Meghan Currie draws yoginis and yogis from all over the world into her inspiring yoga flows. She spoke with YOGA AKTUELL about how the asana practice connects us to our somatic memory, why we should trust ourselves and the bigger picture, and the intrinsic genius that exists in all of us.
Meghan Currie grew up in Ontario, Canada, picking raspberries and exploring forests. She practiced yoga for the first time in Costa Rica. During the practice, she realized that the asanas touched her on a deeper level and helped her reconnect with herself. Inspired and excited by the intelligent creation that surrounds us and that also resides in each one of us, she guides her yoga students through creative, playful flows to take them on a journey into their inner selves. After all, that’s what she’s all about: both feeling and exuding your own humanness and the genius inside of you.
YOGA AKTUELL: Meghan, you’ve been practicing yoga for over 20 years now and you’ve been teaching for 11 years now. What has your own yoga journey been like?
Meghan Currie: Wooooo, my own personal yoga journey… Well, yoga was what finally took my anxiety away, temporarily at least. It was my go-to for this kind of physicality that relieved me of anxiety in a way that exercising wasn’t doing. At first, I didn’t realize that the component that was assisting me with that was the spiritual aspect of it.
At the time when I had just begun, I could feel some kind energy and I didn’t know what it was that I was feeling. I think that combination of the asana with the spiritual aspect reconnected me to myself like it does to most of us – and so I simply just stuck with it. And I moved from Ashtanga to Hot Yoga, to all of them but I landed in Anusara which is alignment-based, very structured and linear, it’s very organized sequences with a heart theme.
I was practicing and teaching in that way but then my own practice started to evolve. I always think it was the energy of the nature in the countryside in Ibiza. (laughing) That was at least the moment where I felt as if something started to move through me. I felt really connected to nature and a very strong feminine quality to that land.
And that was when I first started to let myself, my spine, my body, flow in a more sensual way. From there, it started to evolve – it was my body, the breath, and the element that we don’t know, the spiritual aspect, infusing me and moving me. I wasn’t thinking about where I was going but I was being taken places. And this would blow my mind every time in my practice. All I had to do was unlatch my logical brain from thinking about what part of my body I wanted to work on and just let my body move me or be moved by my breath, connected to the sensations and the movement of breath. And different sequences would come through.
I learned from there that the practice doesn’t have to be linear, it doesn’t have to be the same thing every day, but that it can be something more organic and you can learn to trust yourself and learn to trust your body I should say: see where your body takes you, see how the breath moves you when you let go of logic.
And now my journey with yoga has been putting the pieces together: the linear with the non-linear, the more structured masculine aspects together with the wildness of the feminine. And I’m really interested in those two aspects, which is the essence of yoga.
Your flows are known to be highly creative, fluid and playful, strong yet very feminine and sensual – merging the masculine with the feminine, merging traditional yoga with contemporary aspects of it. How would you describe your own yoga style?
I really want people to connect with their bodies, feel their pain and move through it, feel their strength, touch their thresholds, feel their emotions, feel their humanness. What I am passionate about teaching is exploring through postural sequences and entangling different aspects of our somatic memory – which then allows us to be able to face and explore those things in our practice.
With your practices you touch and influence many students which makes me wonder: Who touched you as a teacher?
The first time when I really considered the depth of tradition was when I decided to travel across India on a motorcycle and make a documentary about what yoga is. It was ten years ago, and we were a couple of yoga teachers from Vancouver and wanted to know from the source what yoga is. We started our journey looking for teachers and we found different gurus – all of which gave us completely different experiences and explanations with regards to what yoga is. And then there’s so many contemporary teachers who are not teaching the distilled unaltered tradition, but they helped me gain so much more depth on the human plane of self-acceptance and coming to understand ourselves deeper.
I mean every human has so much to share – which is why I don’t want to differentiate teachers into two categories like pure and good, the distilled essence of yoga and then “not good” because it’s contemporary. We all have something to share, we all have an innate intelligence to be able to process our experiences to gain wisdom and knowledge and fill our backpack up with more goodness to keep going.
There’s goodness in everything: in the traditional yoga, in the contemporary styles. And above all, there is goodness in each one of us: there is an intrinsic genius in everyone. From August to November 2022, you hosted a 300-hour yoga teacher training called “Intrinsic Genius.” How do you interpret this expression?
That life itself is intrinsically genius. But we tend to separate ourselves from that as humans. We can look up at the stars and nature and be in awe. When we zoom in even closer, we can see the substructures and the particles and the mystery. This mystery is so amazing and so intense that it blows our minds. And if we think of the whole of the earth, we can see that there’s something genius intrinsically woven through creation. We can separate ourselves from nature without realizing it, but we come from nature, and we’re composed of the same intelligence. When we separate ourselves, we start to unplug our heart from the earth, and we can go into a more disconnected path that can lead to destruction of the earth or ourselves.
Accordingly, the intrinsic genius is the remembrance that we’re not separate from the intelligence that everything is composed of. It is an becoming aware of the fact that the whole thing is genius. I personally like to work with our bodies to explore this genius, we can ask our body a question and let it answer. What is your body saying to you and how can you start to get to know the language of it? Can you feel your breath? And can you feel the interweaving of all the intelligence moving through you to keep you moving, alive and vibrant?
From a teaching perspective, this leads us back to a greater sense of humility, of equality: I’m like the tree, I’m no better than the tree, we share the same intelligence. And this can also be applied to every other human. As a teacher it brings me in alignment with my students in a humbler way, we’re all here together, we’re all human. This then in turn leads to greater self-trust: we can trust what we are going to say, trust how we’re leading and trusting our voice. You can trust that you’re good enough even if you’re not feeling like that right now. You can trust that difficult times will bring you to a stronger place. And in so doing you can help people get to a stronger, better place. We’re all bringing each other along by the hand, in a sense.
The intrinsic genius is not about being perfect, it’s about being human, it’s about humility, and part of that genius is the fact that we are all human. We all go through challenging times, but we come out the other end.
There are a few different ways I look at it, all of creation is intrinsically genius. It’s one thing that we’re composed of the same thing. But another aspect is life, which is also intrinsically genius: even when you go through a difficult time it’s happening because there’s an intelligence behind everything and it’s going to bring you to a better, stronger, a more awake place.
Every difficult situation, every personal crisis is yet another graduation at the university of life…
The intrinsic genius is all about our rawness and humanness and it’s a reminder that we are perfect already the way we are. Which is such a beautiful gift – and talking about gifts: what has been the greatest gift the yoga has given you?
I don’t know if there’s one great gift but one thing that comes to my mind is that the yoga keeps me asking questions and keeps me feeling like I know nothing. (laughing) Yeah, that’s what it is, it keeps me feeling like I know nothing. (pausing) And that can be a scary place, but it can also be humbling.
Because the place of knowing nothing opens me up to something, it’s got to open me up to something. When I roll out my mat without any idea what will come through, something is going to come through. It sounds kind of woo-woo but it calls upon us once again to trust in ourselves and something bigger. For me personally, that’s where we’re crossing the lines into a more unknown, spiritual, mystical – or whatever you want to call it – place and that is the place of awe, wonder, surprise, and the mystical aspects of life. So, feeling like I know nothing leads me to learning something or opening up to something bigger and something bigger comes through which leaves me in awe. So, it’s all about just learning and learning and learning and learning and learning…
Thank you so much, Meghan.
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