You and Your Mala: Marie-Claude Rivest
How did you choose your mala?
I went with my instinct, without thinking about it or paying any attention to the intentions associated with each mala. I really wanted to choose it with my heart, rather than my head. It was beautiful, luminous and feminine, but strong at the same time.
When did you start your yoga and meditation practice?
My mother introduced me to yoga and meditation when I was four years old, as far as I can remember. But she already practiced yoga and meditation when I was in her belly.
At home, when I lived with my parents, I always had a yoga and meditation room. We used it every day when I came home from school.
What are some of the benefits you have received from your practice?
There are too many for me to name them all, but I’d simply say inner peace, and peace of mind. Every time I meditate, I feel so much love within and around me. It’s magical!
Do you have a favourite mantra or intention you like to use for when meditating?
Peace and non-violence
It’s not insignificant that I instinctively chose the Intuition Mala, you know!
My yoga name is Varütrï, which means “protector” in Sanskrit. I’ve experienced a lot of violence in my life: domestic violence, among others. All despite the fact that I’m a fifth degree taekwondo black belt, I’m educated, and come from a good family.
It has nothing to do with social status and education. The man you love being violent with you is difficult to explain, and impossible to imagine until you’ve experienced it yourself, unfortunately. My mala features prehnite which increases energy and protection. It also improves the connection to the elements of life and nature. Think of my character, MaLOOve: incredible, isn’t it?
The day I chose to leave the violence in my life is when I chose to love myself first. I chose to be truly free and at peace with my past and myself. Today, I choose not to fight — fighting is over for me, in all forms, and I’ve never been happier!
What is your favourite way to take some time for yourself?
I admit that I don’t have that much time to myself thanks to my studio, classes, and family life; but at night, in bed, I take shelter within myself, in a place deep in my heart that I’ve developed through the years. There, I feel protected, welcome, and respected like nowhere else in the world.
I hold my mala in my left hand, because I’m a lefty (*laughs*), and I chant my mantra, which was given to me by my master the day of my initiation. I repeat it 108 times x two or three, depending on whether or not I fall asleep while chanting it. It’s actually an excellent way to beat insomnia!