An Interview with Meghan Currie
About a year after sharing this post on Meghan Currie, guess what?, she decides to do a weekend workshop in Dublin (Ireland being the home and HQ of Sleepy Moose). What a crazy moose I would have been to pass up an opportunity to learn from such a bright spark, so I decided to take the workshop to push myself beyond all previous boundaries (physically and mentally) and to understand the strength behind her smile. And it was no easy feat, let me tell you.
To describe Meghan as cute, sweet and playful, is to miss half the composition. Yes she is all of these things, but there is texture behind the coating. It is this blend of grounded, earthy substance with free-flowing innocence that gives this yogi her appeal. Beyond the softness of her appearance is a strength, courage, and wisdom so prevalent that to miss it is to look upon a sky and never see stars. Sweet and strong. Cute and courageous. Playful and wise. A true blessing to encounter such a soul, I would encourage you to take classes and workshops with Meghan if ever the opportunity arises.
Moose: How did you get into yoga?
Meghan: I took my first class at 19 while living in Costa Rica, and a woman there, Nancy Goodfellow, invited me to her classes. So I did a few classes with her and then travelled a bit more. A year later I moved to Vancouver where my friend took me to yoga and it took my anxiety away. I had anxiety since I was really little, and really strong anxiety, all the time. And so, that’s what got me hooked, because after class I no longer had anxiety and felt like I could function.
Moose: How did you make the leap from student to teacher?
Meghan: I started practising at this one studio with one teacher in particular, Steve Merkley, and he encouraged me to take a teacher training and I was not really into it.
Moose: The training itself?
Meghan: I just wasn’t into… at that time, I had a lot of resistance to that, kind of, positivity. I still had a lot of darkness, and I was just wanting to be in the darkness.
Moose: Repelling the light?
Meghan: Yes. And so I resisted it for a long time, and then he gave me a scholarship and I still resisted it. Then I tried to do a training but it didn’t work out, and so on and so forth, until finally I completed a training and he gave me a class to teach, and I didn’t even want a class to teach. I was so scared, to talk to people, let alone stand up in front of a class and talk. So my goal was just to have one class for six months – we had to write down our goals and I was like “ok, I only want one class, no more than one class”. And then, after those six months of teaching that one class I got a phone-call from Steve asking me if I wanted another class. In my head I was like “no, there’s no way I want another class”, but I said yes, and he gave me a busy, evening class, and that’s how it all began.
Moose: How long had you been practising yoga before doing the teacher training?
Meghan: I had been practising off and on for five years, but off and on. I wasn’t super consistent. I was extreme, so I would go from being consistent to not being consistent.
Moose: What style of yoga were you trained in?
Meghan: I practised Ashtanga, to begin with. Some Hot-Yoga. I did Vinyasa. Some Yin. It was a variety. Then I studied Anusara.
Moose: Then you created your own playful style.
Meghan: I guess. I just like to mash them all together and do what feels good for me. So I like the alignment of the Anusara so that you can be really playful, but strong and safe and stable in that play.
Moose: From my own experience teaching, the first public class was nerve-racking, especially compared to teacher training, with ego and insecurities trying to tear me down. Have you experienced something similar and how has it developed for you over the years?
Meghan: It depends on many things, what time of the month it is, where I am, how I feel, what I’ve eaten, what I’m thinking – all sorts of things. Regardless of all of that stuff though, when I walk into a room, I go into a different state. It’s kind of like entering a vortex or something. Then all of my insecurities… sometimes they’re louder than other times, and so… sometimes I can hear them while I’m teaching. But generally I know I have a responsibility and a commitment to the people in the room. So therefore, you put that part of yourself aside, and in doing so, you tend to be able to… the teaching becomes medicine, as you heal those parts of yourself that are challenging for you, that are like the biggest teachers for you.
So, teaching my first public class, for sure, was nerve-racking. I didn’t want to go. And teaching my hundredth public class, I didn’t want to go. Y’know, I’ve had some strong, strong insecurities that have wanted to hold me back. But slowly, slowly through teaching yoga and facing all of those fears, I start to understand more about the origin of them and what they are, and not take them so personally.
Moose: Not becoming attached to them.
Moose: Excellent. From your experience, do you have any advice for aspiring teachers? How to bring the best of themselves to the class.
Meghan: Take the pressure off. Take the pressure off. Take the pressure off to have to be a certain way, or to have to say anything a certain way, or have to teach anything a certain way. When you take all the pressure off, you become more expanded naturally, and you can speak truth. And truth is what resonates with people.
Moose: You play some beautiful music during class. What would be your top three tracks from your playlist?
Meghan: Dr. Toast. Love Dr. Toast because I always want to move to his music. Nicholas Jaar. Love Nicholas Jaar and what he creates. It’s just so beautiful. Art Department. They’re Canadian. They’re incredible. Their tracks have so much bass and I love that when I’m practising.
Moose: And the same question with books – three recommendations.
Meghan: Three books? Hmm… Always “The Alchemist” (Paulo Coelho). “The Little Prince” (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry). “The Giving Tree” (Shel Silverstein). Children’s books are the best! And there’s another book that I really want to tell you about… “Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism” (Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche).
Moose: Diet. I understand you’re a raw-foodist.
Meghan: I don’t think I’m an “ist” of anything, because it creates a big “no” for a lot of things, and I’ve been a big “no-er” before. Like, control. I’ve used the practice to be in control, and then that has just created more tension, more armor. So, right now, I like to eat what I want to eat. But primarily, that is raw vegetables. I feel the best when I eat raw vegetables. I’m the most clear, and clean, and it feels good. Y’know? I feel energised…
Moose: And light.
Meghan: Yeah, like you’re not carrying around any extra information. But if somebody cooks me a meal, I’m gonna eat it. My boyfriend eats meat so I’ll eat some. If I want to eat some fish, I do. So that’s where I am right now. But I have been a raw vegan for some time, and also a vegetarian for fifteen years. And I am kind of a vegetarian at this moment. But it does change. It does shift and change.
Moose: Sure. That was actually the Buddha’s approach, right? If somebody offered him meat, he would eat it.
Meghan: Yeah. It’s a beautiful gift. The way we consume animals today, is not the natural way that we used to consume animals, and the way that animals are produced has created the disharmony of how the animals affect us when we eat them now. I think that to hunt an animal and to eat every part of the animal is a beautiful thing.
Moose: Like the Native Americans used to.
Meghan: Yeah, all the native people in the world. Meat contains a lot of really amazing information for the human mind and body if consumed correctly.
Moose: Would you consider yourself a juice juicer or a smoothie blender?
Meghan: Personally, I’m a smoothie blender, but when I live in Vancouver, I don’t juice my own juice but I go to the juice truck, and they juice my juice. Ridiculous amounts, like 2-3 litres per day.
Moose: That’s a lot of juice.
Meghan: I love juice!
Moose: Do you teach many classes in Vancouver?
Meghan: Yep, for the last four and a half years I’ve been teaching about sixteen to nineteen classes per week. So I’ve taught a lot, and with the purpose of furthering my ability to conduct energy in the room.
Moose: You make it look so easy out there. Is there a difficult asana for present day Meghan Currie, or have you conquered them all?
Meghan: I haven’t conquered anything, nothing. That’s just how it may appear. I’m working really hard just to be a good human.
Moose: You’re doing a great job at it.
Meghan: Thank you. No, it’s all tough for me. It’s all work. I see more and more that it’s not all about the postures. Y’know, I might be able to do a handstand but the other stuff, the mind-control, and the other aspects of Yoga is now becoming more interesting to me. It has always blossomed from one step to the next step, and so the postures have brought me to a new place.
Moose: So your introduction to Yoga was through the physical practice, the asanas, and it is then gradually moving on through the different stages.
Meghan: Exactly. Yeah, like now I’m really, really interested in studying breath. Whereas before I was not. And meditation, I won’t even say it has been difficult for me because I just haven’t had a huge desire to do the practice of sitting and meditating. And now that is something that I’m interested in. And so it’s like, the postures are there to take you to the next thing, whatever it is.
Moose: Explain “Keghan Liza Murrie” (her YouTube channel)
Meghan: When I first recorded a video, I was in Spain – I recorded all my practices when I was there – then I brought them home to Canada and was like “what am I going to do with these”, and so I sped it up and put music to it. Then I made up a YouTube channel, but I was like “I don’t want anybody to know who I am” (laughs), so I put my name backwards. I don’t know what I was thinking. I was shy.
Moose: You’ve come a long way since then.
Meghan: Yeah, I’m not as shy anymore.
Moose: And everyone knows who you are now.
Meghan: Not everyone.
Moose: Not everyone, but the ones who do know are blessed.
Meghan: Thank you. I am blessed.
Big thank you to Meghan Currie for the wonderful workshop and interview, and also to Matt Quigley of The Yoga Hub, Dublin for organising the event and usage of the photos. Om Shanti & Prem, Sleepy Moose