The Yogi Muse
Sugar and spice and everything nice, that's what Michelle Marchildon is made of. She's an absolute firework - she lights up the room, and her presence is loud, unforgettable, and dazzling. We love her spunk, her spirit, and her ability to find joy and laughter in the midst of a world that can be chaotic and cruel. A woman who laughs at the days to come is a force to be reckoned with indeed. And, to put a cherry on top of it all, she is a total sweetheart. She has taught us that grace is attainable and can be found in the smallest and unlikeliest of places. It is with great pleasure that we introduce our interview with the Yogi Muse:
KiraGrace: Anyone who knows you, knows you love to laugh, and you have a wonderfully approachable spirit… Why do you approach things with humor? Is it always easy or do you find it hard to face life this way?
Michelle: People who have overcome adversity know the value of humor. I’ve cried about things, and I’ve laughed about things, and believe me, I know which is better. I am going to laugh my way to enlightenment, even if it kills me.
KG: What is something you wish people knew about you but isn’t always obvious?
Michelle: I happen to be stunningly gorgeous. People most often compare me to Angelina Jolie or Kate Upton. But that doesn’t always come through in photographs, or actually, even in person. On a serious note, I am quite well-studied in yoga, yoga alignment, philosophy, wisdom and just about everything yoga. That doesn’t always come through either.
KG: What attracted you to yoga?
Michelle: Truthfully, I was lost. I was in the gym looking for the Pilates class when I ended up in yoga. Halfway through I realized I wasn’t where I was supposed to be, but of course, the Universe knows best. We are usually where we are meant to be. I was attracted to yoga because it was challenging and comforting, deceiving and revealing all at once. Really, it is a lot like love.
KG: What led you to want to teach yoga and what is your teaching method?
Michelle: I am a student at heart, and a bit of a nerd. Yoga was this incredible change in my life where for the first time I could see the light. I enrolled in Yoga Teacher Training because I wanted to know more and not necessarily because I wanted to teach. But then I took another YTT, and another, and, um, another. Some people take vacations on the beach; I do YTTs. I teach Hatha yoga and my style is called Align and Flow. And we always laugh. You can’t take yourself too seriously when you’re standing on your head.
KG: You’re not afraid to push the envelope and take a different route than those around you. Did the circumstances you’ve experienced in life contribute to your incredibly strong sense of spirit and outlook on life?
Michelle: It is so much easier to be authentic than popular. There is something about turning 50 that gives you this sense of self and freedom from the worries of what others think. I have a large following of younger students, and I tell them all the time, don’t wait. Be you now. My mother is also this free spirit who had to live much of her life in a metaphorical closet. She taught me to live large, live out loud and let nothing hold you back.
KG: In our culture, youth is embraced as the ideal, but you’re known for representing a more mature age bracket and reiterate that as you grow, you become wiser, happier, and all the more free. What do you say to women who are having trouble embracing the transition?
Michelle: To be clear, I would have been “known” much earlier but I was busy changing diapers and raising children. That was my dharma, and I don’t regret a second of it. The only way to embrace any transition is to be fully in the moment. If you are “here,” but want to be “there,” you will be miserable. Do what you must, and you will be magnificent. These days are pretty great, but I’ve also learned to enjoy all the ages I’ve ever been.
Also, for women of a ‘certain age,’ sexy is about confidence, but be very careful about the length of your skirts. That’s all I’m going to say about embracing the transition.
KG: What’s your own definition of happiness?
Michelle: A mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child, so I hope for the best for my children. And then I’d like a few really good friends who will tell me honestly when my butt looks big. I don’t need 5,000 “friends” on Facebook. I think five real ones would be nice.
KG: If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you take with you?
Michelle: My first book, “Finding More on the Mat,” because if you wait until you’re 50 to publish a book then you know it will be funny and effing brilliant. My dog, Maisy, who has passed on but she was a great dog. And I’d take Kaopectate, because if there was a way to get an upset stomach on a desert island, then it will surely happen to me. Lastly, I’d take my husband, because if he reads this he’s going to be pissed he was beat out by a bottle of Kaopectate.
KG: But that’s four things.
Michelle: I’ve never been known to travel light.
Michelle Berman Marchildon is the Yogi Muse. She is an award-winning journalist and the author of the best -selling yoga memoir, “Finding More on the Mat: How I Grew Better, Wiser and Stronger through Yoga.” She is also the author of “Theme Weaver: Connect the Power of Inspiration to Teaching Yoga,” which is a guide to being authentic in yoga. Her wit and wisdom has been featured in Elephant Journal, Origin Magazine, Mantra Yoga and Health, My Yoga Online and Teachasana. She is an E-500 RYT with Yoga Alliance and teaches Hatha Yoga in Denver, Co. She is an Ambassador for Kiragrace, yoga clothes from a company with a heart. You can take Michelle with you on your computer or I-thing by downloading her classes from www.yogadownload.com.
For her schedule, the blog or to arrange a Theme Weaver Workshop, please go to www.YogiMuse.com.