yoga on parliament hill
posted: June 27, 2012
Current hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Type of yoga she’s teaching at Wanderlust Whistler: Baptiste-inspired, Hatha and Yin
Life loves: Yoga and travel. Yoga is a way of life for me. I have the best job in the world, I get to travel and do and teach yoga.
Why she started teaching: A yoga teacher approached me in 2003 after class and asked if I was interested in teaching yoga. My first reply was “no way”, but little did I know – that teacher planted the seed. The short answer is: “Because I love yoga and I love teaching it!”.
Her teachers: My parents. They taught me to stand strong in my life. Baron Baptiste, who taught me what authenticity was. Stacy Dockins, Deborah Williamson and Philip Urso from Live Love Teach. They taught me to ‘teach from love, not from fear’. my friends, students and yoga community are my greatest teachers. I learn something new everyday and they teach me the wisdom to let go of something everyday.
Favourite post-flight yoga pose: Child’s pose, the magical calming pose that releases, restores and supports exactly where you are. Combined with pranayama you will bring more oxygen to the blood and brain and calm the nervous system.
how parliament hill yoga began
One summer day six years ago in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, six people met for a yoga class on the lawn outside Canada’s parliament buildings. As the yogis twisted and turned through sun salutations and opened their hearts toward the Very Serious Government Buildings, it was clear to everyone present that this was the start of something very special.
Fast forward to the summer of 2012: weekly Wednesday yoga at Parliament Hill with Ottawa’s best instuctors has become a summer ritual and now has several hundred people attend every week — in June, attendance hit 600 one Wednesday, and the next week 917 showed up to bend and stretch together.
What’s it like to teach hundreds of people at an outdoor yoga class? Ambassador Ichih (pronounced “EYE-chee”) Wang says: “It’s magical. Emotional. Unreal. There’s something about being in nature, on the grass, with a huge community creating peace.”
what you need to know
Where: Parliament Hill
When: Every Wednesday at 12pm to 1pm.
What to bring: Your yoga mat, a water bottle and clothes that you can bend in.
Teaching assistants will be there to help faciliate the class, and the instructor uses a sound system so that you can hear the cue to savasana no matter where you are on the lawn. Class goes rain or shine but will be canceled if the weather’s calling for thunder and lightning — that’s just not safe!
august 15: the biggest class yet
Ichih will be teaching Yoga at Parliament Hill on August 15th, and we’ve set a goal to have 5,000 people do yoga together on this day. Mark it in your calendar, and see you on the hill!
Not in the Ottawa area and want to practice with Ichih? She’ll be teaching four classes at Wanderlust Whistler this August: a Vinyasa Flow to get the weekend started, a Power Vinyasa Flow that’ll cleanse and renew you, Yin/Yang on Saturday to restore balance, and a calming Yin class to end your Wanderlust adventure on a sweet note on Sunday. Ichih’s also currently working on her first yoga dvd so that she can share her love of yoga with the world. Stay tuned!