For a tiny place, Whitehorse sure attracts some interesting and accomplished people. Just in my small circle for instance: I have been lucky enough to study dance from a woman who used to be a principle dancer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. I have also just recently met a young man who has done Irish dancing professionally all over the world but who has chosen to make the Yukon his home. And it turns out that my yoga instructor studied under Swami Vishnu Devananda. That’s the man who brought yoga to the West in the 1960s, set up ashrams all over the world, and trained thousands of yoga teachers.
If you are old enough, you may remember his “Peace Plane”, a small two-engine aircraft that he flew to various war-torn countries, throwing out flowers and peace flyers as he went. The first trip he made with Peter Sellers to Belfast in the early 1970s. Then came peace flights over the Suez Canal during the Sinai War, and later he glided over the Berlin Wall in an ultralight aircraft, his ‘weapons’ being bouquets of marigolds. He landed on a farm in East Berlin. After being interrogated by East German authorities for four hours, he was put on the metro with a cheese sandwich and sent back to West Berlin. There is a series on YouTube about his peace missions and his life. The series can be viewed here, here, and here.
I feel priviledged that I am having an opportunity to learn yoga from one of his students.
I wonder what it is about the Yukon that seems to draw people you’d never expect to find here. Any theories?