A Sound Vision
“Where there is struggle, there is potential for practice.”
“I like to say that I’m guru allergic. I have a real distaste for this power hierarchy that I think exists in the yoga world.”
“We need spaces to come together. In a world that’s very media based, which can be very disconnecting for people, those spaces where people literally come together are even more powerful.”
Elizabeth Emberly is the co-founder and head instructor at Naada Yoga in Montreal.
A Guide On The Path
Titles can be tricky things to navigate as there is the chance that they leave out important information. For me, Elizabeth has been more than just an instructor of yoga or a studio founder.
Through her work at Naada, she has played a central role in enabling my own pursuit of learning, not to mention she was my main employer for five years! Although my relationship with the studio has had a few bumpy moments, Naada has been a North Star in my life, guiding me towards new insights in yoga and otherwise.
So yes, I might be a little biased on this one. At the very least, grateful for the chance to ask Elizabeth all about the unique space that is Naada Yoga.
The aesthetic of the studio itself, located in a beautiful space in the heart of the mile-end, and its offering of a modern practice of postural yoga with a progressive instinct has made Naada a unique space in the yoga world.
It has hosted, or will be hosting, some of the most influential teachers in the modern yoga scene, from the likes of Rodney Yee, Judith Lasater, Mary Pafford and Richard Rosen, to a younger generation that is stirring up the yoga industry in all the right ways (hello Matthew Remski and Theodora Wildcroft).
Somehow all these voices, the traditional and the progressive, the athletic and the introspective, the musical and the artistic, the pedagogical and academic, come together seamlessly under Naada’s roof.
At the center of this yoga nexus are Elizabeth and her partner and co-founder, Jason Sharp.
Elizabeth and The SpiritBros
In this episode we ask Elizabeth about what her first conversation with Jason about the studio sounded like, and when the vision took root and became something concrete. Elizabeth shares with us the process of creating Naada’s signature sound, as well as what qualities she looks for in teachers she invites to lead Naada’s seminal Yoga Teacher Training.
She tells us about some of the challenges of running a yoga studio, as well as some behind-the-scenes sacrifices that were required to create a thriving business and community hub. On that point, Elizabeth shares why community is at the center of what Naada is all about.
All this and more… Elizabeth Emberly on The SpiritBros Podcast!
[6:01] Elizabeth on buying a boat in British Colombia.
[11:01] On the differences between running a business with her husband, Jason Sharp, and living on a boat together.
[13:16] What did Elizabeth and Jason’s first conversation about Naada Yoga sound like?
[19:56] On developing Naada’s signature sound.
[30:01] What were the biggest challenges in starting Naada?
[35:11] “Did I know the commitment level of business at that point? No.”
[36:22] On what she and Jason did right in the early days of their business.
[38:41] On what her personal practice looks like today.
[41:01] On organizing a Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) with Sonia Osorio.
[46:11] Richard Rosen was the first international teacher to join Naada’s YTT.
[49:41] On the qualities she looks for when considering a new teacher for the YTT.
[57:21] “I think there is so much value in seeing the individual behind the knowledge.”
[57:53] On the benefits of hearing from multiple voices of experience when pursuing an education in yoga.
[1:00:31] On her strengths and struggles in running a business. “Where there is struggle, there is potential for practice.”
[1:02:16] Scott channels his inner Freud.
[1:05:01] On navigating touch in the dance and yoga scenes.
[1:08:26] On what keeps her in yoga for the long term.
[1:10:16] What is Elizabeth’s best failure?
[1:15:11] On the community of people that seek out Naada as a practice space.
[1:17:16] “I like to say that I’m guru allergic. I have a real distaste for this power hierarchy that I think really exists in the yoga world.”
[1:19:31] “We need spaces to come together. In a world that’s very media based, which can be very disconnecting for people, those spaces where people literally come together are even more powerful.”
[1:23:21] En-Lightning Round