“As a physician, I’ve found that in the course of treating illness, it often comes down to the core issue of being oneself. We do not have to do anything to be ourselves; all we have to do is stop trying to be someone else. The secret is, don’t discover yourself, don’t transform yourself and don’t recreate yourself. Nurture yourself and see what you become.” Siri Atma S. Khalsa, M.D.
Profile: Gloria Latham
Owner Semperviva Health and Yoga Center
What book is on your bedside table?
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts.
How did you come across the book?
In one of my most favourite places to shop, the book store on Galiano Island.
Page-turner or doorstop?
Would you put it on your Desert Island list?
How would you describe the book in one word?
If you had to design a poster for the book, what would it look like?
It would be very similar to its beautiful cover which depicts a temple in golden sunlight.
What’s the main idea/theme of this book?
Shantaram is a spellbinding story of a man who is an activist with a strong social conscience. When life’s tragedies strike, he becomes addicted to heroin and ends up in prison. He escapes from prison and his story continues in India where he finds himself living in a slum in Bombay and operating a free clinic for the slum dwellers. His tale continues with involvement in the Bombay mafia, passport smuggling, gun running and drug trafficking. This book is certainly action packed, and fascinating because it is all true. Throughout the good and the bad events of Gregory David Robert’s life you can somehow still feel his innate goodness.
List three new words you learned in the book.
I’m not sure I learned any new words. The language is fairly straightforward and clear. I did learn some interesting new names though: Chula, Sapna, Prabaker, Jeetendra.
Who would you recommend the book to?
To everyone who loves to get lost in a story, and fall in love. By Erica Gehrke who bravely joined our Circus at SharedVision as Editorial Intern.
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
How long have you been a Vancouverite?
All my life—I was born in Vancouver, at Saint Paul’s Hospital, and have spent my whole life in Kitsilano. It’s nearly impossible to move out of Kitsilano once you’ve spent time here.
Semperviva is a collection of five yoga studios which are based in Kitsilano and Granville Island. We run yoga classes 7 days a week, in all styles of yoga, and pride ourselves in having Vancouver’s most experienced and knowledgeable teachers, as well as a great community of students.
At Semperviva, we also offer Yoga Teacher Training five times a year, and host Yoga Retreats on the Gulf Islands and Greek Islands.
Favourite place in the city:
I love Kitsilano. I love that it is a real neighbourhood where you can park your car, walk everywhere and see familiar faces at every stop. It is a health conscious community with a multicultural vibe.
Kits also has great cafes (Artigiano is by far my favourite), restaurants, delis, bookstores, and all sorts of interesting shops. In Kits, it’s only a short walk to the beach, and it’s a great gift to be able to see the ocean and the mountains every day.
Best way to spend a Saturday in the city:
Most of my Saturdays are spent in our studios. It’s a great day to do yoga as most people are off and have more time to linger and chat before and after classes.
We also host many master yogis from around the globe, so I often play tour guide on Saturdays after our workshops have wrapped up. Showing visitors around our beautiful city helps to give me an even greater appreciation for where we live.
Favourite Vancouver restaurants:
I visit East is East almost daily because I love their green tea chai. East is East has a very casual atmosphere where you can share your table with others, make new friends, and easily meet up with old friends.
My other favourite is Piato restaurant, which serves up modern Greek fare with a fun and healthy twist on traditional favourites. Piato features live music on Sunday nights, so this is my favourite night to go there.
Top insider tip for visitors:
Vancouver is the best place to be during the long weekends. The city empties out and those who stay behind move at a slower pace. You’ll see tons of people out walking and having conversations. It allows you to really be in the moment and appreciate this beautiful city.
You’ll soon realize that you’re 100% committed to breathing.
Notice that you don’t make excuses not to breathe. Notice that you don’t worry about motivating yourself to breathe. Notice that you don’t need to justify your desire to breathe.
You just breathe.
Commitment is action.
No excuses. No debate. No lengthy analysis. No whining about how hard it is. No worrying about what others might think. No cowardly delays.