Q&A: Micheline Berry
A Yogini, Dancer & Multi-Media Artist, Micheline Berry is known for her ability to awaken and empower the inner artist in her students. Her work, whether on the dance floor, the mat or at one of her yoga and art retreats, teaches her students how to source transformational states of creativity, and flow, through a cohesive fusion of vinyasa flow yoga, dance, music, nature and art.
Nicole catches up with Micheline to find out exactly what it is that inspires her boundless creativity.
How did you get introduced to yoga?
In 1993 I had some terrible news; my mother was diagnosed with stage-four breast cancer. My boyfriend at the time took me to Larchmont Center for Yoga to my very first yoga class with an amazing trickster wild fox of a yogi named Frank White. The rest is history.
Who inspires you or your practice?
Everyone–from the teachings of Siddhartha Buddha and Pema Chodro–to the work of Carl Jung. The author, Tom Robbins, and Isabel Allende, Yogini Firefly Masters Shiva Rea & Ana Forrest, the art of Bill Viola, the films of Fellini, the music of Peter Gabriel and each and every student & friend on my path.
Do you have any tips producing your first retreat?
Arrive before your group to prepare yourself and get familiar with the local vibe.
Choose a place that truly inspires you and that has the infrastructure to deliver really great service to your guests.
Make sure you have an assistant that can help with logistics so that you can focus on creating the overall experience and flow of the retreat.
Leave plenty of downtime.
Remember – Goddess is in the details.
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?
Aside from Italy & Jamaica and of course my true muse, Brazil, I definitely want to go to Barcelona and Andalusia.
What has been your favorite discovery on a trip?
Traveling gives me this deep sense of belonging, as if we’re part of a global tribe. I sense that we have homes, brothers, sisters and families in other countries that we have yet to discover. And, that in traveling somewhere unknown, we discover so much about ourselves. The first time I went to Brazil I was stunned to find I had a sense of belonging I’d never known in the states where I was born. My other favorite discovery was waterfalls. In Brazil you learn quickly how to seek out that intense downpour of liquid prana… to stand under and receive its powerful flow. It creates a physical and emotional release to the core. In Brazil we call this, limpar a alma, to clean the soul.
What is/are your “must haves” while traveling?
Wet wipes w/Aloe from TJ’s, Emergen-C (no sugar), comfortable, supportive walking shoes or sandals.
What is your favorite retreat venue?
I hand-pick gems, off the beaten path, around the world. I love them all.
What supernatural gift would you most like to possess?
The ability to grant wishes, to make every child giggle, to be able to digest the pain of others and turn it into stardust.
In your next life, what would you choose to come back as?
Hmmmmm… I love being a woman. I think I would choose that again.
What is your present state of mind?
Honestly, a little overwhelmed, but calm and deeply grateful.
What are you listening to right now?
What are you reading right now?
I am just finishing Joseph Anton, by Salman Rushdie.
Aside from yoga, what activities do you enjoy?
Anything to do with music, dance and water… I love waterfall bathing, then culture… art and film. I love reading, horseback riding, sailing and, of course, laughter; there’s lots of that in this house.
What’s your favorite quote?
“The world is a wonderfully weird place, consensual reality is significantly flawed, no institution can be trusted, certainty is a mirage, security a delusion and the tyranny of the dull mind forever threatens. But our lives are not as limited as we think they are, all things are possible, laughter is holier than piety, freedom is sweeter than fame and in the end it’s love and love alone that really matters.”
― Tom Robbins
Interviewed by Nicole Muyingo