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  • Confessions of a Yoga Evangelist

    Posted on September 7, 2015 by admin

    I understand evangelists.

    Because – once you’ve had an epiphany you just can’t keep this stuff to yourself.   Yoga has changed my body, my mind and my life and …..brothers and sisters it can do the same for you.

    Honestly, I find myself yammering on about yoga’s benefits, to everyone, family and friends, my dentist, the washer repairman, the UPS delivery woman…and this is why:

    Like a lot of people, I came to yoga because my body hurt and I was stressed out.  As a life-long distance runner, I’d logged more than 15,000 miles.  And I have Celiac disease, which in people like me, makes bones brittle. Turns out – the combination of Celiac and running can be a bugger on the body.  And before I was 35, I’d broken my hip, my knee, my foot and I shattered my wrist.  My bones ached. Doctors prescribed drugs by the handful. But nothing seemed to work. So I decided .. enough…  I need to  figure out how to create peace in my body.   Yoga.

    Meditation on the rocks

    Yoga. I'd originally fallen for yoga as a teen, growing up in Boulder.  My Mom, a sweet & lovely earth-muffin,  had taken me to yoga classes that were held at the nearby elementary school gym. There were no yoga mats and the floors were made from icy cold rubber. The place was dirty and smelled a little like stinky kid’s socks. But I loved the funky yoga vibe and was caught up in the teacher’s sweet stories about Ganesh and Hanuman.  Alas, after a few years of practice, I grew up and left for the next chapter of life and tucked that dear little seed of "yoga-love" away for a while.

    As a grown-up I tried to find my way back to yoga, but I suppose I wasn’t really in the right head-space for it. I'd become a stressed out Type-A, professional, a software VP, working long hours, wearing smart suits and racking up air miles. I was also a wife and mother of 3.  I was doing it ALL.  I was harried and strapped for time and when I could find a free hour or two I relaxed by training for half-marathons to burn off the “urgency” of my days. Good lord, what was I thinking??  Like so many working moms I desperately needed to slow down, but I didn't know how and I wasn't patient enough to understand how yoga could help.

    Finally the pace caught up with me and I was forced to slow down, a bit. Tie Dye in Taos

    Again, I made my way back into a yoga studio. Old habits die hard, though, so I decided to start my path back with a 75 minute Hot Power 2 Class. Great idea. How hard could that be?  Yeah… well I found out.  After the first 20 or so Chatarangas I was a hot mess. I lay in a quivering  heap in child’s pose on my mat and I cocooned there until the teacher told me I could finally lie down in savasana. The next day, when I went back to my office I had to take all my calls through my speaker phone, because my arms were shaking so badly that I couldn’t hold the receiver up to my ear.

    But I stuck with it.  And, to be honest… it wasn’t pretty. In classes, I was awkward, wobbly and completely unsure of where my body parts were in space. I’d do a Vinyasa flow and feel like, “oh yeah – that’s right, I nailed it” only to realize I had done the whole thing facing the wrong direction.  Self-acceptance.  I learned that this, too, is part of yoga.

    Soon I could feel little changes happening in my body.  Weirdly, I felt taller. My legs were stronger. My scrawny arms, had developed muscles. I felt steadier in poses. I discovered that I was bendy in new places.  And before I knew it… my body felt like it was mine again.  I felt light, centered, grounded, carefree and pain-free.

    And this feeling of full body-joy, stuck. Today I practice yoga most every day and I feel like a rock star.

    My family witnessed this transformation, and decided that they wanted in on the sweet action, too.  So, most days I am blessed to attend yoga class with my husband.  And all of my 3 (ostensibly) grown kids practice too.  And my earth-muffin mom? Oh she’s 73 and she still practices nearly everyday.  And with the clarity that yoga brings, ultimately, I left my stressful job, moved out to a small organic farm in the country where I live with my husband, 3 sweet goats, 8  pet chickens and my dog.

    Today, I teach yoga - RYT 500 - and own Inner Waves Organics with my husband – so I can evangelize and share the yoga-love!  Because everyone should have this type of epiphany in their body, mind and life.

    Yoga has brought such peace and strength and resilience to me and to so many people around me.  I want everyone to know about it's magic… including the UPS delivery woman.

     Can I get an Amen?

    Open Heart


    This post was posted in Yoga and was tagged with yoga, organic, clothing, innerwaves

  • Read New Insights from the Yogi Muse - This Month's Featured Teacher - for Inner Waves Organics Yoga Clothing

    Posted on December 24, 2013 by admin

    How to Stay Healthy, Go Deeper
    Find More, On & Off The Mat

     

    Inner Waves Organics

    Like us on FacebookWant to Stay Healthy, Go Deeper and Find More…On and Off the Mat?This month we introduce you to our first Featured Teacher, Michelle Berman Marchildon.

    She is a sassy and inspiring author, journalist and yoga teacher who will share her unique ideas about life... on and off the yoga mat.

    Stay tuned... each month we will introduce you to another remarkable yoga teacher. These wise souls and independent spirits will share their hints, tips and love for yoga with our Inner Waves Organics global community.

    And, each of these featured teachers, from around the world, chooses to wear Inner Waves Organics Clothing as they live out their yoga.

    At Inner Waves Organics, we work hard to do the right thing for our earth, our people and especially for you!

    Inner Waves Organic Yoga ClothingStyles made to movewith your body!use code: IFEELGOOD2for 20% off youronline order today!
    Made in the US? Why? There's been a lot of hubub in the news lately about companies that manufacture yoga pants. So we wanted to share oneof the reasons that we are a little different from the others. We manufacture all of our clothing in the U.S.Here's why: 1) it's the best way for us to ensure that our clothing is high-quality and can stand-up to the rigors of your practice 2) We sleep at night knowing that the skilled craftsmen (and women) who sew our clothing work in safe and happy conditions.

    We recognize that there are several sides to this issue. But this is the decision that we've made. Yes - it is more expensive to do it this way. But for us, it's worth it!

    Thanks for your support...& we mean it!

    Meet December Featured Teacher:

    Michelle Berman Marchildon, The Yogi Muse

    Author, Columnist, Editor, Animal Rights Activist, Yoga Teacher

    Read Michelle's inspiring insights on teaching yoga, writing, animal rights, music, and more!

    MUSE ON:

    Why yoga? When did you first know you were hooked?

    I dabbled in yoga around 20 years ago but it didn’t stick. Then, I returned to my mat when I had young children and I was not feeling like me. I met Desiree Rumbaugh and Amy Ippoliti, and soon I was signing up for everything they offered. My husband said that as much money as I’ve spent on trainings and workshops it doesn’t compare to what I used to spend in the mall. So he’s very supportive.

    You’re known for your sassy, straight-talking, inspirational style. After years of teaching how do you keep your classes fresh for your students (and for you?)

    Inspiration lives inside. When you are awake and aware, you feel creative. Yoga is the practice of waking up, so I stay on my mat and practice as much for myself as for those I love.

    What pose has taught you the most?

    Handstand. It is my white whale. Some days I have a solid Handstand, and some days I don’t. I know that like the Universe, I will never control this pose, and I’m mostly okay with it.

    You’re an award-winning journalist, author, columnist and now, editor. How does your yoga practice influence your writing? And how does your writing impact your yoga practice.

    I wrote for newspapers and magazines coming out of Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. I used to focus on finance, business and general news. Then I became a yoga student. Now yoga journalism seems to be my niche. There are skilled yogis and award-winning writers. I was able to combine those things. Yoga unlocked my creativity and freed me from the fear of expressing myself. I mean, if you can appear in public in Lycra, then you can pretty much do anything.

    What is the Wisdom Warrior movement and why is it dear to your heart?

    Wisdom Warriors™ was started by Desiree Rumbaugh. It is for the experienced yogi over age 50. Desiree wanted to build a community of people who sought to stay strong and flexible and keep a repertoire of advanced yoga poses. There are gentle yoga classes, and Silver Sneakers ™ formats. This is not that class. We kick ass, we just go slow and carefully. It is dear to my heart because for many years I thought I was the only one who wanted to do this, and then I found great company along the way.

    Through your writings, workshops and retreats you’ve earned the reputation as a teacher’s teacher. What is the key message you share with teachers?

    Re-discover the reason why you teach, and you will find your themes and students. It’s so much better to be authentic than to try and be popular. There are a lot of yoga teachers, but there’s only one you. If you are genuine in your classes, you will encourage your students to do the same.

    Do you practice every day?

    I take one day off a week. It’s a purposeful day of rest, and when I don’t practice I remember why I love yoga and missed it even for one day. Therefore, my practice isn’t a chore. It’s a passion.

    What is your seva passion?

    I love animals. My father is a world famous veterinarian, and I was raised with animals of all kinds including an ocelot. I give 10% of profits to animal charities. I pick a new one each year. Last year I supported the U.S. Humane Society’s campaign for the prevention of cruelty to farm animals. This year I support the National Mill Dog Rescue, which rescues dogs that are being used for breeding in inhumane conditions and finds them new homes. I am looking at working with a Pit Bull rescue in the future.

    What’s your favorite song in your current playlist?

    “Ong so hung” by Guru Singh. It’s ridiculous. I could practice to it every minute. I have it on repeat when I practice in my home studio. I don’t know if I’ll ever tire of it.

    What’s ahead for the Yogi Muse next year?

    My “To Do” list is to “Do Less.” I’m planning on doing more of what makes me happy. I love encouraging teachers to find their voice with Theme Weaver” trainings. I’m writing a book with Desiree on the Wisdom Warriors ™ and offering a yoga retreat in Costa Rica. I’m calling it the yoga retreat where you can do nothing at all with other great beings, and have an open bar.

    And of course, we have to ask - Why do you love Inner Waves Organics?

    I look for companies that do good in the world. Inner Waves uses 100% organic materials that do not cause harm to the Earth to produce. They make everything in the U.S.A., where workers are paid a fair wage. They contribute to seva projects. And they have the prettiest colors and clothes that are comfortable for practice. So when you wear their clothes, you feel better. And when I support companies like this, I do my part to make a better planet.

    Where can our readers learn more?

    The internet. It’s not complicated. www.YogiMuse.com

    Michelle Berman Marchildon is The Yogi Muse. She’s an award-winning journalist and the author of two books on yoga, Finding More on the Mat: How I Grew Better, Wiser and Stronger through Yoga and Theme Weaver: Connect the Power of Inspiration to Teaching Yoga. She’s a Contributing Editor for Mantra Magazine and a columnist for other yoga media. She is an E-RYT 500 Hatha teacher in Denver, Co. You can find her blog and website at www.YogiMuse.com.

     

     


    This post was posted in Uncategorized

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