Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Midwinter Bliss with Yogi, Surfer and Blissologist Eoin Finn

Midwinter Whiteout, Toronto January 7, 2014, photo: 100M

I don’t know where you live, but I live in a city. Cities can be confusing places in the wintertime; friends and strangers can get worked up in the holiday hustle. Remember the holidays not so long ago? During the holidays some buy more than they can afford, as if that little bit more would help manage, placate, enable the desires of their loved ones. Others can’t afford to get to a yoga class or find a second of peace over those holidays, those holy days that bring a flurry of gifts, exchanges, returns and ribbon. And so, at the cash register first-world fingers overreach and warp the seams of need until the celebrations of solstice and spice cake are nothing but a cosmopolitan habit, a low-level hum that spills out of the city’s safe neighbourhoods into the urban sprawl, onto the margins, overwhelming what common sense remains. Equanimity is hard, when it’s one for feast, another for famine...

I recently had a wonderful conversation with the much loved yoga teacher, self-confessed blissologist Eoin Finn who had a number of salient things to say about finding your bliss during this midwinter season that can bring together a confusing mix of want, wish and need. 

Eoin Finn, (BA, EYRT 500 hrs) is a yogi, surfer and blissologist, who teaches his unique, transformative, alignment-based Blissology Yoga all over the world. He shares his passion that the nurturing mindset required to practice yoga with sukha as well as an intimate connection with nature is at the foundation to allow us to live our most meaningful life possible. Fusing his passion for athletics and yoga, Eoin has prepared over 100 Olympians as well as pro-athletes from around the world for high-level competition.  Eoin is one of Canada’s most renowned teachers, was one of Lululemon’s first ambassadors, has a line of platinum selling yoga DVDs, teaches sold out workshops and YES (Yoga Ecology Surf) Retreats around the world and has been featured in InStyle Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Huffington Post, Elle, Flare, Yoga Journal, Vogue Australia, the Globe and Mail and Oprah Magazine. He has studied Eastern and Western philosophy in Canada and France and been a student of yoga, meditation since 1988. He counts among his teachers Ravi Ravindra, Nadia Toraman, David Swenson, David Williams, Pattabhi Jois, Nancy Gilgoff, Donna Holleman, Orit Sen Gupta and Gioia Irwin, Myofascial Alignment teacher Tom Myers and Body Mind Psychotherapist Susan Aposhyan. 

In our conversation Eoin talks about the childhood he spent wishing he were a fish in the great Canadian waterways, his childhood studying yoga and his years praising the surf in the Mediterranean. But for anyone who has ever been in any of Eoin Finn’s ecstatic yoga classes, it’s probably hard to imagine Finn as anything but the irrepressible conflagration of near shamanic energy that he is... So you’ll be surprised to realize (as our conversation bears out) that Eoin was, at one point long ago, indebted to a self-definition that was well beyond his means.

Eoin Finn

Eoin Finn's father (left), Eoin Finn (right)

"When you’re being paid, you often think: Well, I can deal with not being switched on... I got so much respect from my role as a businessman. I had respect from my dad who was a lawyer. All of a sudden, he and I could talk business. His other passion was horse racing. I don't know if you've ever watched thoroughbreds running around in a circle every 20 minutes, but he spent most weekends at Woodbine Racetrack. He owned horses and he loved horse racing. And I really wanted to connect with him." (Eoin Finn)