Community Spotlight | People Love - Shirley McLeod March 27 2017

It’s our favourite time a month again when we get to bring to you another one of the rad humans we know and love in our community and give you a peek into who they are and what they are up to.

This month we have Shirley McLeod creator of Yoga With Me, entrepreneur (extra cool points here), and good friend. We have big love for Shirley. Mala Earth and Yoga with Me are collaborating, traveling, yogi-ing, festival-ing, and making magic happen pals.

Outside of creating and running Yoga with Me Shirley is a mum of two young boys (4 and 6), wife, corporate project and change manager (fancy), and yoga teacher. When she’s not rocking the above she fills her cup with sunshine, beaches, her best girlfriends, champagne, and strictly 90s music only holiday road trips. See!?!? Love her.

She likes to call herself a baby yogi having only fallen for yoga since 2013 however, she fell hard, and can't learn enough about the ancient practice.  She started Yoga With Me as a way to stay accountable in the lead up to her Yoga Teacher Training in 2015. Since then it has grown (and by grown we are talking 12,000+ followers grown) into an online community for inspiration and encouragement to others and also to continue to keep herself accountable.

Once she had Yoga With Me up and running the entrepreneur in Shirley started to scream "there has got to be a useful way for others to discover the joy and benefits of yoga". This is where her yoga baby creation Yoga Deck was born. She spent 18 months writing, designing and producing the Yoga Deck, which launched in September 2016. She has extreme pride for this product and has a huge sense of gratitude for everyone who helped her in her journey to delivery this bundle of joy.  She now gets the daily pleasure of hearing from hundreds of happy yogis who have purchased the Yoga Deck and are finding or returning to their yoga practice.  
We recently sat down with Shirley to get some more insight into who she is. We are loving her responses. Have a read and enjoy.

In 2017...

I want to share my love of yoga out to more people, while also expanding my knowledge through more training.

With a following of over 12,000 people its obvious Yoga With Me really speaks to a lot of people. What was the inspiration/purpose behind creating it?

I wanted to get people on the (yoga) mat. I thought that by providing a platform for inspiration, encouragement and a bit of humour that I can get more people to give yoga a try and once they've tried it I’m pretty confident they'll be back for more. 

My favourite part of a yoga class is...

the bit that is about 2/3rds into a vinyasa class when we're all in flow, moving with the breath.

Right now I am most inspired by...

Slowing down.  I’m a PV (Power Vinyasa) girl through and through. I teach it and I love it.  I love the energy, the heat, the strength and grace.  But consciously or not, my practices at Wanderlust this year were all slow flow, restorative, yin-like classes which I really loved. So to build on that realisation I've just completed a six day iRest Yoga Nidra level 1 training which was all about deep relaxation. I've also got 50 hours of Yin training booked with Joe Barnett later in 2017.  I’m slowing down lots of my life, taking time to smell the roses. As a result my PV classes are much slower these days, but don't worry, they're still strong AF!

You have 1 minute to get out of your house, what do you take? 

My kids.

Would you rather... Hike or Bike? Pool or Ocean? Win the lottery or find your perfect job?

Hike. Ocean. Win the lottery - because I can still work in a great job after winning the lottery, but I can't necessarily win the lottery if I chose the perfect job.

My biggest challenge...

Has been getting over my Inner Critic.  She says "you're not good enough to tell the world about yoga. What do you know, you're only a baby yoga teacher.  All the 'proper' yoga teachers are going to laugh at you".

I recently started...

Letting my hair be free.  I’m a curly girl naturally, so since Christmas I've been letting my mane go wild and experimenting with living with curls (believe me, every day is a surprise as to what it’s going to look like!).  We'll see how long it lasts before I default back to the GHD.

How do you incorporate Malas into your life/routine? 

I use it as a meditation tool, to count my 108 rounds of mantra or breath.  I also wear my mala at work (a great fashion accessory!) as a reminder that I can take a moment to step away from the madness and stress and calm down.

I am most proud of...

My kid’s relationship with each other.  I think you know you're doing OK as a parent when your kids really do love each other and care about each other - even if they do fight like wild cats sometimes.

Want more? You can connect with Shirley here:
Website | Facebook | Twitter  | Instagram

We hope you enjoy this new series featuring people we love in our community! If you know of someone, or are that someone that would love to be featured, we would LOVE to hear from you !!

Bex Murphy - Doer of all things at Mala Earth, community connector, social media superstar & most importantly mumma of two