Why are you excited/happy/committed to sharing your wisdom at the 2020 Victoria Yoga Conference?
I am always excited to come to the Victoria Yoga Conference. This is my fifth year attending the conference and every year it gets bolder and better! Every year has been a unique experience and I think that’s what I am most excited about, the opportunity to learn new things. I remember my first year I did a workshop on headstands, which was a pose I really wanted to achieve, but was really struggling to do. The workshop was a huge eye-opener! I didn’t achieve the pose on that day, but I can do it now, and when I teach headstand pose, a lot of the cues and techniques I use come from that class. I am excited to learn something new again this year!
The theme of the 2020 conference is ‘love is medicine’. What does this mean to you?
Love is very meaningful to me. It is probably the most profound medicine we can provide to one another and ourselves. If I think of myself in my younger years; I was lucky to grow up in a loving family. Not everybody gets the love they need at the critical points in their life when it’s needed most. I can’t imagine how I would have coped through the stresses, disappointments, and traumas life inevitably hands out without the compassion of my family. Later in life I learned the importance of loving and accepting myself. Love is kind of like a daily super-vitamin supplement that helps keep your mind and body healthy. They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, well an apple and a hug will do even better!
What is your morning ritual?
I am not a morning person. My morning ritual is more of a morning riot, most days. I usually like to get a maximum amount of sleep, which means I hit the snooze button one or two times. This often leaves me with minimum time to get ready for work. If you have ever seen the show Mr. Bean, you’ve probably seen the episode where he is brushing his teeth, getting dressed, and taking a shower, all at the same time, in his car, while driving to work. That’s not dissimilar to my own morning routine – although I’m riding a bicycle. The one moment that is not chaotic in my morning however, is breakfast – the most important meal of the day! I always make sure to eat a nutritious hearty breakfast, even if it’s at my desk.
How do you manage stress or overwhelm?
I used to be very easily overwhelmed by stress. My natural reaction to stress is to internalize it, which means I look very calm on the outside, but on the inside I’m a mini nuclear meltdown. The best analogy would be a duck on the water. On the surface, the duck looks totally chill, but what you can’t see, below the surface, are the duck’s feet madly paddling to get anyway. It took me a long time, but I learned through yoga how to calm my internal duck feet. The most important parts of dealing with stress are to manage expectations and manage your breathing. I use breathing techniques now to handle the inevitable and unavoidable stressors in life. The other stressors I manage by not having any expectations!
What are you listening to right now? (eg specific audiobook, podcast, music, or maybe it’s the sound of the rain)
Right now I’m in my office and I’m listening to the sound of a heat pump that has kicked on. It’s got a pretty mellowing rhythm, definitely relaxing, could even lull me to sleep – whoops, still got a few more hours left to the workday!
Winding down… what is your evening ritual?
Evening time is my kind of time. After work I’m a pretty busy guy. I usually like to head straight to the gym for a couple hours and then I’ll try and catch up with my friends either in person or over the internet. Most weekdays I get home later and like to cook dinner while either listening to the radio or I’ll throw on the ol’ Netflix and watch something while I’m preparing supper. Once I’ve put everything away I’ll head to bed, maybe play some Sudoku on my phone, and then go to sleep.
Do you have a favourite quote you’d like to share? Who can we attribute it to?
I have two favorite quotes – both by Oscar Wilde:
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken” and “I have nothing to declare, except my genius.”
Adrian Brett has been an active yoga teacher on Vancouver Island since 2014. He moved to the Victoria area after completing his yoga teacher training in Ottawa. He is extremely grateful to belong to the yoga community here. He has always felt welcome and inspired by the many skilled teachers and students of yoga in Victoria. He has been an active volunteer and ambassador for the Victoria Yoga Conference since 2015 and is excited to return once again to the conference, to share his practice and inspire others to be a part of this great community.
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