You and Your Mala: Megan Campbell
How did you choose your mala? Were you drawn to a particular gemstone or was there a certain intention you were looking to bring into your life?
I didn’t choose my mala, it chose me! A couple of years ago I was participating in the Off the Mat, Into the World Global Seva India challenge. I was wanting to raise $20,000 to support survivors of sex trafficking in Yoga’s homeland, India. If I raised that amount I got to travel with the organization and visit all the communities who were benefitting from the funds.
I reached out to lots of different businesses to see if they would consider donating gifts or services that I could auction off to the highest donors each month. Mala Collective was one of the very few who believed in this initiative, and me, and donated not only a mala and bracelet to be auctioned, but one for me personally ~ the Know Strength mala.
I wore it every day for that entire year and really believed it helped me achieve the goal of raising the $20,000 and getting to go to India and do the work there. It reminded me daily that I was capable.
What brought you to start a yoga/meditation practice?
I started yoga nine years ago after ending a long relationship with someone who was anorexic/bulimic.
At the end of my very first class I remember lying on my mat and realizing it was the first time in years I had spent an hour focused on only myself. I had been taking care of someone else, or at least trying to, and had totally neglected my own needs, desires, and care. It was my first ‘enlightened’ moments of many to come.
What shifts have you noticed since starting your practice?
So many! But probably the biggest one is when I first started yoga I was fairly closed off to having friendships with women. I had been bullied growing up and really didn’t trust them or healed from it.
Over the years, through my practice and guidance of some gifted teachers and mentors, I have been able to open my heart more and more, to understand projections and dynamics of relationships, and eventually turn my wounds into my most potent gifts and offerings.
I now work almost exclusively with supporting, mentoring, and teaching women to empower, heal, and ultimately transform their lives using the power of Yoga.
Do you have a favorite mantra or intention to meditate with?
I use a few mantra’s as meditation but I charged my Know Strength mala with Ganesh’s ~ Om Gum Ganapataya Namaha. It felt right to have the support of removing any obstacles from my Global Seva Challenge goal.
Do you have any tips for those are just starting to use a mala in meditation?
When I first started using a mala and mantra, I remember that my mind would be able to think over the repetitions, and that meant I was doing it wrong.
It took a long time for my mind to settle down and accept the rhythm and routine, like any other meditation. I didn’t stop and know that eventually yours will settle around it too.
I also highly recommend making sure the mantra is something that you really connect with, not just using one because you ‘think’ it’s the right one or ‘should’ be repeating it.
The more you connect to the mala and mantra the more you will recognize that this piece of your practice is as potent and powerful as any asana.
Megan has been teaching yoga full time in Ottawa and the surrounding areas for over nine years, with a strong focus on Yoga for Women. She founded of Journey of the Yogini, which raised over $175,000 for charities that work towards empowering women and girls locally and globally. She is also the creatrix and Priestess of the JOY Circle and Sacred Movement Programs that mentor women along the path of yoga.
To find out more about Megan visit www.megancampbell.ca