Entries in yoga (3)

Saturday
Jun032017

q&a with artist and yogi Caol McDonald

 

Caol McDonald is a  artist, yogi and a wonderful person.  Many evenings I have thoroughly enjoyed whiling away the hours in conversation with him. Even a quick conversation on the stairs of flow makes me wish we had more time to chat.  Caol is full of wisdom and his eye for light is thrilling.  He has a gentle spirit with the strength of a warrior that really sees what is around him.  You can connect with him  on Facebook and Instagram and buy his art on his Esty shop from FlowCo and Souk Belfast, practice with him at Flow Studio Belfast and other places - check out his Facebook page for details of classes - I highly recommend you make taking one high up your to do list.  The painting Caol did for me inspires me to keep lifting up.

 

Who are you, what’s it like being you…

My name is Caol, a 27 year old creative type, yogi by day and painter by night with a passion for exploring the great outdoors

Where are you from, where are you based…

I live in the heart of Mid Ulster N.Ireland, currently based in Cookstown


Talk about your work ... How do you find inspiration?

As an artist my work is my voice, what comes from within; I have doodled and created art for years and that voice is still growing. I’ve lived in Ireland all my life, and it being a small island, it’s possible to journey and discover your surroundings become changeable landscapes from mountains and forests to oceans and cliff views easily, the lens through which my mind perceives this world has been predominantly a visual one, my inspiration comes strongly from the raw Atlantic islands scenery and the concept of the human spirit, and it’s always been my passion to try and communicate and strengthen the bond between Humanity and nature.

I am simply a secretary to my own sensations, living a life through colour, and through the resulting expressions I paint and record on paper I aim to help re-establish our connection to the natural ways of the world.

More recently I have been taking this visual lens on an internal exploration of the landscapes of human nature through yoga, and drawing parallels between these conceptual, internal landscapes and the external environment and listening to how both yoga and art can inform how one sees the world.

 

What are your future plans ..

In an ideal situation I hope to find a place where I can be self sufficient by teaching yoga, creating and to live ecologically here in Ireland.

who you are inspired by ...

Creatively…artists such as Brandon Boyd or Jose Parla to name just two, also people who are living for a living, people who are kind and who live compassionate lives to each other and the world we live on.

Describe your space ...

There is always a cup of coffee in hand, a candle lit and an open window

A non-negotiable in your life is ...

Having a quiet moment to yourself each day, even (especially)if it’s simply to enjoy a coffee. 

Most encouraging words you have ever heard ...


While not necessarily the most encouraging I’ve ever heard, I was recently shared words written by Nikita Gill from my Mother that struck a chord

“You carry both lightning and thunder in that space between your bones and soul, become the storm you are hiding from, a hurricane does not run from the rain”


Your work life philosophy is ...

You weren’t born to pay bills and die, make room for enjoying life. 

What is your favourite smell ...

Petrichor…the smell of the earth after rain. (…or morning coffee)

Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ...

My tastes in music vary but currently I like Nahko Bear- Great Spirit


Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ...

I’ve wanted to for years but only recently I have been eating a plant based diet; for just almost a year now, it took time for me to longer miss my old favourites I thought I couldn’t do without. Now my most often ate meal is roast chilli broccoli with some form of tofu, … but my favourite food is 100% peanut butter, I could eat that all day!

Three things or products that have changed your life...

The addition of my dog to the family tribe instigated my proactivity towards a plant based lifestyle, yoga has taken me to Asia and back, offered growth and opportunities to connect with some of the best people I now call friends and colleagues and of course Art.

How do you relax ...

Meditation…whether that be the traditional method, yoga or meditation via art

What makes you happy, where’s your happy place ...

Adventuring into nature with fresh air, places away from daily routine where you can take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the world, I’m particularly drawn to the Irish Coast and the wild power of The Atlantic.

What do you most value in your friends ...

Individuality of character 


What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now ...

As somebody who lives with the constant urge to communicate or convey sensations…ideas and concepts, whether that be to other people or simply to myself via meditating or painting or writing, a few words I happened upon this year resonate with me

“Make ceremonies out of the air, and breathe upon them"

I conceptualise this phrase visually, as an artist or a yogi plucking inspiration from anything, what they see, hear and experience or from their own mind and using it to create something wonderful. A painting, a memorable day out or a great savasana!

As for currently, in terms of books; I have an obsession with the works of J.R.R Tolkien and I just finished rereading The Silmarillion (a grand prequel to the more popular Lord of The Rings or The Hobbit). I also am keenly following any news articles or social media stories about the current political and environmental protest happening in America, where the Native treaty lands of the American Indians are under threat by Oil companies, I feel the Earth is an island and we have nowhere else to go, we need to protect what we have, Water is Life.


Share some words of wisdom ...

I came across this a while ago, I’m unsure of its author but I love it;

“You think in your idle hours that there is literature, history, science behind you so accumulated as to exhaust thought and prescribe your own future. In your sane hour you will see that not a line has yet been written; that for all the poetry that is in the world your first sensation on entering a wood or standing on the shore of a lake has not been charted yet. It remains for you; so does all thought, all objects, all life remains unwritten yet”

 

 

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Thank you Caol, it was a joy to have your at our place.

That's it for now ...

Nics

Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable

Monday
Aug102015

q&a with Erin Motz co founder of Bad Yogi

What a joy to welcome Erin Motz to the Salt and Sparkle q&a. Erin is the co founder of Bad Yogi where she and her fiance are redefining yoga culture - making it accessible to everyone.   Erin's classes are accessible, fun and encouraging, I always feel great after doing them and it is a pleasure to be a part of the worldwide Bad Yogi community.

I met Erin online when I started doing the 30 Day Challenge (which I highly recommend, start today) where you can get up you get 30 days of online 10-20 minute videos delivered directly to your inbox.  Then I bought some of her classes, and enjoyed reading her blog, the post about her engagement is magical.

You can follow Erin on InstagramTwitter and Facebook buy great online classes and clothing from the Bad Yogi shop, and read her blog


Who are you, what’s it like being you ...

I’m Erin Motz and I’m not sure what it’s like to be me; I’ve never had to think about it like that… It’s busy and fulfilling and there’s loads of laughter, so I’d say it’s pretty good!

 

Where are you from, where are you based ...

I’m from Tampa, FL and I’m based here for another month or so before a big move to France. 

 

Talk about your work ...

I’m the co-founder of Bad Yogi with my fiance, Adrien, and we’re redefining yoga culture.


We’re cutting the snobbery and pretense that usually comes along with the yoga community and replacing it with acceptance of various lifestyle choices (ahem, STEAK) and simple poses that make us feel great, not just the glorified yoga porn that’s all over social media.

We have clothing and online yoga classes and we’ll be building on that this year.

 

What are your future plans ... 

Grow Bad Yogi to become the Under Armor of the yoga world. We might be the underdog now, but not for long. We’re expanding our clothing line next year, building out our blog to really reflect the community we’ve built, and have a few other secret projects in the works.

Oh, and personally, I’m getting married next year ;)

 

How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...  

I read A LOT! I’m really inspired by Jessica Alba, Cassey Ho, Elizabeth Gilbert, conversations with my fiancé, and my meditation practice. 

 

Describe your space ... 

It’s super sunny and has yellow walls. Big windows, very clean and usually has some fresh flowers. 

 

How are you feeling today ... 

Pretty good! A little stressed but not necessarily bad stress. It’s also been gloomy in my city for about 2 weeks so I’m craving some sunshine!

 

A non-negotiable in your life is ...

Organization! And purpose. If I wake up without feeling purposeful, I feel like my day is wasted. 

 

Most encouraging words you have ever heard ... 

Wow, this is tough. I’ve heard many, but one bit of encouragement that always comes back up is that if you’re not offending anyone, you’re not really doing anything. 

 

If you have an opinion and you’re sharing it, someone is going to be offended and you just have to remember that that’s part of putting yourself out there. 

 

There’s no pleasing everybody, so just do you and let the rest go. 

 

Your work life philosophy is …

I’m not the best person to ask about this, haha. I don’t have a very good “balance” because my work is very very intertwined with my life. But I like that right now. We try to take one day a month where we unplug and do something that’s JUST for fun. No email or social media, just fun and relaxation. 

 

What is your favourite smell ...  

Toss-up between coffee brewing and garlic sauteeing. 

 

Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ... 

Frasier is in the background right now! Love that show… 

 

Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ... 

It probably changes every week, but I’m really digging lemon risotto and salmon right now. I feel like I always cook with lemon, garlic and white wine! 

 

Three things or products that have changed your life... 

Not really things, but definitely quitting my “real” job a couple years ago to pursue Bad Yogi and meeting my fiancé many years ago. There might be one more, but I can’t think of any! I don’t use the phrase “it changed my life” very often :)

 

How do you relax ... 

Rollerblading with my sister, lounging with my fiance, meditating and writing.

 

What makes you happy, where’s your happy place ... 

My happy place is sitting on the beach on a cool day just listening to the ocean. 

What is your favourite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ...  

I want to see the whole world! I’d love to see the Northern Lights some day, go on a safari, visit Singapore, and see icebergs… obviously not all in the same place ;)

What do you most value in your friends ...  

Sincerity, intellect, having a passion for something, and humor. 

What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now ... 

My favorite word is pamplemousse (say it like pomp-luh-moose) which is French for grapefruit and sounds super snooty! I swear I’m not trying to sound like a snob but I think it just sounds so pretty!

I’m reading a book called inGenius by Tina Seelig and I highly recommend it. 

Share some words of wisdom ...

Never compromise who you are at your core just to fit in with a group of people you think is worthy of your admiration. Be who you are, always, unapologetically. Everything you want in life will come to you — and stay — based on your authenticity, not on who you pretend to be. 

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Erin it was such a pleasure to have you at our place, thank you for taking part in the Salt & Sparkle interview.

That's it for now ...

Nics

Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable

Monday
Feb162015

q&a with Denis from yoga with Denis


Welcome to the flexible, fabulous, fit and fun Denis Jackson from yoga with Denis to the Salt and Sparkle q&a. I had the joy of meeting Denis about a year ago, andwe have become firm friends.  Denis is full of energy and vitality, he is a deep thinker, who has some fantastic insights about the world.  We have enjoyed some great conversations.  His passion for his work is inspiring and is is simply wonderful to hang out with.  He is the yoga instructor at Brain Injury Matters- a charity that provides services to those who have acquired brain injuries. Denis has delivered yoga for ADD-NI Northern Irelands only charity dedicated to providing services to children and young adults with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder.  This spring he will be prepping professional dancers during a rehearsal  period in March for EVOLVE - a choreographic platform to be performed at the MAC on 2 April.  You can get in touch with Denis or follow him on Facebook or take one his classes at at Flow Studio Belfast, DW Sports Newtownabbey, and David Lloyd Gym- Dundonald which I'd highly recommend you do! Denis also takes private classes and long form workshops.

Who are you, what’s it like being you…

Hi! My name is Denis Jackson. I’m a 30 something yoga teacher, doggy daddy, fiancé who loves seeing people happy. 

Where are you from, where are you based…

Originally hailing from Derry and based now in Newtownabbey

Talk about your work ...

My work is more of a vocation or a calling. I teach yoga in a variety of settings. From public classes, private students, retreats & working for charities bringing yoga to those in the community who desperately need healing and calm. I help facilitate this by empowering people to follow their breath and cultivate ease; not only during yoga, but in their day-to-day lives. It’s got very little to do with flexibility at all and all to do with feeling good about themselves.

What are your future plans ...

To get married, travel quite a bit, buy a house in the country, continue to practice & teach yoga and maybe go on a pilgrimage to India.  


How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...

I find inspiration by meditating. The simple act of sitting down, following the flow of breath and consciously slowing down my breath, allows me to quiet my thoughts. The mind is a VERY busy place and if I can quiet this chatter I can hear my intuition and follow it. I’m inspired by people who commit their lives to serving others and making a positive contribution to their happiness, without thanks or recognition. People who make their own rules rather than following others blindly. Your opinion always matters.  

Describe your space ... 

 Nurturing, homely, loving & fun!


How are you feeling today ...

Happy

A non-negotiable in your life is ...

Love

Most encouraging words you have ever heard ...

Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.

Your work life philosophy is ...

Work to live, don’t live to work. You don’t want to look back and regret 40 odd years of a career you hated everyday. 

What is your favourite smell ...

The beach or sandalwood. Earthy tones.  

Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ...

London Grammar is playing now. I love all music. I had quite a musical upbringing and appreciate every musical genre. 

Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ...

Hmmm with this weather we are having- homemade Stew, wheaten bread and butter. I love butter. Three ingredients- Avocado, tomatoes & olive oil.  

Three things or products that have changed your life...

Yoga (see a theme here?) travelling alone, the Internet. 

How do you relax ...

spending time with my partner and dogs on a trip to the beach or forest. Yoga at home, essential oils, Epsom salt bath and ambient tunes. 

What makes you happy, where’s your happy place ...

Being with family & friends. Seeing everyone happy and having harmony. 

What is your favourite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ...

There are a good few places I want to visit. Japan for the cherry blossoms, Canada for the awesome landscape, California for the sun, Paris, South of France & India.   

What do you most value in your friends ...

knowing that they are always there no matter what. Even if we don’t speak often. The best friendships are easy and don’t need any explanation. 

What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now ...

I’m not really good at committing to a book at the moment. I do love reading about Space and how vast the universe is lol The mind boggles! 

Share some words of wisdom ...

Always know that you can’t really go wrong in life. Follow your own path, listen to your heart and build the life of your dreams. It’s easy when you just decide to do it.

 

Denis is was a joy to interview you and have you at Salt and Sparkle, thank you.

That's it for now ...

Nics

Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable