Category Archives: Letter from the Editor

A letter to OhMyBikram Readers

Dear OhMyBikram Readers,

I’d like to start off this letter with an overdue apology. It has been too long since this site has been updated.

Since creating OMB a year and half ago I have been continually surprised and humbled by the hunger for our content and the support you all have offered OhMyBikram.

Over the past few months, as a result of my personal career pursuits outside of the yoga community, updating OMB was next to impossible. However, in my absence from these pages I continued to watch as site views remained steady (300-400 of you still visit the site daily) and online subscriptions grew to include over 500 people from all over the globe.

I would like to personally thank each of you for continuing to have interest in the work that has gone into this site. Each subscription notification in my inbox felt like an affirmation of OMB’s relevence and a reminder compelling me to write for you all again.

Let me make it official, OMB is back. You can expect new posts, posture clinics, news updates, testimonials and features as of this week. For those of you that have left comments and questions, I will be getting back to you within the week, in the meantime I appreciate your patience.

As always I welcome your submissions, comments, questions and concerns. Feel free to contact us by commenting on our posts, emailing us at ohmybikram@gmail.com, follow us on twitter or like us on Facebook.

Sincerely,

Barbora Simek

OhMyBikram Editor

 

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Yoga and G20 protest: an open letter to residents of Toronto

Downtown Toronto is fenced in, boarded up and empty.

Plywood covers glass in preparation for the hurricane of fury that protesters have promised to unleash in the streets this coming weekend during the G20 summit. Packs of police parade the streets. Pedestrians clutch government issued identifications to gain access to their neighbourhoods and homes. Companies are closed for business. Liquor stores are on lockdown. Homeowners hold their breath, and keep a brave face.

Homes boarded up in Toronto in preparation for the G20 protests. photo: Barbora Simek

Trees have been uprooted, bus shelters removed, for fear that they will be used as weapons. Residents reel.

“What about our liberties?” ask some.

“When did I chose this?” ask others.

“What’s all the fuss?” say the rest.

Amidst the fury of rhetoric, threats, challenges, brute force, politics and protests, its important for us to stop and take a breath and get some perspective.

Torontonians weren’t asked if they want the summit.

Neither were those displaced from their homes by policies and politics in a majority of the world’s countries. Around the world, the displaced do not get fair warning, press releases and the courtesy of polite police officers. They are not put on lock-down preemptively to uphold their safety and the security of their homes. Their lives, assets and loved ones are the tallies by which warring factions keep score of their victories and defeats.

We are the small percentage of the human population that does not live on a precipice between life and death.

Perhaps rather than grumbling about the inconvenience of this summit, we should embrace the gift that we have to live in a democracy in which we and those around us have the ability to express our beliefs -regardless of whether we agree with how some of us chose to excercise the right.

As members of a free and democratic society, its my belief that is our duty to listen to each other, even when the message is relayed in a destructive and hateful way. There are a lot of issues that surround this summit, and many of the arguments made by protesters deserve good ears. Other messages may not have merit in our eyes or hearts. However, listening and considering the opinions of others is one of the foundations upon which democracy was built. If we can’t uphold the value among each-other, we certainly can’t expect our leaders to.

This weekend, I will be teaching and practicing and Bikram Yoga Centre in the downtown core, a few meters outside of the “traffic zone.” I will be nervous travelling to and from the studio. But my practice and my presence as a teacher will be my version of protest.

The great yogis believe that the violence, inequality and suffering in the world is a mere reflection of the imbalances and cruelties within us. Yoga teaches us to bring harmony into our bodies, into our lives, into our hearts.

“When your body, mind and soul are harmonious, you will bring health and harmony to those around you and health and harmony to the world – not by withdrawing from the world but by being a healthy living organ in the body of humanity,” writes B.K.S. Iyengar.

This weekend, I hope Torontonians will join me and practice their yoga so that we can all bring harmony to our city.

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Letter from the Editor

Dear Yogis,

Over a year ago I boarded a red-eye flight and moved to Toronto. I knew no one in this city, aside from a few distant family friends and acquaintances I had gathered over the years. But I knew I had a yoga family, a community of hot-yoga-loving yogis that would accept me with open arms.

Moving is hard, and it took a year for the emotional haze of relocation to lift. When it did I opened my eyes to all the Toronto yoga scene had to offer, I found friends, bosses, colleagues and students that inspired, supported and encouraged me. Somewhere along the way, in between sweaty mats and coconut waters, the idea for OhMyBikram was born.

I have always known that I don’t want to be a studio owner, but that I wanted to do a bigger part to bring this yoga to people. I wanted to help all of us understand our practice through connecting to each other, studio owners, teachers, and students alike.

As I searched online, I realized that there was no place, no publication that brought our community together. So I got to it, thinking that maybe I could reach the yogis of Toronto and one day grow my project to include other cities.

Then, the unthinkable happened. Within our first week, OMB saw 1,2oo unique views. Yesterday, we saw 1,200 unique views in one day. People from all over the world are coming here to read these stories: your stories, our stories.

I cannot express the gratitude that this has inspired in me. Your visits, comments, suggestions and contributions have inspired me in way I never thought possible. Ideas are flowing, and we have so many things in the works to help us all connect, learn, laugh and grow through this great practice we all love.

I encourage you all to get in touch with us, we welcome your ideas, feedback, contributions and suggestions. I, along with all the contributors at OhMyBikram, am so excited to grow our connection to each of you.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for turning my humble idea into my living dream.

Love and light,

Barbora Simkova

PS Stay up to date with OMB by joining us on Twitter or Facebook!

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