|Mary (at right) teaching in Bali|
We recently caught up with Mary Byerly, who completed Zuna Yoga's 300 hour Bali yoga teacher training last fall. Mary is the owner of Panacea de la Montaña, a seven acre yoga retreat nestled in the mountains near Tamarindo in Costa Rica, with views of the nearby Pacific Ocean. After hosting yoga retreats and teaching classes at Panacea for the past 11 years, this year Mary launched her own residential 200 hour yoga teacher training program.
Mary is a Yoga Alliance registered ERYT500. She has been practicing yoga for over twenty years, learning from the Iyengar, Vinyasa and Hatha traditions. Her own teaching is based in the classical tradition of Hatha yoga, with an emphasis on alignment, strength and breath.
ZY: Tell us one little known Fun Fact about yourself.
MB: My first career this lifetime was as a classical trumpet player. Because of that, I find that music in yoga classes is quite distracting to me. I have a tough time not getting wrapped up in the music!
ZY: Did you have any aha moments during your Bali yoga teacher training last year?
MB: Many! My top one would have to be: Where your mind goes, energy follows, so be careful and conscious about where you point your mind. For example, one of my favorite Everett quotes was, "Don't jump on the cloud of irritation." Does it make sense to be occupied with what isn't working, or is my time better spent finding another way? When I came back from Bali with so much focused energy, there were amazing accomplishments within very short periods of time, and this continues. My mind, body, breath, and energy are all aiding me in living my life - and it works quite brilliantly.
ZY: What are your biggest challenges as a student?
MB: Not always having the chance to take a class with a good teacher. I live in a peaceful, somewhat remote area in Costa Rica, where I can't exactly pop by someone else's studio for a workshop or training.
ZY: As a teacher?
MB: Being involved in the business end of things. I love to study, learn, grow, work with people. I have had to discipline myself that I also need to devote time to the business in order to be able to do what I love. Once I started approaching that as part of my growth as well, I felt less like it was a distasteful job and more that it would help new yogis find me.
ZY: What advice do you have for someone wanting to start their own yoga business?
MB: Get a good mentor who has been there and can help you through your blind spots. This just as important as having a good teacher. Find your niche and embrace it.
ZY: What important lessons have you learned since opening your retreat center?
MB: Everything in life is part of the practice. When approached this way, my day is awesome, whether I'm leading a yoga teacher training, cleaning a toilet, or planting a garden. Holding space for others to see their lives as a spiritual practice has been the best gig I've ever had.
To book your yoga retreat or training in Costa Rica, contact Mary at Panacea de la Montana.