This week as our side of the planet is bathed in that sweet vernal light we’ve been missing, we have a whole lot more than spring to celebrate. This week we celebrate a woman who’s passionate determination to live an authentic life resulted in this amazing studio we gather in to practice, Michelle Corbeil. And there’s a very special reason for us to raise a cup of kombucha in her name because on March 17th, 2019 Michelle married her best friend and the love of her life, Chuck.

I spoke to Michelle a scant 48 hrs before she tied the knot, and she had a centred but excited energy. “I’m just waiting with my bags all packed!” Determined not to let a week old cold disturb her joy, she sniffled while telling me about the intimate service she and Chuck had planned at George, their wedding venue on Queen St east. “There will be 87 guests including us and our immediate family.” Michelle has stepped into the role of stepmother to Chuck’s three amazing kids and it’s a role she takes to heart. She is pragmatic about her place in the kids lives and I can’t help feeling that they’re all going to get so much from each other. What a wonderful journey to be beginning.

The road that brought Michelle to the Danforth was winding. Working as the office manager for a chartered accountant firm, she tried bikram yoga classes in 2002 and was quickly hooked. She began to question the career path she’d chosen and thought about following her passion. Pretty soon people where she worked noticed she just wasn’t digging office life anymore. “In 2010 I bought the Danforth space with a partner. And then I bought it again without a partner. And I’m so grateful to get to practice with so many amazing yogis.”

Michelle and Chuck met on a double date. Chuck who has worked on the training staff of the Toronto Raptors, was only too happy to give hot yoga a try. It fit into Chuck’s life right away. “He just goes to classes now. He’s not going to see me, just to take a class.” Marriage, or at least the idea of marriage, didn’t always fit into Michelle’s picture of her perfect future. “I wasn’t a kid who dreamed about it,” she told me. “But Chuck came looking for me when I was lost, and he found me.”

And that’s not just a metaphor I realized as Michelle recounted taking their dogs for a walk in Chuck’s local. “Oakville is very curated,” she giggled. “I walked for about an hour in the wrong direction, no phone,  trying to get back to his place. Eventually he pulled up in his car. “I will always look for you,” he promised her. How did the wedding proposal go down? “We were in Vancouver visiting my sister and we went to Whistler to hike Joffrey Lakes. We were getting our pics taken and Chuck wanted ‘one more with the perfect backdrop.’ That’s when he asked me.”

Jay Fields her friend and mentor, was scheduled to perform the couple’s ceremony on Sunday. “Jay taught me to teach people, not poses,” said Michelle and I could hear her excitement as she thought about the guests who would share this moment with her. I reminded her to breathe and enjoy every minute of it and then said goodbye promising to see her on the other side of Married Mountain.

At 5:30 on Sunday I looked up at the sky and said, “A little joy, pop! Fingers spread!” I hope it found it’s way to you Michelle.

Congratulations Michelle and Chuck, we love you!

Namaste y’all.