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.     

Key Nuggets:

  • When you start your yoga journey, take what you can out of it .  Remember that it doesn’t have to be one way or another.  There is a depth of knowledge to be learned when it comes to yoga and the self; trust that it will reveal itself to you as needed.
  • What happens on the mat becomes a quick reflection of how we’re living our lives.
  • When Stacey experienced the traditional healthcare system after her father got into a tragic car accident, she found that there was something missing.  The system was robotic and didn't take the whole human into account.  Aside from medical requirements, her father was in need of  somebody to hear him, hold space for him and help with the emotional side toward recuperation.  Eventually Stacey and her family sought out alternative medicines like yoga therapy and meditation for her father - tools that could be implemented to help regulate the nervous system and aid steadiness of the mind.  But this had to be done independently and outside of the traditional healthcare system.
    •  This experience is what spurred Stacey's passion to advocate for a more integrative healthcare system that bridges the gap between Western and Alternative healthcare systems.  She wants to help people remember their freedom to restore their bodies back to health.  
    • What’s happening in the mind can also delay healing too.
  • As for health, Stacey herself has had to deal with bouts of anxiety.
    • When anxious one can feel scattered, like there’s no choice or there’s an overwhelming amount of choice.  
    • Holistic approaches that she used to deal with this:
      • Constantly coming back to center and place of stillness
      • Consistent growth, practice and leaning onto other people who are further along that path and can help support
      • Developing sense of trust again to remember freedom that she can choose how she felt
      • She found reprieve in a consistent yoga practice
      •  Dialed up self care – daily ritual to have at least a few minutes in a day where she got to be on her mat, sitting with a journal & coffee or listening to a podcast.  Some sort of physical or mindset training that would allow her to shift and let her come back to the center and remember once again that the noise being experienced is not her real essence.
      • Even 2-3 minutes count as something!
      • Little rituals that she put together and became the pillar of her feeling good 
        • These things can be simple.  (She reminds us that it doesn’t have to be Instagram worthy) 
        • Stacey's rituals for feeling good:
          • light a candle while working
          • be present when coffee is brewing
          • planting succulent (feels so nice to have life around the house)
          • Particularly loves journalling to help get through noise

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

Our greatest challenges are also our biggest blessings.  They move us toward our wisest selves.  In the thick of the challenging times, there’s always somebody that’s just a little further along that can help support you until you’re able to use the challenge as a blessing.  We are very capable of healing ourselves and if we are committed to doing the work, we can look at ourselves honestly and question our choices with curiosity and grace.                         

What is one nugget of wisdom that you have for fellow seekers who are on this journey of growth and transformation?

Stay steady and consistent within your own growth and being the maker of your own happiness.  Progress over perfection.  Cultivate rituals or daily habits that help you return back to yourself.

Stacey stays consistent by committing to teaching yoga classes.  She knows that she can’t teach it unless she’s practicing, learning and totally embodying it.  Also, “The only way to be a light in this world is to do the work” – that entails making time for herself a non-negotiable.  If she doesn’t do it then her whole world feels it.   


If you have any questions for Amanda or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website:  www.staceyirvine.com

Facebook:  Essential Collective (FB group about aromatherapy)

Instagram: @staceyirvineyoga