Students and visitors walking through the gate of Kelowna Yoga House look inquisitively at the rusty shovel bearing the name of Margaret Lunam at the entrance of its garden. Inside the main studio they read the triangular wooden plaque dedicated to Margaret Lunam: A WOMAN OF VISION, and wonder: Who was this woman?
Margaret’s love for yoga began when she took her first classes while living on Vancouver Island. She drove to Victoria tirelessly for classes and workshops and with a passion practised at home what she had learned. The Iyengar method of yoga had won her heart. Slowly the idea for spreading yoga to the Interior of BC came to her and the idea stuck. Kelowna would become Margaret’s destination. She started teaching yoga at the Parkinson Recreation Centre also offering free community classes; does that sound familiar? At the same time, she transformed her basement into a yoga studio. Word had spread and the number of students grew. As she started training teachers to offer more classes, her basement studio became too small. About the same time, in 1990, B.K.S. Iyengar came to Edmonton, Alberta for the Canadian Iyengar Yoga Conference. Margaret took the workshop and was mesmerized by Mr. Iyengar ‘s style of teaching which she promptly adopted. Whether inspired by Mr. Iyengar’s words or through her own vision, a new initiative was born to create a yoga community in Kelowna.
In 1999 Margaret bought the property at 1272 St. Paul Street and in 2001 the Kelowna Yoga House opened its doors. This would be a permanent studio, a permanent home for Iyengar Yoga in the Okanagan, a gift to the yoga community. Through Margaret’s generosity and vision, our yoga community continues to grow 20 years on. 2021 is the twentieth year that the Kelowna Yoga House has been in operation and this is indeed an auspicious year. Kelowna Yoga House was the vision of Margaret Lunam, a woman who was determined to fulfill her dream and who was never deterred.
With gratitude to Yoga, to B.K.S. Iyengar who inspired Margaret and to Margaret whose vision endures.
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