HUNTSVILLE – When Wendy Martin first began to teach yoga, a place deep inside of her lit up and she knew she was on the right path.
Wendy Martin lives, breaths and sleeps yoga.
/ Mandi Hargrave
“I think the practice of yoga really sort of gives us back this sense of interconnectedness that we really are connected to the waves and cycles of the seasons and the sun and moon,” said Martin. “When we fine-tune when we have lots of energy and use it and when we fine-tune when our systems need quiet and rest we come back to this state of balance instead of pressing the on button and being on autopilot.”
Martin lives, breathes, and sleeps yoga. As a wife and mother of three, she said it allows her to nurture herself while giving to her family.
“When you choose to feed and nourish the things that light us up and feel positive, those things manifest in our life. If we choose to sort of sit with a difficulty or the struggle of life then it feels dense and heavy. It doesn’t mean that struggles and strong wave currents don’t sweep through our lives. But the way that I like to live my life is remembering to be awake in all of it … and to use it as a way to learn something deeper within myself. Using all of our experiences to enhance the flow of our life, to see the cup as half full.”
She’s been teaching the physical, spiritual and mental practice for over a decade, since returning to Ontario after living in British Columbia for a number of years.
Despite growing up within two hours of each other’s hometowns, Martin and her husband, Jason, met while living out west.
“People travel out west with this almost sort of pilgrimage idea to experience something different,” she said. “But when you have kids the paradigm shifts a little bit and there’s a draw back to your own family, that was the real pull for us to come back.”
Their eldest child, Sam, is 15, and their twins, Iris and Sid, are 12.
Martin loves the small town feel of Huntsville, while being surrounded by nature, especially for raising her children.
Initially when she and her husband met they lived a nomadic and green lifestyle, using only what they needed to be self-sufficient. During that period they converted a school bus into a home.
“We attempted it when we had the twins but I decided having a house and a bathroom was pretty necessary,” she said with a laugh. “We’ve sort of moved through life adopting that same principle: being really mindful about how we connect with our culture and the earth and really only taking what’s absolutely necessary and making sure our kids grow up knowing what the names of the trees are and what herbs are medicinal, really giving them a sense of reverie for the earth that we live in.”
Martin had always wanted to create a home for her family that was healthy and gave them room to save money for the future. One of her students told her about Habitat for Humanity Muskoka and the family was one of two that recently received a new home from the organization.
“Growing up in this society having a modest income is quite a task,” she said. “I decided to fill out an application … it has been an incredibly life changing event and super, super humbling because the house is built with volunteers, which is an amazing thing to be a part of and see the progression of (the home).”
She said Habitat as an organization has a system in place that empowers families. The house is sold to the family at fair market value, after they’ve completed 500 plus hours of work into the build.
“It’s provided this next chapter for our family that feels really exciting,” said Martin. “In 16 years of marriage this is our first real home. It feels like a pretty unique and tender opportunity for our family to really grow together.”
She said it was an interesting experience to be on the receiving end of something so big and has made her feel closer to the community as a whole.
“It made me fall in love with this community all over again. Just to see virtual strangers show up again and again, then friends and family and acquaintances and yoga students. It really puffed up my belief and faith in humanity as a collective that people would step in and help,” she said.
As a lesson in life Martin said she’s learned to pause and take a moment before reacting to a situation.
“Then the action typically comes from a place of integrity,” she said. “One of my favourite sayings is can you wait until the mud settles, until the right action arises spontaneously.”
She said it’s important to never be too busy for anyone or anything.
Thank you to Jane Gray for recommending Martin. If there is someone in the community you would like to recommend for Muskoka Mosaic contact Mandi Hargrave at 705-789-5541 or firstname.lastname@example.org.