Chapter Ten: Substituting in Victoria

I was having a good time. I would work during the week on my apartments and repair anything the tenants called me about immediately. I should have been happy with this and continued. But in 2011 a woman I had met in Mysore contacted me from Victoria Canada and wanted to know if I were teaching as she wanted to come down and take a class from me. I told her I wasn’t, but I was practicing at a little studio and to come down and practice. It turned out she was going to go to India for the winter and was looking for someone to take over for her at her studio in Victoria. I agreed to do it. It was from January through March. I don’t remember how I managed to do it in terms of getting my rentals taken care of. It must have been that the woman who watched them while I was in India was going to cover for me.

I flew into Seattle and stayed overnight with friends in Magnolia and then caught the Victoria Clipper across Puget sound to Victoria. This was exciting because I felt my years of going to India were finally culminating in a positive conclusion. Going through customs I had to convince them I was only going for a few days, even though I had a large load of luggage and my tabla. When I got to Victoria, I met the woman I was going to cover for. The next morning, she took me to her Yoga Shala and had me give a led primary. Her flight out was that morning, so she just waited and heard me give the opening prayer and begin the count for the class. When leading a class, you say the name of the asana first and then count the inhalation and exhalation with the vinyasa in and out of the asana in Sanskrit. Once she heard me start the Surya Namaskar count, she was confident I had it under control, smiled at me from the door, and left to catch her flight to India.

It was wonderful. I was staying with her mother in James Bay. It was only a couple of miles walk to the studio in downtown Victoria. Eventually I borrowed a bicycle, and this made it easier. I made the trip so many times it is etched in my mind. I would get up and go to the studio and do my practice from six to eight and at eight o’clock a Mysore class would begin, and her regular students would come in and I would work with them. It was so rewarding. It was everything I wanted to do, and I thought my life was on course. I made friends with the students. I also had an afternoon led primary I taught every day.

I would have to take a nap before the afternoon class.

Victoria was not cheap. I had to withdraw a couple hundred dollars a week to cover my expenses. My lodging was covered so groceries and laundry were my biggest expense plus my occasional meal at one of the Indian restaurants. I could walk back and forth from the grocery store. There was a coffee shop and a laundry mat in James Bay that was very comfortable with a used bookstore. I was having the time of my life. The only problem was the gossip was still following me, and I wasn’t even conscious of it.

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