Episode 39: Yoga-ing Even Before It Was Cool with Marla Meenakshi Joy

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Marla Meenakshi Joy, Owner and Director of Downward Dog Yoga Centre, spent years in the Himalayas studying Meditation, Sanskrit and Yoga Philosophy.  She’s been studying meditation and the philosophy of the Vedas since 1988.  She began teaching in 1999 in Teacher Training programs across Canada, the U.S., Europe and Asia, as a teacher of Philosophy and Sanskrit, Chanting and Meditation, Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga, and Restorative Yoga.  Wait, there’s more!  She’s also a celebrated song-stress and leads Kirtan with her band SWAHA. 

What a pleasure it was to have a conversation with this soul that’s been steeping in the wisdom of yoga, continuing to expand her growth year after year.  What’s really interesting is hearing what the yoga scene was like 30 years ago.  In this episode, Marla shares her yoga journey from being a young 19 year old who went off to the Himalayas and finally found “home” in her yoga practice to the influential teacher/yoga studio owner/songstress that she is today.  We catch tidbits of her wisdom along the way as we take dips into understanding ashtanga vinyasa yoga, the Vedas, Kirtan and more.  Amongst the tools she shares are mantras to help clear the way, remove fear and reconnect to your true nature.

Resources:

Books recommended by Marla:

Yoga Mala by Pattahbi Jois

  • Knowledge on Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga
  • Understand the cleansing process in the body as a result of practicing this type of yoga

 

Thomas Ashley-Farrand's Books to learn more about mantras

 
 
  • Marla’s mantra recommendations:
    • To Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.  Use this to clear the way for your day: “Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha
    • To Durga, the protectress goddess.  Use this to help remove fear: “Om dum durgayei namaha”
    • An abstract mantra that’s not associated with any deity or any form.  A universal mantra – the mantra of the breath. It repeats itself on every inhalation and exhalation naturally.  Use this one to be reminded of your true nature and reality: "So Hum" Translated, it means “all that there is, is me or I am all that there is”
      •   Inhale: SO
      • Exhale: HUM

 

Episode 38: Stop Shoulding Yourself. How to Go For What You Truly Want in Life with Anna Lundberg

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This soul searching business isn’t easy!  As we travel this journey to the heart, we're asked to take leaps, look fear in the eyes and move with great courage and unfold into who we really are.  Stories from each other can hearten this experience - the mere fact of knowing that we're not alone and that somebody else has done it too is uplifting.  In this week’s episode Anna Lundberg shares her story of breaking through - from neatly living the life that she was expected to (being a “good girl”), to busting into the success coach/author/business strategist lady boss that she is today.  There are so many golden nuggets of wisdom as we talk about shedding external expectations, finding success for ourselves and trialing the many different paths to figure out how what we truly want from life.  Anna shares her Guiding Star model that can help you figure out what you want, or if you already know, can help you stay on track to get it!

Before we dive in, a little bit more about Anna - Anna is a success coach and business strategist who helps people create businesses and build a lifestyle that allows them an unimagined sense of freedom, flexibility and fulfilment. She works individually with a select number of clients to help them reimagine success in their personal and professional lives and runs a group programme that helps people take their ‘One Step Outside the 9 to 5’.

Resources:

onestepoutside.com/finding-your-guiding-star

Episode 37: Take Back Your Freedom with Little Rituals with Stacey Irvine

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Stacey Irvine is a yoga teacher and registered nurse at the Alberta Children's Hospital.  Her yoga journey began ten years ago when she experienced injuries as a triathlete.  Unable to continue with her regular workouts with the sustained injuries, she was encouraged to practice yoga to rehabilitate.  She quickly fell in love - at first with the physical practice and then eventually realized that is also a great form of self development and self inquiry.  Yoga became a haven as she worked through anxiety and an eating disorder.  Soon, she dived into further learning by taking her first yoga teacher training. 

A number of years later, Stacey found herself in another challenging situation when her father and grandfather got into a tragic car accident.  This marked the first time she experienced going through the traditional healthcare system.  In doing so, she noticed some gaps.  The system didn't seem to take the human into consideration.  Yes, it healed the body but in addition to that her father was in need of somebody to hear him, hold space for him and help with the emotional side of recuperation.  That's where her passion for advocating for a more integrative healthcare system (between Western and Alternative medicines) was born.  In this episode Stacey gives us further insight on this as well as dives deeper into her story of her journey with yoga.     

Episode 36: Creating From a Place of Calling. Yoga Festivals, Community, and Yogi Entrepreneurship with Robindra Mohar

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This one is for everyone who is trying to start something out there!  A movement, a business, a whole new life....

Robindra Mohar is an Edmonton based educator + festival producer + DJ.  He and his wife Myrah are the creators of the Canada based It’s Time To Bloom Festival and Together We Bloom Society.  He is also the catalyst for Yogi Entrepreneur School where he helps entrepreneurs design heart led businesses.  He himself has been an entrepreneur for almost two decades.  Aside from allll of that, he's also a new dad, chef, yogi, chai & music lover.  What a multifaceted fellow!

In this episode, Robindra gives his insights on the importance of creating from a place of dharma (calling) and shares his story on what it was like to create a nationwide festival - challenges, rewards and lessons learned.    

Episode 35: The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - How To Use Them In Your Life with Kelsey Delane

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Kelsey Delane is a Yoga Mentor & Reiki Master who guides fellow Yogis & Yoga Teachers toward more sustained joy.  She has completed an impressive 1,000 hours of yoga training ranging from kids yoga, to trauma informed yoga, to Yoga Philosophy.  Her most passionate subject is the teachings of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.  She shares this knowledge through one on one mentorship, online platforms and in-person workshops. Kelsey also shares her love of Yoga by training upcoming teachers throughout Orange County, and working with teen girls through the UPLIFT Yoga Foundation.

Kelsey has a radiant and serene way about her, and it's hard not to absorb some of that goodness when talking to her.  In this episode we talk about how yoga transformed her from a distraught college student with severe chronic anxiety and depression into a radiant being who enjoys a strong and peaceful relationship with her inner world.  Of course, we also dive into her area of expertise - The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.  She gives us some tips on how to learn the teachings and how we can use them to become co-creators of our lives.

Episode 34: The Basics of Ayurveda with Susan Weis-Bohlen

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In this episode, we get to talk about a topic that I've been long intrigued by - AYURVEDA! 

Susan Weis-Bohlen is an Ayurvedic expert and author the book Beginner's Guide to Ayurveda: Essential Ayurvedic Principles & Practices to Balance & Heal Naturally.    On the Ayurvedic side, she's officially a Chopra Center Certified Ayurvedic Consultant; but she's also a meditation teacher, vegetarian cooking teacher and leads sacred site tours around the world.  Oh yea, she also owns a quaint bookstore cafe in Baltimore, Maryland.  While there is much wisdom to be shared, we focus on Ayurveda in this episode.

Ayurveda is considered to be the world's oldest medical system, dating back to be 5,000-10,000 years old.  I gravitate toward it because it's a holistic approach to health - mind, body and spirit.  It’s an intelligent system that leverages our natural functions to balance and heal rather than using force to create desired outcomes.  But it’s also a complex system that has many layers to it.  Traditionally the knowledge has been passed down by song and word of mouth.  Understanding it can be difficult and for me, it was hard to know where to even start.  That's why this conversation with Susan is sooooo good!  She shares the basic essential concepts that you need to know so that you can start applying concepts of Ayurveda to your benefit right away.  To name a few nuggets, we go over the framework of the constituents (doshas - kapha, pitta, vata) that rule this practice, how our doshas affect what foods are right for us, and guidelines for Ayurvedic eating that is beneficial for everybody.

Episode 33: Lessons From A Yoga Studio Owner with Jeff Mah

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Jeff Mah is an engineer turned yoga teacher and yoga studio owner.  He and his wife owns the ever so popular The Yoga Lounge in the mountain city of Canmore, Alberta.  His journey has been a series of unexpected twists and surprises, at one point being an engineer and then later considering to maybe even do his MCAT to become a doctor.  In this episode, Jeff shares his story with yoga and what finally inspired him to leap into an unconventional (at the time) career path because it truly resonated with him.  And of course I had to get the scoop on what it's like to own a yoga studio!  Jeff gives us a glimpse by sharing the challenges, rewards and the hard work behind the scenes.    

Episode 32: How Mindfulness Awakens Our True Selves with Julie Seibt

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Julie Seibt is a yoga teacher with plenty of credentials under her belt ( IAYT Yoga Therapist, Anahata Yoga Teacher and iRest Teacher to name a few) but it’s probably more accurate to just describe her as an ocean of knowledge.  This is one lady who is well versed in the matters of the heart and her unshakable truth shines through the entire conversation.  In this episode, we dive into a rich conversation about mindfulness and how you can apply it to live a life of freedom and of course more joy.  Julie provides clear examples and tools that can be simply applied for more peaceful living starting right now.  We hear her insights on how to create better relationships with ourselves (because one thing I’m learning is that it all comes back to self love folks!) and touch on my favourite topic – how to tap into that inner wisdom.  We begin and end with a beautiful meditation so if you’re able to set yourself up in a comfortable position, please do so and join in.  Alright, plug those earplugs in and let’s let the good vibes roll.

Episode 31: To Live Your Best Life Practice Self Care and Self Love with Melissa Jay

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Melissa Jay is a registered psychologist and yoga teacher who has melded her two loves into Yoga Psychology.  The hard work she puts into her psychology practice and yoga retreats are all done in purpose of her mission, which is "to empower compassionate souls to love themselves unconditionally".  When we take good care of ourselves and ensure that our cups are filled then we are better to be able to show up and be present with the people that we care about.  The result?  Deeper connection, true connection. 

To live your best life you must practice self love and self care.  Part of that is to tune into your inner world, understand how you relate to others (because we relate to each other differently), realize what it is that you need and then ask for it and receive it.  The last part is where many people trip up.  There seems to be a resistance to receiving and it holds us back.  Plug in those earbuds and listen in because Melissa helps us understand four different ways we relate to each other, how to make use of that information (breaking beyond "what's wrong with me?") and gives a compelling case as to why it's important learn to receive what you need from others.  

Episode 30: Messages from our Bodies and How Anahata Yoga can Help You Listen with Anne Douglas

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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. 

Episode 29: Wisdom of 2017: Year In Review

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!

 

    

 

 

 

 

Episode 28: Mastering the Business of Yoga: Three Key Items You Need To Succeed with Amanda Kingsmith

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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!

Episode 27: Chronic Illness and Yoga: What it's like when our bodies don't work the way we want w/ Brittany Zeer

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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.        

 

Episode 26: How to Take the Healing Path and Live on Purpose with Nicholas Pepe

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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.  

Episode 25: Meditation to Reset

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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."

Episode 24: Deepen Your Yoga & Heart Centered Living with Alice Hong

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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...  

Episode 23: Finding Yoga: Philosophy, Mythology and Mantras

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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!...

Episode Episode 22: Hello Paradise! Hello Dreams! How To Achieve Success with Linsey Rankin

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.

Episode 21: Excuse Me Hakomi: Help Me Tap Into My Inner Wisdom with Martha McCallum

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.

Episode 20: How Yoga Nidra Works & Sankalpa Guidance with Tanis Fishman

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.