Happy New Year! We kick off 2018 with an episode about the significance of tapping into your body's intelligence. Anne Douglas is a teacher and yoga scholar who has had over three decades of experience practicing/studying in the field. She is the creator of Anahata Yoga Therapy, which is a path for self-inquiry, loving kindness and the integration of what she calls "the issues in the tissues". We spend the hour talking about Anne's journey through different forms of yoga, the relationship between emotion and body symptoms and how Anahata Yoga Therapy can help.
It has been a wonderful year on Curious Monki! I am SO grateful for everyone who tunes in and for all the amazing souls who have graciously shared their wisdom. The conversations have been heartfelt and rich with knowledge. In this episode, I look back on some of the lessons shared. Among them are powerful messages like: trust your intuition; life won't always take the path that you want it to and that's not a bad thing. You must trust that something better is in store for you; self love and self compassion are the gateways to true happiness; you're a life long learner, that's what all these life experiences are for!
I love having these conversations and it has been an absolute dream to share them with you. As I've said before, this is a journey to the heart. It's the discovering of all that we are. Let's do this together and learn to connect deeper within as well as with the world around us. Ultimately, you'll live the life of your true self and true happiness!
I sincerely hope that these conversations have been inspiring to you....maybe even illuminate something that you haven't discovered before.
Now, I'd like to hear from you!
What has been your greatest lesson this year?
What topics do you want to hear about in 2018? I'm listening.
Leave a comment below or go to the contact page and email me.
Happy holidays and have a wonderful New Years!
Amanda Kingsmith is a world traveler, yoga teacher and also the podcast host for two shows: The World Wanderers and Mastering the Business of Yoga aka. MB.OM. She's passionate about helping yoga teachers discover careers they love and enjoys working 1-on-1 with yoga teachers to help them build their business. In this episode, she tells us how she managed to create a life filled with travel and adventure; all while doing what she loves from anywhere in the world. We get business savvy as she shares three key concepts that will help you succeed in creating a business out of the thing (or things...yes, you can have more than one) you love! This episode is for you if you're a yoga teacher, yoga teacher to be or if you're in the business of succeeding in doing what you love. Plug in those earbuds and listen in!
It’s one thing to develop a well-oiled routine and have the discipline to follow through but what happens if our bodies aren’t cooperating the way we want them to? It’s excruciating to get through a trip to the grocery store let alone make it to a yoga class where you have to bend yourself in all sorts of shapes. Each day is a toss-up – maybe you’ll be pain free, maybe you’ll be bed ridden…..or maybe you’ll think it’s a pain free day and then bam! just when you’re about to make it to an important appointment the pain hits and everything’s a write off. It’s frustrating – how do you plan your day? How do you maintain a yoga practice? How do you keep up a social life?? This is what life is like for somebody who has a chronic illness. In this episode, Brittany Zeer is back on the show and we discuss chronic illnesses. An accident three years ago left her with chronic migraines and now pain management is on her daily agenda. She sheds light on what it’s like to live with a chronic illness, how loved ones can support, pain management tips and how to continue a yoga practice despite the obstacles.
If you have a chronic illness listen in because you’re not alone! If you don’t have a chronic illness, listen in anyway because it’s a chance to flex that compassion muscle. The struggle isn’t always visible and there’s a huge part that we can play in supporting our friends.
Nicholas Pepe is one inspiring individual who has dedicated himself to doing what I’ve decided to call “heart work”. Work that is soul centred with the intention to help provide a positive impact on other people’s lives and the world. In specific, he’s an Energy Healer and Personal Development Coach who specializes in helping women who are ruled by fear, doubt, and “low confidence” learn how to master their emotions so that they can live with Courage, Confidence and Freedom
Nicholas is the author of Courageous Acts of Self-Love, creator of a self-help channel on YouTube, and has been featured on MSNBC as well as several magazines.
In this episode, we have a heart to heart about some provoking life questions such as why is it important to heal? What’s holding people back from joy? How do we live our purpose? Nicholas shares lessons and insights gathered from the work he’s done with clients as well as himself.
It has been a mad busy month – vacation, a pending move (finally happening this week yay!!) and hours of planning for my beloved father’s birthday. I am so grateful for all of these wonderful happenings in my life but also kind of exhausted. My mind seems to match the erratic positioning of the half-packed boxes in my little apartment. There's a slight undercurrent of anxiety and even as I type out this plain and simple truth, I find myself on trial with self-judgement. “There are NO excuses in life. Pull it together, there is no room for FALTERING. You are so lucky to have any of this, if you want it you’ll push through, power through, and deliver….and it better be a damn good job”. And the usual soundtrack plays on, words dripping heavily. Geeze, this harsh type of motivation is a whole different kind of exhausting. Why do we need to be so hard on ourselves? As I ponder this question the saving grace of all my lessons come flooding back to me. The answer is that you simply don't. My logic mind rejects this idea but I've now developed a new voice that gently says "It's okay to rest". If it's one thing that I've learned through my study of yoga and interviews with so many amazing souls, it's that all of this is a journey to the heart. As the brilliant Rumi puts it
"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it."
Alice Hong is a growth and transformation facilitator that guides others to listen deeply, love fully, and live wholeheartedly. This travel junkie has her home base in Calgary, Alberta but she holds Yoga Teacher Trainings, Retreats and Women's gatherings all around the world like in Iceland and Bali. Her ambition sweeps her away toward inspiring projects such as her recent endeavor to help women live more heart centered lives. Despite the travelling and jam packed schedule, Alice walks with a steady air of centered-ness. How? Because she lives by the philosophy of Tantra which is the philosophy that everything weaves together. A graceful dance of balance and harmony. In this episode, we talk about the philosophy of Tantra, it's core concepts Shiva and Shakti (masculine/feminine energies) and how to deepen our Yoga practice beyond the poses...
Amy Thiessen is , among many other things, is a yoga teacher and a musician. She’s melded her two passions into one beautiful craft. Her talents are extensive, but her best known music in the yoga community are of mantra and prayer. She mixes her captivating voice with alluring soundscapes to create space that’s perfect for internal exploration. Like with so many others, it has been (and still is) quite a journey with this Yoga. There's an exceptional story to be told. In this episode she shares her story and we talk philosophy, mythology and mantras. In specific, how philosophies in yoga correlate with modern day psychology, the power of story telling to help us relate to ourselves, and the visceral effects of mantras. Get those earbuds into your ears and listen in!...
What It Took To Start a Yoga Retreat Centre: struggles, accomplishments and lessons learned along the way
Una barraca, which means “warrior lady”, is what Linsey Rankin is endearingly called by friends in Colombia. For the past year, she has worked with a small team to run yoga retreats on a pristine piece of land in Choco. Her vision affords the opportunity for yoga junkies and tourists alike to experience a part of nature that has barely been touched. We actually talked to Linsey back in Episode 4, where she shared her big dreams of opening up a haven for yoga retreats in Colombia. A year later, she’s living life exactly as she envisioned on her vision board. She spends many days in paradise - beaching, swimming with whales and watching the monkeys go by. Listen in to hear her story of how she achieved success. She share her struggles, accomplishments, and lessons learned along the way.
Like many of the great talents out there, Martha McCallum wears several hats. Titles include master herbalist, yoga instructor, hiking guide and Hakomi Psychotherapist. She is the artist of her own life and boy has she created a cool one for herself! As a helicopter hiking guide, she enjoys the best of the Rocky Mountains every single week. When she's not out in nature, she's helping others live mindfully through Hakomi therapy. How did this cool lady score such a cool lifestyle? Well, she let that inner voice guide her, even when it wasn't exactly clear where she was going. In fact, there was a time where she felt scattered, like she was hopping from one thing to another. Nonetheless she trusted that inner knowing and followed what felt peaceful, what felt right. Heeding to the gut-brain (aka. heart, inner wisdom, organic body....take your pick) is the heart of Hakomi therapy. Listen in to learn about what Hakomi therapy is and how you can use it to tap into your inner wisdom.
Tanis Fishman is a modern day mystic who has spent her life exploring different levels of consciousness to find deeper meaning in the human experience. Questions about the meaning of life and a search for something more has been on her mind since she was a toddler. Over her lifetime, she’s been gifted with two profound experiences that proved this feeling. One being an out of body experience and another an explosion of enlightenment. In this episode, Tanis shares that part of her journey with us. She also lends her knowledge about Yoga Nidra, a deep meditation technique that can bring you to a place beyond conscious limitations.
Meet Lisa Hillyer, yoga teacher, life coach and world traveller. She works with dedicated motive to guide people back to themselves and reconnect to the person that’s always been within. She lives her life joyously and with deep purpose. As you would’ve guessed, it took some stumbling to get here. Also a lot of hard work. A lot. There was that time when she moved to Australia and all her dreams came true but she found herself feeling miserable. She had to do some digging on the inside to figure out what that was all about. Then there was that time that she went to India and the culture shock kept her in a flurry of confusion and blocked senses. She was left with little choice but to learn the lesson of surrender and trust. When you look at the big picture, it was actually the stumbling that helped her find her way; and that’s the story that she’s here to tell. In this episode, Lisa shares with us how she went from miserably numbing herself to living a life adorned with love, travel and worthiness.
People who takes leaps and say yes to what they truly want have good stories to share. These stories are inspiring, leaving us feeling uplifted and motivated to take on the world. In this episode, we talk with Kristy Dhaliwal, an amazing gal who has taken leaps to find her path. She’s a massage therapist, entrepreneur and yoga junkie. Her path wasn’t always clear though and there was some searching to be had before she found what she loved. She shares her story of how she found her passion and built a business with it. She also gives us a couple tips on how to get rid of those annoying knots in our muscles.
Transitions are never easy even if it’s a change for the better. And it’s even scarier when we are taking a leap of faith. But what if we let the FEAR guide us rather than hinder us? It’s been an interesting journey. FEAR has become a frequent friend (I didn’t see this coming!) and I’ve been doing a lot of getting to know it better. And I do…I think. It sticks its scary face all up in mine but rather than running away, I’ve developed a relationship with it. Afterall, it still counts as a feeling. And if it’s one thing that I know for sure, our feelings are here to guide us. This one’s a bit crasser than the others, but it’s still here to shows us something. When we take that perspective then we can begin to get curious rather than hide. I recently had such a good conversation with my friend Alison about this. Being the wonderful soul that she is, she ended up recording it for me to do with it what I will. I wasn't sure if I wanted to make an episode out of it because it's such an intimate look into my journey. Oh the FEAR of being SEEN! But here's the thing, it really was a great conversation and I think it might spark something in you too this so with excitement much anticipation, I’ve decided to share my journey with you!
“To be mindful is to be fully present with whatever we are doing. If you are drinking tea, just drink your tea. Do not drink your worries, your projects, your regrets. When you hold your cup, you may like to breathe in, to bring your mind back to your body, stop your thinking, and become fully present. In that moment, you become real and the cup of tea becomes real. In this state of true presence and freedom you enjoy simply drinking your tea."
- Thich Nhat Hanh
In a nutshell, Sally Powis-Campbell is a mindful helper for kids and the kid in all of us. If you want official titles then she’s a psychologist, yoga teacher, meditation guide, food artist, mindful food event curator, writer (book in the works), and competitive trail runner! Her craft is the marriage of her two biggest passions: mindfulness and food. Mindfulness is slowing down and focusing. Taking pause to become aware of all five senses, tuning into your inner and outer world without attachment. This simple practice gives you the power to live more fully. Food is pretty straightforward, so we think. But what’s your relationship with food like? Not many people consider this. In fact, it’s kind of difficult to come up with an answer if you’ve never thought about it before. Good thing Sally’s here! She teaches us how to create a connection with food so that we can eat mindfully and ultimately, live more fully. She begins by bringing us through a six minute tea meditation. It’s one of the most beautiful meditations I’ve ever done and it’s not to be missed. So come on, grab your cup of tea (or any beverage of choice) and plug in those ear buds!
This episode is just as multifaceted as the guest itself. Naomi Parker is based in YYC and is a mom, biologist, yoga teacher, and energy healer. She takes us through not just one, but two stories and brings us into territories that are unknown to most of us. Story One. A yoga journey. Naomi shares how she found yoga and how she eventually ended up becoming a yoga teacher. The conversation enrichens as she shares her passion about pranayama (breath work) – the importance, benefits and tips on how to do her favorite breathing exercise. It is here that we begin to sense she’s not an ordinary yoga teacher. This leads to Story Two. The unfolding of an energy healer. Naomi opens up about how she eventually honed into her gifts in energy healing after casting it aside for three decades. Keep an open mind as she takes us into the world of the esoteric. Seriously. If you think your mind is open, open more! Topics extend beyond the energetic flows of our bodies and into a world that many of us have probably never heard of before....
Kate Mak is one of YYC’s favorite yoga teachers. A mover and shaker who pursues tirelessly to create community. Her classes usually include an eloquent flow, something new and a cheesy joke or two. She’ll tell you a story about the ancient deities or maybe sing to you while playing the harmonium. As a student, you just know that you are in good hands. You can be sure that the space is held, you’ll learn something new and most importantly, you’ll walk out of your practice feel oh so good. So how does a yoga teacher learn to seamlessly incorporate movement, yoga teachings, excitement and laughter to their class so well? Keep on learning! For real. Kate has a voracious appetite for learning and never plans to stop. That’s how she eventually found herself in an NYC ashram. In this episode, Kate shares her story about how she finally heeded to the calling of her heart, transforming from a young neuroscientist who was unsure of her path and into a glowingly happy yoga teacher who travels around the world for a living. She teaches about the importance of being a lifelong learner and lets us in on her next journey as she makes even bigger waves in the community by creating her very own yoga teacher training.
Life is a great unfolding and when we surrender we open ourselves to deep meaning. Our perspective shifts and we become attuned to the sacredness of being. Our experiences in this life become keen and insightful. Perhaps as we place our feet on the Earth we suddenly become aware of how connected we are to nature, more than we’ve ever felt before; or perhaps we look up at the stars and it’s like as if we’re seeing them for the first time, we can gaze upon these gems all night long. We are humbled at how beautiful life can be. We learn to embrace that our paths come in many forms and that there is no formula and no “straight” path. We’re all the same in that we will eventually arrive at the same destination but each individual’s story is unique. Love, joy, heartbreak, spiritual awakenings…sharing stories of our personal journeys can inspire, build compassion, bring understanding, and ultimately help weave us even closer to this human experience.
This episode is exactly that as Matthew Keleman, a Calgary based yoga teacher, shares with us about his own unfolding. We had a deeply meaningful conversation and it was an honor talking to him as he came open with nothing but his authenticity. A truly beautiful soul – so many layers, so reflective and he frames his experiences in such a poetic manner helping remind us of the eloquence in life if only we let ourselves see it....
Alishia Alibhai is a Social Psychologist, Reiki Master, and Soul Coach. She started off entrenched in the academic side of things but also had a deep seated knowledge that there was something more that she could be doing to help people. Partway through her graduate studies, she found a course for Reiki and eagerly hopped on board. She opened up her business, Divine Bliss, in 2009 and has been sharing her healing and knowledge since then. With a PhD in psychology and all three levels of Reiki training, Alishia offers a unique standpoint for understanding the world of energy. On the one hand her academic background provokes her to seek hard proof and evidence but on the other, her Reiki training has taught her to trust by experience and through the heart, even if you cannot see with your naked eye. I was so excited to meet her because that’s the world I live in too! One foot in our tangible earthly world, and one foot ready to take flight to trust in an inner wisdom that cannot be seen. Alishia was a wonderful sport as I peppered her with all sorts of questions to try to understand this Reiki business. What is it exactly? How can it help us? How does it work?...
Malcom Saunders is the founder and owner of Calgary’s health food joint, the Light Cellar. With products like reishi mushroom, chaga powder and your choice of cacao nibs, paste or powder, he’s opening up a whole new world of health foods to this city. The store also has an elixir bar so that you can get your superfood fix as you shop. In today’s episode we hear about how this world traveller found his passion in food. Malcolm also gears us up with tips, advice and a new perspective on how to eat. Spoiler alert: it’s more basic than you think...