You & Your Mala: Emily Millen

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?

It took me almost an hour to pick my mala. The intention behind the necklace was extremely important to me, so I researched every stone and looked into the name of each mala. I chose the Frangipani Mala, because the stones aligned completely to what I'd like to invite into my life. This particular necklace helps with strengthening awareness of feelings and intuition, it helps you to think clearly, and it encourages good working relationships. I'm also a beekeeper, so as soon as I realized this piece contained the Honey Opal stone, I knew it was the one.

What lead you to start your yoga and meditation practice?

To be honest, I started yoga to incorporate a different exercise into my fitness routine. After a few weeks, I found myself lying facedown, after multiple backbends, with tears streaming down my face. In that moment I knew there was WAY more to yoga than just the physical work out. I'm usually drawn to my meditation cushion when I'm anxious, or when I feel uprooted. My practice now is to remind myself to sit even when things are going smoothly :)

What are some of the benefits you have received from your practice?

Ah, so many. Here are a few:
  • Healthy relationship to my body.
  • Deeper awareness of myself in space and of the environment and energy around me.
  • I can now access my center and a sense of peace in challenging times.
  • The bigger picture is clearer.
  • I've learned how powerful the breath is and how it can affect your body and mind. Conscious breathing has helped me through it all, from nerveracking plane rides, to surgeries, to long holds in splits pose (hanumanasana)!
  • What is your favorite way to take a moment for yourself each day?
  • Reading, lying on the floor while starring at the ceiling, and getting into nature!
What is your current favorite yoga pose - why?

Virasana (Hero's Pose) is what my body is craving these days. I love the opening it provides for the thighs and hip flexors. I've been lying down and working my ribs towards the earth which creates a beautiful opening in my low back. Plus, I can stare aimlessly at the ceiling in this pose too ;). 

Emily is a talented and inspiring Yoga teacher who currently resides in Vancouver, Canada and has been instructing around the city since 2009. In 2006, she was motivated by her history of competitive figure skating & dance, to explore a new form of movement: yoga. In 2009, Emily completed her 200 hour teacher training with Chris Chavez. Since then she has studying all over the world with Ana Forrest, Christina Sell, Susan Horning, and Clara Roberts-Oss. Emily draws from her many varied experiences, taking the best from each to skillfully weave art into her teaching, with a rich and heartfelt voice. Raw and authentic, what Emily learned at the Randolph Academy of the Arts in Toronto, informs her teaching as a journey to the self. She reminds her students that yoga lets you feel again, allowing for a deeper connection to this life. Be ready to peel back the layers, be ready to receive euphoric moments, and be ready to experience culture's past! When Emily isn't on the mat she tends to her garden and honey bees, leads retreats under Unity Retreats, acts as an ambassador for Tonic Lifestyle Apparel, and supports pregnant woman as a certified prenatal instructor and birth Doula. 
July 14, 2015 by Ashley Wray
Tags: Ambassadors

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