Mary Callan is a 500 Hour Advanced Yoga Teacher and author of the food blog The Well Fed Yogi. Mary’s mission is to empower women to find their full and highest potential, through yoga and meditation and through eating the cleanest, purest food possible. Mary offers private and group classes for all levels of yoga and meditation, as well as cooking workshops and demonstrations celebrating a holistic lifestyle.
You source some of the freshest & healthiest ingredients from farmers markets, but for some of us who are not able to justify the costs of local produce purchases, where else can you recommend us obtaining them from?
The Farmer’s Market is lovely but you don’t need one to eat well. Every supermarket has a produce section and almost every supermarket has organic produce these days. However, not everything you buy needs to be organic, check the Clean 15 list and the Dirty Dozen list to give you the most up to date information. You can save a lot of money by simply cutting out processed, artificial and refined food from your diet. Really be honest with yourself as you walk around the supermarket, look in your basket and see what’s processed and what’s not – I bet it will be an eye-opener. Clean pure food may cost a little more (not always) but it’s way more satisfying and you’re going to eat less of it.
I think it’s really important to think long-term as well. Healthcare costs are astronomical, nourishing your body with great food will fuel your immune system and keep you healthy – it’s not a fantasy it’s science! Also, do your research, I buy eggs from a local farm where the chickens run around all day having a happy life. The eggs are delicious and I’m quite sure they’re better for you than supermarket eggs from poor creatures that live in a cage. My farm eggs are no more expensive.
Planning is important so you don’t waste money letting food go to waste. Take a little time to figure out what you want to cook and buy the right ingredients and don’t get sidetracked by other items you don’t need. Remember – never go to the supermarket hungry!
The most rewarding moment in your personal life?
Of course, the birth of my four daughters, seeing them grow into young women and most recently seeing my eldest graduate from college. It’s a privilege and a gift to be a mother and a role I always knew I wanted.
Working through my an advanced yoga teacher training challenged me on many levels. Graduating and bringing that experience to my teaching has been incredibly rewarding. The feeling of confidence and faith in myself and my teaching has been a turning point for me that has filtered through into almost every area of my life.
Can you tell us what areas you have struggled with the most and how did you jump over those barriers?
Really the most difficult issue for me was fear of failure in all areas of my life. All the self-sabotaging questions used to run through my mind, “I’m not good enough” “I’m too old” “I’m not clever enough” “etc etc etc. It’s such a limiting response to life and I got tired of it. I think as we grow and mature we become clearer about who we are and what we want. Self-knowledge can be difficult to obtain but it’s essential for a fulfilled life. Knowledge through my pieces of training, patience with myself and hard work helped erase much of my self-criticism. I still have doubts from time to time but I know how to deal with them now and they no longer run the show. Having a deep confidence in myself and my abilities has given me so much more time and energy to do what I want! Once you settle into believing in yourself everything runs much more smoothly.
What outlets do use to market Well Fed Yogi?
Mainly Instagram and Facebook. Also word of mouth. I tell everyone about http://18.104.22.168/~thewellf/ any chance I get!
Which methods are you using to build your audience and expand your network as a yoga teacher?
Again Instagram is big. Also, old-fashioned word of mouth is really important. If you’re working on building your reputation as a trusted yoga teacher you want people to love your classes, then go and tell all their friends about it so they come to class too! When people begin to feel the benefits of yoga it’s natural to want to share.
What is the best piece of advice you have received to date?
Self-care is essential, not selfish. This took me years to really understand and implement. So many of us feel guilty if we’re not constantly “doing” and that’s a problem. So many women are carers who give endlessly of themselves and as a result become exhausted, frustrated and in some cases even sick. If you wish to take care of others it’s ESSENTIAL to first take care of yourself so you have the energy, patience, and love to do so. This doesn’t have to be extravagant or too time-consuming.
For me, an Epsom salt bath with essential oils and candles is a deeply nourishing time out. It’s important to get in touch with what works for you – because I give so much of myself in my teaching and to my family I find I crave “alone time” to rebuild. You may be different, perhaps lunch with a girlfriend or an extra date night is what you need. It all comes back to knowing yourself and honoring that.
The other piece of advice that I live by is ”persist”. You have to persist, day after day, one step at a time to make a difference. Just keep going, believe in where you’re headed and don’t give up! It’s the only way to get there.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
Firstly I think it’s essential to get very clear about your priorities. I have four daughters and their health and happiness come before anything. My girls are a little older now but when they need me – they really need me. They’re so good and don’t abuse the privilege so if they call me I’ll drop everything and be there.
Other than that I’m over the top when it comes to my calendar. I put EVERYTHING on the calendar and that includes “me time” which I’m a huge believer in. If it’s on the calendar it will happen, if not it gets lost in the shuffle. It’s the only way I can keep life on track.
If I’m taking on a new project I try to schedule enough time around it so I’m not overwhelmed. I’m getting pretty good at saying NO to things that are not a good fit and I don’t waste time procrastinating on things I have to do, I schedule the time and get it done.
Lastly, if I can delegate something I absolutely will. I have had to let go of the notion I have to do everything and only I can do it to my standards. Don’t let perfection be the enemy of the good!
Which other leading entrepreneurs and leading female pioneers do you also admire and why?
Sarah Britton, she’s a brilliant cook, extremely intelligent, highly creative, has followed her true passion and is experiencing the most wonderful results.
Tess Ward, Tess wrote The Naked Diet Cookbook, she creates beautiful recipes from whole pure clean foods. A woman after my own heart.
Also, Kathryn Budig is an inspiring yogini. She’s an incredible yoga teacher, creates fantastic recipes and is a champion for women’s wellness.
What Youtube or online space channels are you watching currently?
‘Yogawithadriene,’ she’s just too cute and bubbly and fun and she’s a wonderful yogini. She breaks down poses and flows so they’re very accessible. Another great one is Kris Carr, this woman is about as special as it gets.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
I read incessantly, so these cover a few genres. For Yoga, it’s ‘The Wisdom of Yoga’ by Stephen Cope which I find life-changing. For fiction, it would be ‘The Nightingale’ by Kristin Hannah because it is so deeply moving. For cooking purposes its Deborah Madison’s ‘In my Kitchen,’ lastly non-fiction it has to be Sharp’s ‘The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion’- utterly brilliant!
Top 5 Podcast chanels to listen to?
1.Yoga Girl – with Rachel Breslin
2.Radically Loved with Rosie Acosta
3.The Highest Self Podcast with Shara Rose
4.Spilled Milk – Molly Wizenberg
5.Women of the Hour with Lena Dunham
We Love Lena too! What does success look like in your eyes?
I’ve spent time getting clear about what is important to me and what I want to achieve. Success I believe is connecting to your life’s purpose so get clear about what that purpose is! For me in my personal life, it’s being the very best mother and role model I can be to my daughters.
Professionally, success is empowering women to become more connected to their purpose, move forward in their lives and start to feel their own confidence and beauty. When I get feedback along those lines I know I’ve done my job. Through The Well Fed Yogi success is encouraging people to eat clean, healthy, pure food and start to feel the benefits. Throwing out the white sugar and the processed snacks and instead of making a beautiful meal from scratch which nourishes you to your core – that’s success!
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
It means embracing your own unique gifts and your own unique personality, then building a life around them to the betterment of all. It means loving and believing in what you do and who you are.
Lastly, what is next for you throughout the rest of 2018?
There are all sorts of plans in the works. New cooking workshops are being created along with courses on essential oils. More private clients, more classes of all levels. More meditation sessions. The Well Fed Yogi is continue to provide clean pure recipes and the dream of a cookbook comes ever closer.