We're very excited to bring you this interview with Stephanie McQuillian, who will be returning to Suncokret as a co-hosting teacher from August 23-29th.
During her stay as a retreat guest back in 2012, I got to know Stephanie on a personal level and noted to myself what a gracious and dedicated yogini she is. So when I realized I would be on maternity leave this season, Stephanie was one of the first teachers / former guests of ours who popped into my mind as a wonderful replacement teacher in my stead.
So, Stephanie, please tell our readers a little about yourself; what else do you do besides teach yoga?
When I’m not on my mat, I’m either working at a local chiropractor’s office, studying Ayurveda or painting something. It’s a really great mix that gives me the ability to tap into all aspects of my personality. I love the interactions I have with everyone who comes into the office to get adjusted. I really enjoy the time I get to delve into the science of Ayurveda to find different ways that I can help myself and others find balance in their lives.
I’m also in the midst of starting my own little small business of furniture ‘re-hab.’ I’ve been painting furniture for years now, saving one piece at a time from their inevitable demise of a landfill. I love reestablishing the beauty of piece that, at no fault of it’s own, has since been deemed the ‘ugly duckling.’ Our home is filled with them, so I thought I’d offer my services to others, saving one piece at a time.
When I’m not doing any of the above, I really love getting out on our boat heading to a number of the beautiful beaches that we’re fortunate enough to have so close by.
All of the above, excluding my time in the office, is done with our dog Sam, who is the best sidekick ever!
How did you get into yoga?
By chance. I had recently moved home after college and my friend and I went to our first class. It was in an old mill that had been converted into commercial / multi-use spaces. The incense filled, bohemian styled space was gorgeous, I was lucky enough to have a great teacher and the time worked with my schedule. I was hooked. I had heard somewhere that on average, you ‘fall off your mat’ three times in life, before it ‘sticks’. This struck a cord with me, because that’s what happened. Yes, after my first experience, I was hooked. However, life changed, we moved out of state and I stopped practicing when other things started to take precedence (like moving, working, renovating a home etc. etc... life.)
I found that I had had enough of all that and needed to recharge, so I found another yoga class & studio that worked with my schedule, and again I was hooked. More life changes took place, it seemed I no longer had the time to dedicate to my yoga practice.
However, the third time I made it back to my practice, I noticed and really truly recognized the benefits I was experiencing; clearer thoughts, calmer states of being and an overall sense of lightness of mind & body. Over the years I’ve come to realize I don’t need a studio or a schedule to dictate my yoga practice. My yoga practice is within ME. I can practice on or off my matt, in my car, the line at the market (particularly when I’ve picked the ‘wrong’ line, AGAIN!) I know that all I need to do is ground into my feet, breathe & remind myself that I’m exactly where I need to be in this given moment.
What was your life like before yoga?