Name: Callie Mahoney
Nationality: American from Maui, Hawaii
Occupation: Leather craftswoman / Online Retailer
When and how did you start practicing yoga? I grew up in a part of the island that had some solid yoga groups with teachers who are part of our extended family and community so I've tagged along to yoga classes since I was little. On a trip to Mt. Shasta when I was fourteen a friend taught me some asanas that got me attached to the idea of yoga as a physical practice but I hadn't yet grasped the potential depth of a more complete practice. I continued to meddle by trying an array of classes which offered various styles of yoga but wasn't committed to one in particular until I found Ashtanga through a friend and teacher in Maui. From there I was brought to the shala down the street from my childhood home led by teacher Nancy Gilgoff on the tomato farm. She became my main instructor when I was on island which was where I was introduced to Mysore Style Ashtanga.
I was already living in Paris so I began to search through friends and online for a shala that offered Mysore classes here. I was happy to find a few places that were teaching Ashtanga so I tried them out but wasn't fully connecting with any until about four years ago when I found Mysore Yoga Paris.
Ashtanga has allowed me to tap into a spiritual, psychological and physical connection awakening an awareness of the importance of accessing all of these levels as a means to grow, heal and live more deeply. As my practice seeps into my daily life I see how releasing old habits has created space working towards a more conscious existence. A daily practice allows me to continually recenter myself as I observe how a fresh approach to my actions and reactions create better outcomes in my personal choices, communication and relationships.
How did you first meet Kia and Mysore Yoga Paris? When I began learning from Kia I felt her sense of authenticity, wisdom and deep respect for the practice which allowed me to intuitively trust her instruction. My first months in the shala were very humbling from the effort to adapt to a different teaching approach than I knew, combined with confronting my ego, which sometimes made me resistant to some of the guidance that I was being offered. As our student teacher relationship develops I am always shedding layers of attachment to the way I previously envisioned my progress for a profound reconstruction of the foundation of my practice.
Kia's attention to each of her students comforted and encouraged me from the first days that I began practicing at her shala. Her keen eye and genuine interest in the evolution of each of her students makes me feel that I cannot skim by without understanding each of the postures while respecting what feels right for my body on a daily basis. Kia's guidance has given me the confidence to continue to personally expand and explore through yoga and go beyond the physical practice.
Describe what the Shala and its community is to you? In the Shala I am able to tune into the collective vibration of breath, movement and physical strength to absorb the empowering force that is created when everyone is joined together. It is a space that I love to be in to observe and learn from the other students and teachers as we all find ways that work best for each of us. It feels like a family even before we get to know each other because of the shared intention of being present for our practice and shared enjoyment of being there. There is a sweet uplifting energy that sometimes feels like a beehive full of honey when everyone is working together.
What inspires you to keep practicing? My inspiration to continue practicing is the way that I feel when I am in any part of the yoga practice, whether it is breathing in Pranayama, practicing the asanas or just learning the philosophy every aspect has only brought positive shifts in my life. Ashtanga yoga reminds me to be present and to be mindful of myself in my environment through conscious alignment. Instead of drifting around through life I am able to visualise where I want to be mentally, spiritually and physically and work towards being there while accepting where I currently am.
Does practice influence your work as an artist, in what way? Mental clarity and focus that is born from my practice is what I notice I have applied to my art. Being an artist has sometimes been my excuse to be unorganised but when I have a steady daily practice with all of my rituals in place I am able decipher what will actually serve my desired intentions. Anything that is not part of the current goals i've set in my work seem to reveal their incompatibility quite quickly and fall away naturally. When all the clutter is out of the way the creative juices can do their thing without overflowing.
Three words to describe my practice would be: Revealing, Rooting and Blossoming
The place that I go to find peace in Paris is with my daughter Nikita. She fills me with love and that gives me peace. I also like to feel connected to the ocean so wherever I can be near water is a sanctuary for me.
Callie´s Dreamcatchers & leatherwork: http://www.bulletproofaura.com
Online Boutique: https://amemauiparis.com