Yoga Retreats & Spas

Heather Lilleston Talks Yoga Retreats and the Political Climate

Meet February cover model Heather Lilleston, cofounder of Yoga for Bad People.

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Meet February cover model Heather Lilleston, cofounder of Yoga for Bad People.

Carin Gorrell:You’ve studied under Rodney Yee, Colleen Saidman Yee, Sharon Gannon, and David Life. What’s the most powerful lesson you learned from them?
Heather Lilleston: That what you do matters, and to never stop asking questions about everything, including yourself.

CG:Where did you get the idea for Yoga for Bad People, your yoga-retreat company?
HL: My business partner, Katelin Sisson, and I felt our practice had become a little too strict, too serious, and we wanted to bring back lightheartedness. We planned a retreat in Brazil called Yoga for Bad People—we wanted everyone to know that while yes, we’d do four-plus hours of yoga a day, we’d also leave room for good old-fashioned fun. It’s a formula that’s inviting and healing, and it has something for everyone.

CG:With the country currently experiencing a great political divide, how can yoga help us all find unity?
HL: I’m sure I’ve taught yoga to people who do not share my political beliefs, who do things in their lives I would disagree with. And yet, when we enter a setting of sharing yoga, all of that goes out the window. Yoga works with both light and dark; the whole point is to bring opposites together. The natural next step for all of us is merging what we learn in yoga with the rest of our lives.

See also10 Yogis’ Election Reactions to Restore Our Faith in Love

CG:What exciting yoga-related projects do you have in the works for 2017?
HL: My new favorite retreat is our Deep Retreat in Ireland and Montana. It’s 50 hours of continuing education that include Tibetan Buddhism practices, a dive into philosophy, meditation, and physical practice.

CG:What’s your favorite pose and why?
HL:Salamba Sirsasana (Supported Headstand). Going upside down reverses the negative effects of traveling, plus it’s the perfect combo of energizing and strengthening, stillness and quietude.

CG:Do you have a mantra or words of wisdom that you live by?
HL: I often refer to the poem “Do It Anyway,” popularized by Mother Teresa. It’s about how not to take things personally, and a reminder that all things are met with a variety of reactions and results, and to continue to meet it all with kindness no matter what the outcome.

See also 3 Prep Poses for Supported Headstand