Originally from a little town in Quebec called Valleyfield, Myriam has spent some time living in a few major cities across North America before making her way to us 5 years ago! Leaving her home town, she made her way to Montreal to persue her post-secondary education. It was there that Myriam completed her BA in French lit and translation before heading off to Toronto with her now husband, Fred, to do her Masters in Translation Studies. French being her mother tongue, Myriam is a freelance translator who works from home translating English to French. While her work stimulates the intellectual side of her as it gives her the opportunity to learn about a variety of topics in different fields, the solitaire nature of the job doesn’t match her personality. To stimulate her social side Myriam also teaches yoga part time and does life coaching to help busy minds find calmness, quiet, and peace. This not only has allowed her to build a community for herself but achieve a life balance that works well for herself. Five years ago Myriam also helped bring that balance to Global Fitness as she was hired to start up the Restorative Yoga classes at Global, making that healing dynamic more accessible to our members!
- Were you always athletic?
“Never. None. Zero. I am a nerd. An intellectual they would call me I guess.” Myriam laughs. Myriam has always been a book worm who loves a good living room dance session! When the weather gets nicer you may also find her out for a leisurely bike ride. We’re talking a cruiser bike with a cute basket and no speeds, peddling to take in the outdoors. Even when it comes to her yoga practice, Myriam is into the more relaxed, soft, meditative practices.
- What made you get into yoga/ meditation/ yoga nidra?
Doing her BA in French Lit Myriam found herself sitting in a chair in every position possible for hours on end trying to get through her reading lists each week. This resulted in her experiencing back problems in her early 20’s that doctors couldn’t find a solution for. Choosing her own route, Myriam started going to Bikram yoga. She loved it so much that she went back every day for 1.5 years, sometimes doing two classes back to back, and even worked the front desk. A few years later Myriam was ready to try more, she was introduced to meditation by one of the teachers, and began to explore with a lot of different types of yoga. Myriam’s enjoyment for yoga prompted her to get her 200 RYT rooted in the Ashtanga tradition (a super powerful, and classical yoga) while living in Toronto. While she wasn’t aiming to be a yoga teacher, people kept asking her to teach. Myriam would teach a little bit in Toronto but it wasn’t until she moved to San Francisco that she launched her teaching career. Teaching full time, Myriam taught yoga at Stanford University shadowing a restorative yoga teacher 2-3 classes per week. Dr. John Rettger is a researcher at the University and a master in restorative yoga and mindfulness. Flashback to her teacher training, Myriam had a hard time with restorative yoga. She felt it was pointless and a waste of her time. Never did she think she would have the affinity for the slower paced and meditative styles. Adding her own twist on her learnings from training and her teacher, Myriam uses her classically trained voice to further lull you in Savasana (corpse pose). As for Yoga Nidra, Myriam began to practice it a few years ago while dealing with health complications. She was burnt out from teaching yoga full time of all things! Yoga Nidra is a powerful practice of guided sleep, which helped her tame her insomnia and rest for real. Excited to now be someone who can nap and easily fall asleep at night she has begun her own training to learn how to facilitate Yoga Nidra in her classes as well!
- What is your favourite childhood memory?
Myriam is very attached to the image of her small self in her PJs enjoying a bowl of chocolate ice cream outside before bedtime. Getting to stay up later, rather than going straight to bed was simply the best!
- What is your biggest struggle with life or work?
Insomnia has been one of Myriam’s biggest struggle in life because sleep deprivation affects everything. She has a natural tendency to overwork and overdo because at the end of the day she doesn’t feel as though what she’s done is ever enough. Never feeling like she had done enough in the day really messed with her sleep because she would just lay there thinking about all the other things she could have done. While Myriam still feels like that sometimes, she now knows what to do so that she can pull herself out of those cycles. Using Yoga Nidra, meditation, and yoga practice, she has curated a system that allows for rest. Meditation gives us the ability to untangle so that it doesn’t keep occurring while Nidra allows us to quiet down to a place where we aren’t so reactive anymore. Myriam feels that it is very important for everyone to learn how to rest so that they can make best decisions for themselves. When someone is well rested, they are less anxious, can make better decisions in their relationships, in the food they eat, and the activities they choose to do or not. Life becomes easier when you make time to rest.
- What is restorative yoga and why would we practice it?
Restorative yoga is a restful practice for the nervous system. This practice allows us to balance out the nervous system and quiet down the mind so that the body can rest deeply. In learning how to balance out the nervous system we learn how to fall out of the stress reaction. This is something that Myriam feels most of us don’t have the capacity to do anymore. We live in a world where we are all busy and hyped up all of the time. Just like we would train a muscle group in the gym, we need to retrain our body in how to calm down. Using a Restorative Yoga practice helps in recovery from training athletically, injuries, and from any kind of nervousness or neurological issues. The poses in Restorative Yoga are supportive of the body so if there is any pain in the body it will help us manage that pain. In addition, it helps us learn how to rest deeply because let’s face it, most of us are tired. Achieving this type of rest allows our bodies to live in a calm state yet still be alert and clear. The second step and natural progression of yoga is learning how to create stability without having to be in yoga in 24 hours a day. The answer is: the more you practice, the longer the affects last, meaning more stability.
- What is your favourite local store and why?
Myriam is really into “One Big Table” (http://www.onebigtable.ca/#about ). If you haven’t heard of them, One Big Table is a small grocery store on St. Paul that sells all local items. Conveniently they offer your favourite items that you would find at the local farmer’s market all week long! They also do lunch, creating new specials everyday with you guessed it… local products! Myriam also likes that they have a pay it forward board. This gives us the opportunity to give back to the community by crediting the board with a coffee or soup that someone who isn’t so well off can enjoy.
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
The thought appearing to her when she was only 13 years old, Myriam still wishes to be wise when she grows up. To her, those that are wise really have it made. People who are wise seem to be content, and thriving in a way that is true to them. Recently she has begun to sprout a few white hairs right out of her crown which makes her very happy! Myriam has dubbed these her wisdom hairs!
- What do you work toward in your free time?
Myriam has been using her free time to learn the Ukulele! What sparked her interest to learn how to play was actually an article she came across titled something like “How to be Happy”. It was full of the usual tips that she was already doing such as go for a walk every day and drink water. Then she got to the one habit on the list that she didn’t do, “play the ukulele”. That was it, her husband bought her one for her birthday last year and she found a really good teacher through an online community called Patreon. They continually put out new courses that help her improve her skills, and play little songs. Myriam admits that she isn’t very good yet, but has a lot of fun having the accompaniment to her trained singing voice.