Living the Practice: An Encounter with a Man-Boy on the Streets of Vancouver. ~ Troy Turi

Via elephant journal
on Apr 2, 2013
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When the Sun Finally Rises.

In my constant pursuit to effect change by being it, I awoke this morning with a feeling of interconnectedness, a feeling of I am the yoga—knowing it implicitly, as when the day is set in a positive motion simply by being sunny. The sun rises, and you recognize how nourishing its beams are—its light—it elevates your horizon.

The problem is that so often we think it ends there, because today we’re elevated by sunshine’s glory, the warmth emancipating us from our winter excuses about why we aren’t able to find the heat during the cold time. We don’t want rains to dampen our mood on a sunny day.

This is a mistake.

Is this moment where I don’t hurt the same thing as happiness?” we may wonder.

The problem with happiness is that the pursuit is constant; people don’t know happiness intimately when they find it; they try and hold it for themselves rather than offer it, which keep is illuminated and alive.

Then life throws you your practice, the living practice in action.

A young, handsome man-boy, a charming 20-year-old, was testing the world.

He walked down Granville Street, loud and in need of attention. He lacked something from within. I knew this because he blew smoke in the faces of two Asian girls. He slithered up from behind and smiled throughout as they uncomfortably attempted to avoid his python energy. He didn’t allow them to reject him though. He didn’t flinch in their unceremonious reproach of who he pretended to be. Then he ran into me.

After taking the bump in with a “Hello, sir,” he was not sure of what I represented. He was right to be a little cautious. I, like you, wanted to do what was justified. I wanted to react, confront him, put him in his place, educate him, threaten him—but that’s the old me, the one previous to this morning. Whereas now I live yoga regardless of what the weather is like outside. Instead, I had to meet him where he was. This shouldn’t be hard, I thought. I recognized him in myself, in my 20-year-old self, 20 years past. No, not where I am would I meet him; where he was, I would go. That’s what space provides. So I talked to him as an equal, the same way I would have had he been a lion.

After a bit of dialogue, where it appeared he smelled an acceptance emanating from me, he dropped his abrasive side. Soon he seemed to realize that he was nice, and he punished me for it by raising the stakes on me, as if to challenge me, like I was a fish he was fighting to reel in. He needed a reaction from me. Reaction is what energy he called love.

He started to rap, “Niggas and bitches, bitches like it in the butt, don’t you know…,” he suavely scanned to see if the underground transit people were feeding him what he thought he wanted. Attention. He wanted me to confront him. I know because I’m still, in attention, seeing, like I do inside a posture with just me, my breath and the thing that’s breathing me observing it all.

Yes, he wants me to confront him. Instead I talked to him, to me at that age, “It’s tough to be seen here in Vancouver, huh? Montreal would eat you up. It’s direct; you don’t have to guess how people feel. It’s all eyes.” My heart burns with openness, he’s listening.

Planet SunsetAfter a pause he asks, “You from there?”

He’s talking to me now like a buddy.

“No, I’m from here. That’s how I know what I’m talking about.” After a couple seconds of silence that felt like minutes, waiting for the Skytrain to approach, he turns again back to his reliable nature, abrasive to the others present. They react. He smiles.

The Skytrain rumbles in, he spits, I say to him, “Be well, Jedi,” and it starts as he says back, “Take care.”


troy ketut (1)Troy Turi has taught yoga for over 12 years. He works Internationally as a yoga teacher, doing retreats, workshops and classes around the world. He worked for 7 years within prisons as a Gestalt Therapist and as an Interventionist (helping families work through addiction and treatment) throughout North America, incorporating yoga and breathing as the cornerstone for people finding their way into healing themselves. He also worked with the Squamish Nation, the largest band in Canada. He is doing a Global AWAREness Tour throughout Canada this summer. Dates appear on line at

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Ed: Brianna Bemel


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3 Responses to “Living the Practice: An Encounter with a Man-Boy on the Streets of Vancouver. ~ Troy Turi”

  1. kmacku says:

    I think I know the guy you're talking about. I think I saw him during my last visit to Vancouver bopping around downtown.

  2. KKHM says:

    There was so much wisdom in your interaction with this young man. Thank you for the positive change of events I believe this encounter has now put into place!

  3. troy says:

    Yoga, by definition, means… The Union between Polarities.. if we can't be the union while seeing the polarties alive in this moment, to see what then happens when we try the way that is different from what is usually lived out, then what's the point? It's not in the honeymoon period that you discover what the love in the marriage is all about.