Don Valley (Canada)

Don River Valley

Toronto, August 22nd, 2020

Don River Valley Park is the centrepiece of Toronto’s rapidly growing downtown: a 200-hectare park spanning Pottery Road to Corktown Common.

Together alone, sensing our energy, trusting it, letting it, liberating us.


Sensing through Don River Valley Trail

Practice around nature

Listening to silence

Tree Hugging Experience

Life music with @Poesy

A Tree – Hugging Story

So, there I was. My beanie clad forehead resting against the bark of a tree I know not the name of. My feet gaining purchase amongst its fallen leaves. The friction grated against my skin as I squeezed the trunk a little tighter. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, allowing the blackness to set in. Gently attempting to decipher what this experience offered me. Emotionally, physically…anything-ally.

“Wait! Wait…are they actually hugging trees?!”, a voice from about 6 metres behind me chuckled. I then opened my eyes.

I always had a pragmatic pair of eyes. A dash of cynicism, sarcasm and absurdism gave shape to my 2 circular views of the world. This has been both a blessing and a curse. Allowing me to be insightful, fairly-unbiased and a constructive human being. But often — maybe some of you can attest to this — I ended up rationalizing the emotion out of …well, emotions.

The past few years had me unlearning this habit. To stop studying the moment. And allow myself to be lost in it.

So, when Elisabeth, the yoga instructor, asked us to rise from our meditation and pick a tree, I was surprised at how quick I started to scan the autumn’d beings. This is my first time. So, someone not too wide or too rough’, my sarcasm chimed in. I picked a tree close to the trail we walked in on.

The few steps to the chosen tree, had me smiling. A smile that meant my efforts to be less transactional and to just be, wasn’t a struggle anymore.

I was walking toward a tree to hug it.

Nothing more. Nothing less. I was walking toward a tree to hug it.

So, what did I do when I heard someone say, “Wait! Wait…are they actually hugging trees?!”? I closed my eyes again and hugged the tree tighter.

– Faisal, Yoga Instructor | Toronto


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