WHY THE WHOLEBEING CLUB?

I’ve never done a post about my yoga series, The Wholebeing Club. You may have wondered what it is exactly. Or why it’s called what it is. I’d love to share what’s at the heart of these weekly gatherings, now.

Please note this post is deeply personal. I talk about loss, and pain, and grief. Part of my delay in sharing this story is because of how intimate the details of this experience are in. Anyways, if you are here, thank you. I welcome you to be a part of this story.

I created The Wholebeing Club because I want to continuously contribute to a thing where people feel love and belonging.

We are complex beings, with many parts that require nurture. I want to help myself, and others, tap into their many sheathes of being, and use movement as a tool for empowerment and liberation.

The Wholebeing Club idea was birthed last summer on my parent’s sailboat during a sweet, mini getaway with Mum and Dad and my husband. We were talking about what it means to be a part of a community of love and what it feels like to belong. The idea for The Wholebeing Club was sparked during that conversation, when I realized I craved a multi-generational community to be a part of, and where I could share and engage in my passion for mindfulness and yoga.

Soon after having had this beautiful visioning session, my family experienced an incredible loss of a family member. I still don’t know how to write about it here. Grief is an experience like no other, and I had never experienced it to such a degree. It changes you. What I do know is that this life-shattering experience convicted me. All the values and philosophies I held of who I wanted to be in the world, how I wanted to be in the world, what is most important - they all came slamming down on me. An unprecedented sense of clarity was a gift to me during this time. Suddenly a desire to relish each day, and soak in every single drop of sweet, sweet life, became the only thing that mattered.

A note on grief. They say grief is love that has no where to be bestowed. This makes so much sense to me. It hurts so much and it feels so intense because our capacity to love is so great, but in a time of loss, our ability to express that love toward that person becomes impossible to do in a way we normally know how. So it rests very heavy on us. That pain was visceral. It was pain that impacted my wholebeing. Emotional. Physical. Mental. Spiritually.

Life is so fragile. In experiencing loss, what stood out to me most strongly was just that there was nothing more important to me than giving love. This might be spending time with dear family and friends, a sense of self-compassion and kindness toward myself, or sharing that loving-kindness with the world through my actions and words. Nothing is more important.

The Wholebeing Club became more than just a dream of something I would do one day. In many ways, it feels like life’s purpose.

As I invest in my own journey of loving, I want it to be something that is shared and experienced with others. So the core tenets of my teaching yoga, and creating a yoga club, are very much linked back to this purpose for me. It is practicing self-compassion, doing what nourishes, being alongside others. These things, grounded in love, are the things that are most important to me.

Our gathering is labeled as a club because I wanted to indicate that we’re just a common interest group. At the end of the day, that’s what a club is, right? Chess clubs, sailing clubs, sewing clubs, you name it! I think clubs generally have a welcoming flavour and sound pretty humble. At the core of any club is the idea that people with similar interests engage in that interest together. So at The Wholebeing Club we get together because we want to nurture our whole-beings; connecting breath to movement, mind to body.

Right now we do yoga in the lobby of a church which kindly rents out space to us. It’s nothing fancy. But I love that about it. We’re a unique little group of people from Kitchener, Baden, and New Hamburg, we do a 60 minute yoga class and then there’s a 30 minute social time after where people informally hangout over tea and snacks. It is really nice! I really look forward to spending Monday nights with these folks and sharing a movement practice with them. This past winter, we had 10 people join the club, pretty well hitting capacity in the space.

I’m thrilled to be continuing on with The Wholebeing Club this summer, after a short spring reprise. The plan is to spend the evenings outside, doing yoga in the hollow behind the church, with a big view of farmer’s fields and the bright summer sky. Doing yoga outdoors is glorious. I’m looking forward to being able to use cues like, “extend each finger up to the sky!” instead of having a ceiling lay between us and the universe.

I know many people, myself included, find time outdoors and in nature to be therapeutic for the soul. There is something spiritual about being outside. It can’t always be described but we all can feel it.

I have some very fond memories of spending time in nature and witnessing family and friends finding wholeness in Mother Nature. One of my favourites is my uncle, who is a true person of the sea, once stretched his arms out wide as we adventured along a Fijian coast, describing how “THIS is my sanctuary!”

Or my sweet cousin Nico, who found so much peace being in the wind and alongside the waters. In his last summer of life, he told his Mum and Nana while looking out across the river that “THIS, is all I need.”

Love and light to you.

With kindness,
Sarah

Sarah Steiner