Taryn works and teaches in British Columbia. She has an innate passion for yoga that transpires through her words. We love doing interviews with our teachers because if you were drawn to a retreat and not sure about the teacher, this is exactly the kind of answers that will make you trust Taryn as a teacher and feel comfortable with her as person. Blessings Taryn!
What is your favorite retreat place (as a teacher or an attendee)? Why?
To date, my favorite retreat place has been the Sivananda Yoga Ashram Farm in Grass Valley, CA. It is my favorite because as an attendee, I had the opportunity to fully immerse in my yoga and meditation practice.
How many years have you been teaching? And where do you currently teach?
I have been teaching for 5 years in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. I freelance and am currently teaching between three studios.
What was your most profound moment while taking or leading a retreat?
When I attended the ashram, I was extremely nervous as the 16 hour daily schedule looked very daunting. I was not used to waking up at 5:30 am every day to meditate, chant, attend lectures and yoga classes, as well as perform karma yoga duties. After a few short days, I found myself feeling more energetic, rejuvenated and mindful than I had for years, perhaps ever. There wasn’t a single profound moment during this retreat – I was lucky enough to experience several moments where I felt pure happiness, joy and contentment. One thing that did take me by surprise was how much my meditation practice deepened. I looked forward to 1 hour of silent meditation a day, and was meditating at every opportunity.
Who were you mostly influenced by?
I am influenced and inspired by everyone and everything! I live on a beautiful island and am influenced by its beauty and the gratitude for the nature that surrounds me fills my heart. I am mostly influenced by my supportive, silly family and creative, hardworking husband.
Where do you live and what is a typical day like for you?
I live in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia. A typical day consists of waking up and doing a quick prayer and meditation. Mon – Fri I work at my day job. After work I teach yoga or attend a class. On the nights that I teach, I practice yoga at home later in the evening. On the weekends I teach one class on Saturday and one on Sunday, but I try to get to the beach to relax by the ocean and sip on my matcha latte at least once per weekend.
What advice do you have for people who have never taken a yoga retreat?
Go to the retreat with an open mind! Be open to and excited about the positive shifts that are about to take place. Bring a journal – you will love looking back at how you felt at the beginning of the journey compared to the end of the retreat. If you are nervous, don’t worry – you will discover that the other participants are just as nervous and all will be well. Retreats always include a mix of people with different levels of yoga experience, and I teach so that all are comfortable and safe.
What makes the retreats you lead special?
The retreat I am facilitating in November is intended for women in recovery from all sorts of life challenges: addiction, workaholism, divorce, grief, post-traumatic stress and the like. This retreat will be particularly special as my mother (who has been in recovery from addiction for 23 years) is co-facilitating the retreat.
What is a typical day like? (during the retreat)
We wake up to the sounds and smells of the Caribbean sea. A morning yoga class refreshes us and wakes us up and we set an intention for the day. After yoga – breakfast! A delicious, healthy gourmet breakfast follows and then everyone has a few hours of free time after breakfast to read, journal, walk, or swim. Lunch is at 1:00pm. After lunch – more free time to do whatever your heart desires. While the sun sets (approximately 4:30pm) we will have another yoga class before dinner. After dinner, we will join back together for a sharing circle, a final meditation, then off to our rooms to rest up for the next day.
You have a retreat coming up in Mexico, tell us a little about it.
A Sacred Pause: Yoga and Recovery on the Beach will consist of seven days of female energy, yoga, sun, sand and sea right on the beach at the beautiful Shambala Petit Hotel in Tulum, Mexico, one hour south of Cancun. Women who are recovering in all areas of their lives are welcome at the retreat, but to preserve an atmosphere of recovery, safety, and wellness for all, there will be no drugs or alcohol at this retreat.
We will honor ourselves, our recovery and our bodies by taking a full week to relax and connect with ourselves, reflect on what we want to create next in our lives, and then refocus our energy for the return home. Although various excursion options will be made available, nutritious meals and yoga classes will be the only specifically scheduled daily activities to allow each participant to spend time exactly as she wishes.
What do you love most about teaching yoga?
I love seeing students before and after class. Students might come to class stressed, fatigued, stiff and sore. By the end of class they look relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated. It feel so honored to see students grow in their practice. After a few classes you can see their energy shift as they relax and release physical and mental tension. This is a hard question to answer – I love everything about teaching yoga!
Who are your typical students?
My typical students are people who are not just interested in the physical aspect of yoga (asanas). My students come to class to learn about yoga philosophy, pranayama techniques (remembering to how to breath properly), meditation techniques, etc. I consider myself an old school teacher – I want my students to experience the magic of yoga not just physically, but mentally and spiritually as well. I teach one class per week to people in recovery from addiction, they are extremely inspiring.
What is the greatest challenge you have overcome because of yoga?
I try to live a yogic life so I’ve overcome a lot of really bad eating habits, for one thing! But more seriously, I believe that yoga has led me back to my true self. I believe that teaching yoga is my purpose and it has definitely become my passion. Yoga has taught me acceptance, not just for others, but for myself. Life is a lot calmer with acceptance in it!
For more information about Taryn’s upcoming retreat, visit A Sacred Pause: Yoga and Recovery on the Beach in Tulum, Mexico.