As excitement intensifies over the creation of our third season, you may find yourself wondering, "Who are these new Namaste Yoga instructors, anyway?" It is our honour to introduce them to you! In this installment, we chat with Emily Millen about everything from eating steak to tending bees.
"One of my students went to law school with the Associate Producer for Namaste Yoga, and recommended me for the project," Emily Millen shares. "I was contacted to audition for the teacher position and then for a yogi on camera. The rest is history!"
Personal Motto: "Always remember the bigger picture. Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things."
Favorite Food: "For years, I was a vegetarian, but eventually became weary of being tired and iron-deficient. For the first time in 13 years, I found myself craving steak. Now my favorite food is a burger. Yum!"
Favorite Yoga Pose: Pigeon Pose "It used to feel like torture but now we've worked through our differences and I have a deeper appreciation for its shape."
Favorite Yoga Style: Power Flow "Moving is my medicine." Emily feels witnessing the revelations of fellow yogis is another benefit to the practice. "I am most inspired usually after a good truth-speaking session or sharing circle, on a retreat or in a teacher training," Emily explains. "When others become transparent and honest about their experience in front of others, it's the most inspiring thing to be a part of." Emily says these brave revelations encourage her to strip away her "masks and armor" also.
Best Yoga Mat Color: "I just lost my mat and it was the best color in the world: brown with blue maple leaves on it. Since I am from Ontario, maple trees remind me of home."
Off-the-Mat Fun: "Dancing, caring for beehives and digging in my garden."
On-the-Mat Crazy: "While filming, we had to lie down in a glacier-fed lake to film a calm and serene-looking Savasana. We definitely weren't calm or serene. We ended up humming ‘AUM’ to help us cope. Unfortunately, my yogi superpowers didn't kick in at all!”
Under normal circumstances, "AUM" is a sound Emily is deeply connected to. When she is not in yoga, she is in a bee suit. A living testament to her appreciation for the little things in life, our Emily Millen is also a beekeeper.
"I got into beekeeping really because my boyfriend Garrett began nerding out on them and we got on a bee documentary kick," Emily says. "We were immediately hooked when we found out how dependent we are on these little insects. One-third of our food is on our plates because of honey bees, and sadly they are dying at a rapid rate."
Emily and Garrett maintain four beehives that were funded by Projects in Place, a non-profit organization that helps to create and implement projects that benefit the community and demonstrate sustainability. Emily says the night before the bees arrived from New Zealand, she was studying YouTube videos on how to introduce bees to their new hives.
"That day, I was extremely nervous around the bees," she recalls. "Your instincts tell you to run, but at the same time, you have a job to do and you're responsible for their lives. The hum of the bees reminded me of the sound 'AUM,' a vibration believed to be heard in all things."
This observation helped Emily make peace with her new role. "Being around them now is comforting and meditative."