What type of yoga do you teach?
Vinyasa, Power Vinyasa and Restorative
Which studio/s do you teach at?
Where is your favorite place to practice yoga?
My favorite place to practice yoga is outside on my property. I recently moved to Northern California and in the warmer months I enjoyed taking my practice outside amongst the trees.
What do you like the most about practicing there?
I like being in the sunshine, or rising/setting with it. I feel like I connect deeper with my breath when I’m exposed to the elements and out of a confined space.
How do you practice yoga off the mat?
For me, the whole point of getting on my mat is so that I can navigate life off my mat with grace and strength. Asana, meditation and pranayama are great tools for me to use anytime. When I practice I am honing these tools so when a situation arises, whether its frustrating, challenging or exhilarating, I have my practices to keep me grounded and level headed. Also, as part of the eight limbs of yoga, the yamas and niyamas support me as a foundation for choices I make. They are like my golden rules, so whenever I’m not sure about a decision I come back to these ethical guidelines. Yoga is a lifestyle and is so much more than being able to touch your toes.
The world ends tomorrow. What would you indulge in tonight?
I would indulge in community, good food, music and joy.
What was your first experience as a yoga teacher?
I remember the moment I first practice taught a sequence to some of the other students in teacher training. We were teaching Surya Namaskar with no special instruction, just teaching how it felt natural to us. I felt the power behind my voice. I felt for sure that this was something I could do and thrive doing. I knew I had things to share about the breath and the postures. A deeper understanding of this sun salutation sequence become clear to me. It was magical.
Imagine you’re on the cover of Yoga Journal. What pose would you strike?
I would do sun god(dess). That posture represents such strength and stability to me. It is an earth element, root chakra posture. It feels like the embodiment of “from the ground up”. It’s the idea of setting your foundation first, helping yourself first and going deep inside to better serve the world outside.
What inspires you to teach yoga?
I am inspired by all sorts of things to teach yoga. I get inspiration from students, and their stories. Sometimes my inspiration comes from a poem I stumble across, or the frustration I feel after spilling my coffee on my lap for the second time this week. I do my best to remain in the flow of life. Inspiration pops up all around me if I can be open to whatever is coming in and through. My mantra this past year has been “flow not fight”. I think when I stop the fight and accept exactly what is, creativity is given the green light to pour through.
If you could teach yoga anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I grew up in a rural area in eastern Canada. It’s the kind of place that needs yoga. There are so many places that need Yoga and it’s just not accessible. It would be meaningful to share the practice in places like the town where I grew up. Offering classes and language that are more reachable to the people in these areas. I think ultimately, teaching somewhere in the world where I’m making the most impact is what I envision for myself.
What has been your most embarrassing yoga moment as a teacher or practitioner?
Sometimes I get embarrassed when I try to tell a joke while teaching and not one person laughs. I’ve heard pins drop after my (usually corny) yoga jokes. Jokes rarely land when everyone is just ready to move out of chair pose. That being said, my sense of humor is one of my favorite things about myself so the yogi joking isn’t going anywhere!
What would you say to someone who is on the fence about practicing yoga?
Not to quote Nikey here, but just do it. Resistance is never going to go away. Excuses are always going to come up. It’s up to the individual to take action and you can’t learn anything until you try. There are so many free classes online too! You don’t even have to leave your home.
What music are you jamming to right now?
Right now I’m listen to Imagined Herbal Flows – Floating EP. It’s the best!
What has been the most rewarding thing about being a teaching yoga?
I think the most rewarding thing about teaching has been the community I find myself surrounded by. I learn so much from all of these people. Yoga is so huge, and there are so many ways you can navigate its depths. Because I get to co create and learn from so many other people on the yogic path, I get to see other parts of the puzzle that I haven’t delved so far into.
Where else can we find you?
On instagram: @malmacinnisyoga
On facebook: @malmacinnisyoga