May we be free.
May we shine our light from within.
May we be present, peaceful, loving, kind, and compassionate.
Yoga practice encompasses everything. Sit, stand, walk, talk. Cook, eat, swim, dance, laugh. Write, paint, sculpt, create. Chop wood, carry water.
Yoga is the cultivation of gratitude. Slowing down. Finding the balance between stillness and noise.
What we have is this moment, and nothing more is needed. We can use this moment in so many ways.
What is Yoga Freedom?
Yoga is not bound to a single lineage or guru. Yoga has no prerequisites, requires no props or accessories. Yoga is practiced everywhere, all the time. Yoga is the connection to breath, body, heart-mind.
Learn yoga with books, online classes, offline classes, whatever works. Yoga encompasses a lot. Yoga is for everyone who strives to be mindful, present and compassionate.
Yoga Freedom seeks to inspire people to live from the heart and be of benefit to Mother Earth and all beings.
Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try. Imagine all the people living for today.
Yoga isn’t a lifestyle; it’s life! Yoga is everywhere, all the time.
Yoga is the connection to our breath, bodies, and heart-minds.
Yoga helps us cultivate gratitude just because. Every day is a good day — even bad days, even the “worst” days — because each moment is a new chance to be here and love and grow and hold on and let go.
“Smile, breathe, go slowly.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Hola! I’m Michelle Margaret, a writer, yogi, and the creator of Yoga Freedom. Yoga has saved my life 10,000 times, or maybe for 10,000 lifetimes. Thanks to this practice, I’ve overcome “mental illness” in the forms of depression, mania, and anxiety. I’m now living my dream. I’m a mother; partner; writer, editor, and translator; teacher; and leader.
I was born on a full moon on Friday, May 30, 1980 in Texas, USA. I’m a Gemini sun with Libra rising and Sagittarius moon, 6 Kej (in the sacred Mayan calendar), and a Metal Monkey (Chinese/Tibetan astrology). Growing up in the Austin, Texas area, I stumbled upon yoga at age 12 and immediately got hooked in the best of ways.
In my early 20s, I earned my 200-hour hatha yoga certification at Yoga Yoga in Austin in May 2002.
In 2003, I moved to California and started practicing zen meditation in the San Francisco Bay area. I landed a temp job at Google and pretty promptly got fired due to self-sabotage. I then launched my entrepreneurial venture, Yoga Freedom, which resulted in me teaching about a dozen weekly classes at gyms and yoga studios across the Bay area, alongside substitute school teaching and a plethora of other odd jobs.
In 2004, I returned to Texas, to make a long story short, and in 2005 had a nervous breakdown slash manic episode slash psychotic break. I was committed to the psych ward for 10 days, a month before I turned 25. For the first five days, I had to be tranquilized for breaking all the rules. I then realized I needed to be on my best behavior, and I was released five days later.
I got well, became a bilingual third-grade teacher, bought a house in south Austin, had a cherished community of family and friends. In August 2009, I moved to Guatemala City where I worked as a middle and high school teacher for three years. I started co-leading weekend yoga retreats in May 2010 and led my first weeklong retreat in January 2017.
Since June 2012, I’ve lived with my partner and daughter on gorgeous Lake Atitlan in the Guatemalan highlands.
Since 2015, I’ve worked at Villa Sumaya, a splendid retreat center near Santa Cruz La Laguna. I’ve been blessed to work in the reservations office and as a yoga instructor, interpreter of Mayan fire ceremonies, and leader of small group and personal retreats.
My yoga style incorporates hatha, dharma, kundalini, slow flow (vinyasa) and yin yoga; chakra energies; pranayama (breathing practices); dharma (Buddhist teachings); mindfulness; writing practice (stream of consciousness); vulnerability; poetry and laughter.
Here are a few links to learn more about me:
- Levitating Monkey interview
- Student testimonials
- Freelance writing portfolio
- Upwork profile
- Elephant Journal column
A Brief History of Yoga Freedom
Austin, TX, USA: Established in 2002
Palo Alto, CA: 2003-2004
Guatemala City: 2010-2011
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala: 2012 to the present moment!