metal bars that looked like it belonged in a high security penitentiary. Looking through revealed a tiny dark room. Suddenly an hearty Indian woman appeared. I was nervous, but in a slow, friendly manner asked "Vegetables?" She wobbled her head slightly without smiling. I turned to my companion and said, "Oh my God" she has food. Then the lady disappeared into a darker inner chamber. We heard some rattling and shaking sounds and suddenly she returned with bags full of potatoes, green chilies, tomatoes, and onions. Then again with rice, lentils, mung beans, and TWO litres of milk. We almost fainted. We are feeding six people 3 times a day here in the jungle hut above the town -- on one electric hot plate. This haul should last a week. It all felt like clandestine operation as we filled our back packs and left, trying to contain our happiness.
Back in town, a tiny little shop on the main street was swarming with foreigners. No one was keeping the 1-2 meter distance required for physical distancing protocol. Questions were being fired right and left: Do you have milk? Do have cooking oil? Do you have eggs? Do have coffee? No. No. No. No. You get the gist. But they DID have cookies, chips, soda pop, shampoo, razors, washing powder, batteries and incense. Oh well.
One last stop before going home to the jungle. Two days back, one of our kitchen mates bought milk at a private home. She has a 3-year old daughter so this a a priority for her. We returned there, and met Mr Santos, the brother of the man who had a small store which is now closed. Santos emerged from his house with a giant box of cookies and chips. Er, we we actually looking for some food, Sir. Oh, yes, we can get you milk, but no eggs. And bananas from our trees. How many do you want? 15. Okay. He came out with a sack of 15 gorgeous fat bananas. "You won't find this kind in the stores. They are from our tree." Do you want 15 more? These are the last ripe ones. Okay! I pressed our luck:
"Do you have candles, cooking oil, vinegar, or mango pickles?" Bingo. "Come to my brother's shop. He will lift the the door quickly, you pick and leave." Wow. Clandestine operation number 2.
We did get home with a very full and heavy scooter to cook a tasty lunch with the mung beans and rice.
Now, if we could only find some cocoa powder and 2 eggs. I have a stovetop recipe for chocolate cake.
~ Props on Loan or for Sale ~
Please read below for details
Vraie Nature has ordered in beautiful recycled dense foam blocks from Manduka and equally beautiful bolsters from Halfmoon. We also have high quality mats, yoga straps, eye pillows and Yoga Tune Up massage therapy balls to practice the art of self massage. Please email usif you are interested in purchasing props to support your home practice. We would be happy to arrange safe pick up or delivery of these items. As an alternative to purchasing we are please to help out our students with a loan of any of the props we have on hand in the studio currently collecting dust; a prop lending library of sorts!
We continue to offer this amazing deal of both a massage and a 5 yoga class pass at a 15% discount. This package is available to purchase online and can be used anytime. Our in-house massage therapist, Val St-Aubin is registered and is able to issue insurance receipts.
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