Yoga, food, music and belugas at the Vancouver Aquarium for World Oceans Day
Why celebrate the ocean? Because it makes up 70 per cent of the earth and provides many people with a large percentage of their dietary needs.
In June we celebrated World Oceans Day to show and grow appreciation for the large span of blue, green and gray that surrounds us, especially here on the West Coast. It’s easy to take advantage of it since most people here see it on a day-to-day basis.
This World Oceans Day I celebrated it by doing yoga with belugas at the Vancouver Aquarium.
Eoin Finn led the class in a very unconventional way as we began the class with some dancing and warming up our bodies and proceeded with making our way through the evolutionary process from single cell to multi-cell.
“Single cell beings don’t have stiff necks.” Eoin shouted at us, urging us to roll our heads from side to side in an attempt to get loose before evolving in to fish and “swimming” around the room.
What kind of fish stay in one place? Farm salmon. Don’t be a farm salmon, move around, rub up against someone, it’s a fish school!
“And hug somebody! If you have a problem with morning hugs it just means you’re from Toronto,” he joked as he encouraged everyone to hug their neighbor whether they knew them or not. During our evolutionary journey there was a lot of touching from being fish and rubbing against each other while "reaching our hands around the other beautiful fish."
We continued evolving as we found ourselves on our bellies, emulating a worm. A downward facing dog brought us out of the ocean as we became lizards. Unlike the other developing stages where we were lovey dovey, we were now in competition with each other. “Lizards don’t know Namaste” Eoin claimed, “So if your bum is higher than others you’ll get eaten. Stay low! Get that butt down. Left leg, left arm, right leg, right arm.”
After evolving from lizards we became frogs, jumping around in a Darwinian manner and we found ourselves in a competition again. This time it was for the highest jump, with the winner receiving a DVD from Eoin’s Blissology yoga.
From crawling from one side of the room to another and “taking flight” as we flapped and flitted around the evolutionary process continued.
Despite the somewhat wacky approach to yoga but a very event appropriate approach, there was a bit of conventional yoga practice occurring that day including some sun salutations, the dancer, happy baby and the camel.
Unlike some of the stages in the class he taught that day he stressed the fact that yoga isn’t a competition stating that you should listen more and force less. If you compare yourself to others and compete you’ll just ruin your practice.
Highlights of the class were the crab walks with feet fives and the dog pile Savasana.
I appreciated the light-heartedness and unique approach that Eoin brought to the class with such positive energy.
Why are kids the only ones that get to do this while we sit at a desk all day?
To complete the event we had a delicious Ocean Wise breakfast provided by Choices Market. There was a wide variety of food such as power cookies, wheat free quinoa bars, muffins, yogurt parfaits, fruit and OceanWise salmon bagels and wraps. There was also organic, fair-trade coffee, soy coconut milk, tea, Perrier and juice to accompany our meals.
“People will eat only organic, cage-free, free range food but won’t eat only sustainable seafood,” exclaimed Eoin. It’s a fairly accurate statement but with programs such as Ocean Wise and organizations like SeaChoice and the David Suzuki Foundation, it’s becoming more commonplace to see sustainable seafood in restaurants and on our tables. Eventually if all goes well the percentages will switch and it will be rare for one to eat anything but ocean wise food. Events that are part of World Ocean’s Day are a great way to educate the public and enable them to make the right choices.
As we ate and mingled we enjoyed wicked beats from DJ Tspoon (Delhi 2 Dublin), Rupinder Sidhu (Banyen Roots), and Ndidi Cascade.
Eoin collaborated with the Vancouver Aquarium to create the unique Yoga with Belugas event. Although it brought in a large group of people, both male and female, he originally wanted to do a larger scale event for World Ocean’s Day. He admitted though his need to be “sustainable” and save his energy for his young son, Anunda and his wife Inisiya.
When Anunda grows older, Eoin hopes he will then be able to step it up a notch or two and host those bigger events. And maybe one day when his son is old enough he too will work to to protect our ocean creatures. It wouldn’t be a surprise as his son’s first word was “ISH” even before “Papa”.
As well as being a yogi and blissologist, Eoin is an avid surfer and was heading to a competition in Tofino immediately after our session with him. “Yoga and surfing were made for each other like Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were made for each other." Eoin began yoga and surfing in the same year, calling it a life-changing year as it was also when he bought his first MAC computer.
For more high resolution photos check out my gallery on Flickr.