Gary and Cindy Fort have returned to Courtenay, Comox Valley BC after 15 years to start Freedom Now Yoga Studio. Their journeys have taken them to India where they received their yoga teacher certification from The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram in Kerala. Their quest for knowledge lead them to be instructed further by B.N.S. Iyengar in Mysore (Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga) and B.R. Rudra Dev in Riskikesh (B.K.S. Iyengar style yoga).
Yoga instructor CynthiaTheir path lead them to Cape Town, South Africa; where they were instrumental in the transition toward peace in the country. Abundance Yoga Centre was started 10 years ago to help ‘manifest peace from the inside out’. Gary and Cindy also helped people suffering from alcoholism, drug addiction, mental and eating disorders in finding fulfillment within, at various rehabilitation clinics in Cape Town. Gary's experience in the Agolan war in 1987 has given him a first hand understanding of how the horrors of war echo long after the last shot is fired; and so life has qualified him to help those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome through the practice of Yoga. Gary and Cindy's desire was also to reach the people that were financially unable to attend yoga classes due to the aftermath of apartheid; and as such started The Yoga Accessibilty Programme. In 2002 they trained Busiswa Qobo, a woman from a previously disadvantaged background and a recovering alcoholic and raised funds for her to travel to India to receive her yoga teachers certification. Busiswa returned, after never before leaving her province, to teach yoga classes and council young children for free in the informal settlements of Cape Town. In 2006 Gary and Cindy’s service to society extended further to start the Abundance Recycling Initiative; which was founded to educate people about the need for recycling and follow through with the actual collection thereof. Abundance Recycling received the Real Simple Green Innovation Award for best green service in 2008; and to this day collects over a ton of recycling per day and has resulted in the instigation of many other collection services.