January 4, 2013

Life Lines. ~ Marnie Oatway

Watt says: ‘The Big Tree Trail on Meares Island in Clayoquot Sound, BC is a big tree heaven! A wooden boardwalk winds though dozens of mammoth sized red cedars and lush temperate rainforest that still stands today due to efforts in the 80s and 90s by the public and First Nations to halt logging.’ Photo by: T.J. Watt, Utopia Photo.

There are no straight lines in nature.

“Extend arms, depress shoulders, elongate spinal cord, square pelvis, externally rotate femur…” all cues that circulated through my head as I transitioned into Warrior I in yesterday’s yoga class.

It was at that moment, as I stood completely fixated on my body positioning—striving to ensure my alignment was absolutely ‘perfect,‘ that I momentarily tuned into my yoga teachers voice softly echoing “there are no straight lines in nature,” as she encouraged us to allow our bodies to freely flow and seep into the posture.

Later that afternoon, this statement reappeared in my thoughts as I sat perched on a piece of driftwood at the beach with a friend…there are no straight lines in nature.

Feeling a bit doubtful, I thoroughly scanned my surroundings, determined to prove that straight lines do in fact exist: Jagged Rocks—Winding Arbutus Trees—Rippling Waves—Curvy Seashells…Not one straight line?!?!?

After my brief detective work, my thoughts quickly shifted back to how I was feeling on that particular day….a bit blue following a recent conversation with a certain John Doe.

Trying to find comfort in the realities of our situation, my thoughts kept switching back to this straight line theory

Perhaps this theory could be applied to other areas of life—like relationships, careers, health, etc. Variables like arguments, injuries, career changes, break-ups, create these curves, bends or ripples, inhibiting the existence of any ‘straightness’ in our lives.

John Doe for example, perhaps an ‘idealistic straight line,’ would have been the conventional marriage-house-kids route. But instead, we hit a curve…

Feelings like sadness, fear, disappointment, stress and uncertainty often act as by-products of these bends, ripples and curves, often masking their role and significance. Like the roughness of waves, jagged edges on rocks, and weeping branches on tree…their beauties may not be perceived upon inital glance. But upon further inspection and reflection, the exquisiteness, uniqueness and purpose of these crooked lines in life can be uncovered.

So while myself and John Doe hit a curve….I am learning to be okay with that; neither of our lines are ‘better,’ more ‘efficient’ and more ‘correct’ than the other.

These curves exist to guide us in the path that has been set out for us.

Just as my yoga teacher encouraged us to breathe, let go and just flow into the yoga posture…releasing any thoughts, judgements or expectations about creating ‘perfect straight lines’ in life can also be applied…instead, embrace the curves, bends, and ripples in life…because they are probably leading you in some pretty amazing directions.




Marnie Oatway is a lover of mountains, ocean, yoga, adventure and ridiculousness. Currently calling the beautiful mountain town of Jasper Alberta home. Marnie is fueled and inspired daily by her roles practicing as an Occupational Therapist and guiding local yogi’s through their daily asana practice. Marnie strives to: live each day to the fullest, seek out life’s adventures, and laugh regularly and uncontrollably.



Assistant Ed: Sarah Winner

Ed: Bryonie Wise

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