Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 11th 2014 Contents A11
Monday, August 11, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
An Astonishing Bride:
One Store Only.
Corner Queen and Henry Streets, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
(868) 625-2904, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.thetextileking.com
My name is Jacqueline Ques-
nel and I was trained in
Deepak Chopra's first class.
Everyone calls me "Beanie" and
I'm cool with that. My dad was Ger-
ald Montes de Oca. I was an only
child for a while. Then my parents
split and remarried and both had
children. So I have brothers and
sisters younger than I am. And my
kids have grandparents galore.
My daughter Anya is in Bishop
Anstey's School Choir. She s the only
little blonde, so we have this stand-
ing joke: I can always find her in
the choir and she can always spot
me in the audience.
In their tour in South Africa, I
watched the Bishop's Choir girls in
their red, white and black, all so stun-
ningly beautiful in all their different
colours, and levels of colours, and
they sang, "Trini to D Bone". It welled
up in me: your heart fills and every-
thing tingles when you realise, "This
It's quite an honour and a privilege
to have been in Deepak Chopra's first
two classes. One was, "The Magic
of Healing", a brilliant introduction
to yoga and Ayurveda, its sister sci-
The other was "Primordial Sound
Meditation". I did a separate yoga
I lived in Florida for 12 years. I
worked as a paediatric nurse at Jack-
son Memorial Mental Health Depart-
ment for six years. Because it was a
state facility, we had the toughest of
the children who had come from
many, many foster homes and had
significant psychiatric problems. It
was draining. I d get home and not
be able to get off the couch.
I became a nurse because my mum
was a nurse and I was always inter-
ested in healthcare, but I think I was
always trying to find yoga. I had been
doing yoga with my mum since
childhood. I have this memory of
being under a mango tree in head-
and-shoulder stand with the full
At university, I took it as a course.
In my nursing career, I found balance was needed.
So I started taking yoga classes at a community
centre and, after a couple years, the instructors
asked me to consider teaching. I got my first cer-
tification then. I was taking courses with Deepak,
too. At that time he didn t have the Chopra Centre
so I would go for two weeks to the University of
California, San Diego campus.
I bring what I learned from Deepak Chopra to
bear in my classes every day. When people leave
my class, I see in them such a lightness and an
There's a little toolbox you can use and the
breath is the first tool. You re feeling anxious or
stressed? It just takes a moment to shift the
breathing a little bit deeper, remember all parts
of your lungs, soften your face as you breathe.
The other big tool is gratitude. Remember what
you re blessed with. Stress just starts to roll off.
We so often forget that we are gifted with this
life and that joy is a big part of honouring the
gift we have. Yes, life is hard and, yes, we all
make mistakes. But can you take a moment and
recognise that, underneath that, there is tremen-
We have a habit of holding people who do things
in the spiritual realms as "gurus" but Deepak
would always say, "Spell 'guru': Gee-You-Are-You!"
It s not about the guru! You can t hold them "up
there" because they tend to fall. Well, he hasn t,
because he s real, but many do.
To relax, I go to a yoga class.
My husband Paul is doing yoga. He used to tell
me he was absorbing it by osmosis. He s been
coming for about two months of my 20 years of
teaching but I m happy he s finally made it!
You say Trinidad & Tobago is home and you
think of a place that nurtures you, a place you
would like to protect. A place you revel and cel-
ebrate in. A really good yoga word to link all that
is to say Trinidad has rasa. It has taste. I hadn t
done Jouve for a long time and, this year, Anya
begged us, and I got back out there in the early
morning and felt the joy, the pulse, the spirit that
was there---it s not opposite to yoga. That exu-
berance of spirit that reminds you of the divine,
Trinidad has that!
Read a longer version of this feature at
First of the Deepak disciples
TRINI TO D BONE
as told to BC Pires
Quesnel lives and breathes
- and smiles - yoga.
Links Archive August 10th 2014 August 12th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page