We had the good fortune of connecting with Sophie Malahieude and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sophie, what principle do you value most?
Honesty is one of my moral values. Living up to this principle is sometimes challenging because I have to ask myself profound questions but on the other hand, I am enjoying my life more. As a teenager I wanted to fit into society, with my friends. I wanted to please my family and teachers. I was pushing myself in directions to be like them but I was not really me. At some point I asked myself who I really was and what I wanted to do. I discovered that I wanted to become a yoga teacher to spend time with others and share this knowledge. This epiphany brought me to the path of an honest life, professionally and personally. If you think about it, honesty starts with ourselves. For example, If you go for a run with your friends to please them. you are not honest with yourself and with them. You will run without pleasure and you cannot enjoy their company. On their side, they don’t understand why you are not as excited as they are. Honesty goes beyond simply telling the truth; it involves finding a common ground for everyone to be happy. Being honest for me is waking up everyday and being mindful of what I will do, what I will teach, or who I will meet. It is expressing myself and listening to others. I find that acting with honesty develops lightness of the heart and happiness. For this reason I find that honesty is one of the most fulfilling values one can have.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The first time I set a foot in a yoga class was in my hometown in France and I should say it was disappointing. However, the second time was in Germany, 22 years ago; I knew that it was the path to follow. I wanted to share this knowledge with the world. Such wisdom and well-being cannot be kept for just one. It took me several years to be able to teach as much as I wanted because I choose also to be home with my children. Nevertheless, it gave me time to dive into different trainings, not only about Yoga but also about Ayurveda. I started to teach only few hours a week to increase the amount as my children were growing up. I was lucky to be able to balance both my professional and personal life. Ayurveda taught me that we are all unique and we are affected differently by our constitution, the weather, the climate, or the season. I definitively take all of these aspects into consideration to teach a yoga class. My dedication to Yoga brought me on the path of Ayurveda as it is complementary. I offer Yoga group classes and private sessions for both Yoga and Ayurveda. My understanding of Ayurveda and Yoga sets me apart as every class is unique because I can assess my students and customize the practice to them. I also teach teachers. My favorite subject is Ayurvedic Yoga. I created a 25 hours teacher training on the topic now available virtually. With the pandemic, some of my teaching had to move virtually and I just created a program for wellness called “Ayurveda at Home” this course is made for newcomer to Ayurveda and give them understanding about Ayurveda principles, nutrition, self-care and lifestyle. I am proud of the tools I created for the Ayurveda online course: A planner and a manual. They help students organize their thoughts and habits, guiding them in their physical and mental well-being and their spiritual growth. Ayurveda enhance the practice of Yoga and I would recommend to any yoga practitioner or yoga teacher to learn about Ayurveda. You can find more about these offers at www.natureswisdom4u.com.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
For a visit of south California, as I am living in Temecula I would start with old town of the city. There are cute stores such as French soap, locally made olive oil, on the Saturday we could enjoy the Farmer market. From Temecula, we would drive to San Diego, visit the Old Town History State park. I like to walk in the streets of these renovated buildings, the school, the bank, the garden of Casa de Estudillo. We would enjoy mexican food on a nice outdoor patio. I would also make a stop at Balboa park, During the summer we can even enjoy free organ concerts. The sound is fabulous. The park in itself is beautiful, I would definitively visit the botanical building and the Lilly pond in front. It is just nice to sit a rest for a moment. Another place I like to visit in San Diego is the maritime museum located in San Diego Bay, it has a collection of historic sea vessels. Finally I would visit Coronado Island with its beach and the hotel Del Coronado. After San Diego, We could drive to Julian. It is a small city known for its apple pie! The town is welcoming, you can see an old mine and visit local stores. The restaurants have homemade meals. The town is in the middle of the mountain. It is really resourcing. After Julian we could drive to Idyllwild to enjoy more nature. There are lots of hiking track. The stores, restaurants there are in the spirit of the mountain, personal and intimate. I would enjoy a Bed and Breakfast but if we are more adventurous there are camping parks as well. It is a slow pace trip, 2 days in San Diego and 1 night in Julian and 1 night in Idyllwild but it would be great to disconnect with stress and reconnect with Nature.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The first person that I would like to thank is my husband who encourages me every time I wonder if I should start another training or participate to a retreat. The support of my family is the best boost I could imagine to keep learning and discovering more. The teachers I met have helped me to learn more about myself, and guided me to become who I am today. Laura Plumb is my spiritual mentor who guides me with Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedic philosophy. She is an example of living a life of purpose and sharing Vedic knowledge to the world. She has a unique way to guide you by letting you find your own answers. It’s pretty magical. I practiced and learned with several other teachers who brought wisdom, yogic knowledge and compassion in my life. Such as Stephanie Keach, owner of “Asheville Yoga Studio” in Ashville, NC, Shashi Pottathil, owner of “Yoga and Meditation Center” in San Diego, CA, or Paul Denniston, developer of Grief Yoga® in Los Angeles, CA. I am also grateful for my students; they share their wisdom with me. Every talk with them is growing a sense of community and connection.
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