"Carmalita’s gift for sharing her yoga and pilates practice stems from her heart centered approach to life. She has a warm, compassionate way of being with people that allows students to feel comfortable, safe and respected. Her training, knowledge and experience, combined with her passion and dedication bring students back to her classes over and over. Carmalita is a gem and will enrich the lives of anyone who practices with her."
Catherine and Kendal
"Thank you so much for the wonderful blissful Autumn Retreat! We really enjoyed the fireside and early morning yoga, the delicious healthy meals, the breathtaking views and beautiful accommodations as well as the stolen time together! The household had nice positive energy and we also enjoyed meeting and getting to know everyone."
Karen Handford and the VIHA crew
"Carmalita leads my group of colleagues in workplace lunchtime yoga. We thought had we requested the impossible: someone to help us become both invigorated and relaxed; someone to reach out to all skill and energy levels; someone to make us laugh and help us quiet our busy minds. Carmalita has made the impossible come true. Thursday yoga is the highlight of everybody's week. We love her."
'' Letting Go ''
November 5th 2013
Hi I'm Larry:
This is a story of my learning to accept change (letting go) and searching for the strength and courage to move on with hope for the future. A few months ago at age 66 I decided to start taking yoga classes. Ok, it was my daughters idea – but I listened. After a life long career of working mainly as an auto mechanic and also due to hereditary factors I have arthritis. It affects my hands, wrists and feet. I thought that yoga might give me some added flexibility and balance.
The problem: My life had just sort of fallen apart at that time. I had just lost my mechanics job and was replaced by a younger person. I was facing the fact that I wasn't as valuable a commodity in the workplace anymore and sending out resume's again. Two days after receiving my layoff notice, I received a supreme court document stating that I was being summoned to court by my common law partner of 12 years. We had separated 8 months prior to this. And when she moved on we had verbally agreed that everything had worked out equally financially between us. We had never married and the house was paid for and in my name all along. But suddenly things had changed with the introduction to the new retro-active B.C. Family law that was introduced in the spring. She now had the same entitlement as a spouse and was going after part of my real estate and retirement savings. My life suddenly turned into a nightmare of lawyers, bankers, financial advisors and mediators. There was also an invasion of privacy that was hard to cope with.
The plan: My plan for survival was to combat stress the usual way – hiking, cycling, working out and studying music. I also concentrated on keeping a healthy diet. I read 3 self help books and drank a bit more whisky. I exercised so much that I was falling into bed exhausted, but not sleeping well. By far the worst part for me was trying to deal with my emotions. I was full of anger, resentment, fear of the future and lots of anxiety. Nothing I was doing seemed to be helping or giving me any peace of mind – I couldn't think logically about any basic stuff not to mention legal issues.
The solution: I walked into my first yoga class with a black cloud hanging over my head. As I attempted to follow my instructor, Carmalita through the various poses I remember thinking, “What can this possibly do for me?” - not knowing that I had actually just found the “End of the Rainbow!” You see, I walked out of that class with a huge smile on my face – an uncontrollable smile, through traffic, at the grocery store - what was happening? Well after feeling like a bit of a head case the smile thankfully went away. However I was left with a feeling of happiness and well being. As I drove home with my groceries I actually had a hopeful feeling for the first time in weeks. This feeling gradually went away and I felt myself getting desperate again. So I decided to go back for another class and the rest is history. I now need to attend a couple of yoga classes a week to stay on track. I have also learned to concentrate on keep negative thoughts out of my head – my instructors voice keeps saying, “don't hold onto things that don't serve you.” Practicing yoga has helped bring me through a very difficult time in my life. It helped me stay calm and make rational decisions when nothing else worked. Because of this, I have been able to negotiate myself through what initially seemed to be a hopeless situation.
The gratitude: I've written this with hope it might encourage others to look for their own peace and somehow find the courage to make change – only you can do that! My heart felt thanks to the Feel Good Yoga and Pilates studio and it's talented staff and instructors like Carmalita that have helped me make my change.
The bonus: Even though I don't know the people who attend the classes, I feel sort of connected to them with a quiet sense of community – it's nice. This is despite the fact that I have always felt shy about exercising indoors with other people. Besides all of that, where else can I go to hear expressions like “breathe into your hamstrings” or “connect with your sits bones” or how about this one, “let your head hang like ripe fruit” - where do they come up with this stuff? All joking aside, my body is definitely getting more flexible, but I never thought that my mind would follow – that's like winning the extra!
PS.. Carmalita you are truly a “Sorcerer”
"I went to my first yoga practice at age 57 – I was nervous, a little scared, and way out of my comfort zone, but determined to try it, just one time. From the moment I walked through the door, I knew this was a place where I belonged. I felt welcomed, included and very much at ease. Carmalita has a way of making everyone, regardless of size, shape, or experience, feel that practicing yoga is right for them. She monitors everyone in the class and offers so many different options, no one gets left behind. I attend once a week, and have rarely missed a class in 18 months. If you get a chance to attend one of her retreats, be prepared to totally bliss out, and enjoy a very relaxing weekend, fireside and sunrise healing yoga, and amazing food! Carmalita clearly lives to practice yoga, and I’m so grateful to have met her. Yoga, through Carmalita, has changed my life, and I will never stop learning and practicing. I DO feel the love!"