Blog written by Jocelyn Townsend
A few Tuesdays ago, I sat with Jeannine Plaiche at Tao in Brossard. If you haven’t met jeannine yet, you can attribute that to her humble nature or to the fact that she just got back from months of travel. Jeannine walks into the dining area with a wide mouthed grin that in exudes sincerity; yet, I can tell by the acuity of her gaze that, as joyful as she was in that moment, she was also grounded.
When I decided that I wanted to write about Jeannine, it was for two major reasons: Number one: she is reestablishing the Anusara® community in Montreal, and that seemed important and secondly -and likely more importantly- I’d known Jeannine for a few years as an acquaintance and over the years I’ve seen drastic change to her person, that personally allured me. It seemed to me that somewhere along the line, something clicked and whether or not she was experiencing actual samadhi, her presence reminded me of it. Being the not so peaceful amalgamate of Kali and Saraswati that I can sometimes be, I had to know more.
So who is Jeannine Plaiche, anyways?
Well that’s a loaded question! I will do my best to define her well within this circumstance.
Jeannine Plaiche is a Anusara® Yoga Teacher that is situated in the south shore of Montreal. She is a humble and open minded teacher that is working on rebuilding the Anusara® community here in Montreal.
Why did Jeannine become a teacher?
One of the reasons she appreciates the opportunity she has as a teacher is for the opportunity to learn from her students. She shared in our conversation that she thought it would make her a better yogi because, “It is only through relationship that we see ourselves.” so holding the position as teacher has allowed her to get valuable feedback from her students that has painted a clearer image of how she in the world.
What is Anusara® Yoga ?
Jeannine explains Anusara® is a heart centered yoga, which combines non-dual Tantric philosophy with the Universal Principles of AlignmentTM. In other words, Tantra incorporates the way in which we connect to one another because we are, to that belief system, unified or connected. It also engages our relationship to our own physical and energetic bodies by incorporating certain laws of alignment that apply to all people, in aspirations of bringing its practitioners into alignment with ones heart.
What is non-dual Tantra?
In Tantra there are non-dualistic, dualistic, pluralistic schools and so on and so forth. There are schools that may focus on Shiva, while others focus on Shakti. In the non-dual lineages of Tantra, Shakti arises from Shiva. Metaphorically, the ocean is Shiva, the wave is Shakti. When a wave emerges, that is the emergence of Shatki from Shiva. However, in non-dual Tantra, the ocean is comprised of waves, thus they are inseparable; Shiva is also comprised of Shakti. In relationship to the S/self, we are the manifestation of ourself that we are in any given moment, but at any given moment we are also everything else that we have the potential of being. Depending on how expansive we allow our imagination to be, it is that malleability or creativity (shakti) that connects us to everything (shiva) and vice-versa.
What benefits has Anusara® yoga brought to Jeannine’s life?
Jeannine underwent copious physical injuries due to her past history as a figure skater. Though she had done yoga before, it was through the principles of alignmentTM that she was actually able to experience symptomatic relief and work progressively towards healing. During a ski accident she tore her ACL (anterior-cruciate ligament), and was told by her doctor that she was going to inevitably develop arthritis. However, this has not been the case. Instead she has gotten to know her body on a deeper level and within a year and a half of Anusara® Yoga she was able to completely rid the pain of her knee.
In what ways has Jeannine been rebuilding the Anusara® community?
Jeannine is the Canadian Regional Outreach Coordinator for Anusara®Yoga, in which there is a huge emphasis on Kula (community). Though, Jeannine just wants more people to know about yoga, her offering is Anusara®. By teaching her own classes and renting a space in south shore where she teaches three classes a week, she is making Anusara® Yoga once again accessible. For those who can’t make it to class, she offers private sessions and is offering workshops at various studios, such as one coming up this fall at Namaste Yoga. Beyond that, because Kula a key aspect to Anusara®, Jeannine recently invited Austria’s Anusara® inspired Teacher Letizzia Wastavino to emphasize that Anusara® is not only Jeannine’s practice; there are other ways of doing and being that is also authentic to Anusara®, and what better way to do it than inviting a former Montreal Resident to co-teach. Next year, she will be teaching a 100 hour Anusara® immersion here in the Montreal area. She is also connecting with teachers from other regions and provinces to help that establish themselves and their communities on more of a grassroots level.
Where can I find Jeannine or Anusara® Yoga?