Photo: Jake Kivanc

People of Ryerson: Elizabeth

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By Jake Kivanc

Spiritual images and meditation aides may be the most visually-striking thing in Elizabeth’s room, but more what’s surely more apparent to anybody is the utter peacefulness of her character.

A first-year social work student, Elizabeth, has centered herself around the practice of yoga and spirituality since before she was a teenager.

She taught yoga as a studio instructor for a number of years and sees the world through what she describes as “a yogi lens”.

“Before I’m a social worker, there is yoga,” she said. “Everybody has a bottom line, a foundation, in one way or another and for me that’s yoga. It always will be.”

Growing up in Kingston, ON., Elizabeth is the youngest of four children in a family that is made up of lawyers, professors, doctors and students. She describes her family as one that is “incredibly loving”.

“My dad is like a puppy dog, he’s always giving love,” she said. “My mom is a lot like me in that she’s very spiritual and connected.”

She was drawn to spirituality from the early years of her life and supported by a vibrant yoga community in high school.

Through her practice as a yogi, Elizabeth became a person who was “aware and present”, something that she says has her hopeful for but not dependent on the future.

“I have goals and things I want to do,” she said. “But if things don’t work out immediately, it’s okay. This moment may be the best moment of my life, I just want to be here.”

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