How Deep Roots Yoga Came To Be
Deep Roots Yoga is built upon the priorities Leslie Pullen has possessed her entire life, these being: her love of physical activity and movement, the importance of creative expression through art, and her deep love and respect for natural spaces, especially in her native B.C. where the rawness of the wilderness inspired her to follow the path she has arrived at today.
Over the years, Leslie has found that yoga is the perfect vehicle of expression to combine all these passions together. Yoga encapsulates movement, personal expression and respect. Believing that yoga is meaningful motion that essentially becomes whatever you need it to be, Deep Roots Yoga and Therapeutics offers classes that come from a healing approach.
“It seems, upon reflecting on how the vision behind Deep Roots Yoga began, that Deep Roots Yoga has always been present in my life, I just didn’t know it at the time. While my personal story is winding and varied, there are themes that overlap and continue to repeat, which make me able to make cohesive sense of my life and my life choices. What are the reiterating themes in my life that brought me to create Deep Roots Yoga? Three words encapsulate the reiterating themes. Movement, expression and wilderness define who I am and what I care about. Seeing as pictures tell a story much better than words, included here are a few pictures that outline my beginnings... a picture of my big sister and I on the wild and wavy shores of Cox Bay, Tofino, B.C (Top Left). Perhaps it all began here, as Tofino was a place we often frequented that nurtured a high level on connection to the natural environment and a healthy dose of adventure!
From the age of 8 to well into my 20’s, my heavy involvement with intense training and track and field training and other competitive activities shaped my level of commitment and dedication to physical pursuits, as pictured in the image of me hurdling at the B.C. High School Championships in the women’s heptathlon event. At the age of 24, and in need of some healing, I decided to move to Tofino after being away from coastal B.C. for over 5 years. Within moments of returning it seemed only one thing urgently needed to be attended to... some uplifting yoga on the beach! It was while living in Tofino and working at The Tofino Botanical Gardens, that I was invited to live in the remote wilderness of Clayoquot Sound with the fellow artists I was sharing a residence with. I took the chance to completely remove myself from society, live off the grid, and immerse myself in life’s most simple pleasures, such as collecting my drinking water from the end of a glacier stream, foraging for food and having surprise visits from black bears and cubs (yikes!). I bought a kayak and proceeded to live off the land on ‘Cat Face Range’ for over 8 months. This picture to the right is the view from the beach I ended up living on, where I happened to find lots of time for yoga. This time was incredibly precious for reflection and clarity and helped shape my level of awareness and the decisions I have made since that time.
After spending some time living in Vancouver, London, ON and then Chicago fulfilling my desire to work and study as an artist and art educator (check out: www.flickr.com/ photos/leslie_pullen/sets/ to find out more), I found myself in Sarnia. It was in Sarnia that I found not only my husband-to-be, but an inspiring and deeply knowledgable yoga instructor, that being Stefani Hoyt. Within a short time of taking her classes she encouraged me to pursue her ‘Ether Course’ which then led into Yoga Teacher Training. That was over 9 years ago, although my own personal exploration of yoga began in 1999. My training with Stefani, both in Yoga Teacher Training and Yoga Therapy has been tremendously rewarding, and in turn, has deeply influenced the way in which I approach my own yoga practice and my style of teaching."