Mandee and Avi discuss the difference between “natural” and “normal.” The conversation flows naturally from discussion about honesty, freedom, and relaxation, to the importance of not taking ourselves to seriously. What’s the difference between knowing something in the mind and feeling it in my being? What is the relationship I want to have with my mind? These questions answered and so much more.
Bio: Mandee Labelle has been sharing her love of yoga and meditation through teaching, writing, and radio since 2001.
The search for truth, happiness, and well-being lit like a fire in Mandee during a 6-month motorcycle tour of India in her early 20s. Upon returning to Canada, she dove into the study of Psychology at McGill University. She enjoyed her studies, but upon graduation, was left with only more questions than any real answers. Continuing the search, she became intrigued by meditation and explored Zen through the teachings of Albert Low, and it was when she discovered Yoga that this quest began to burn even brighter. Yoga captured her interest with an enthusiasm which has not yet, to this day, subsided.
She then met yoga master teacher, David Goulet, founder of the Chakra Yoga Center, and through his teacher training program her world opened up to the richness of the yogic tradition that went well beyond the physical practice. David’s teacher was Dr. Swami Gitananda, who taught with a powerful blend of modern science and medicine, and ancient wisdom of the chakras drawn from the Sat-Chakra-Nirupana (circa 1500AD). David’s Chakra Yoga Teacher Training program was life changing and consisted of a comprehensive study of energy, the body, the mind, and the universe through nine different forms* of Yoga. She graduated from the program in 2001 and has been teaching yoga and meditation ever since.
Teaching came naturally and there was no shortage of opportunities in schools, community centers, privately, to government agencies, the military, school teachers, nurses, even Ninjas! Through her work, she was able to witness right before her eyes exactly what she had been looking for–something that was having a real impact on the lives and well-being of people. And furthermore, through this profession came the opportunity to keep studying, learning, and practicing as a complete lifestyle.
After 10 years, the urge to search arose again, and she found herself flipping through a catalogue of workshops being offered at Omega in Rhinebeck NY. Not knowing what she was looking for, she turned the page and there was an image of a man in the catalogue that she had never seen before, but the moment she saw him, something happened. It was like her body became filled with light and a sense of trust that she had never known. As if in a dream, she signed up to attend his retreat called Eternity Now.
Driven by the unknown, she packed and made the long journey by car from Nova Scotia to NY and from the moment she met Francis Lucille, her life changed. It was as if she had found answers to questions she didn’t know she had and there was a lightness of being that was revealed. It was as if all the spiritual traditions started to glow with understanding. Yoga itself was illuminated in it’s deeper potential, and what followed for the next 10 years has been a process of clarification and embodiment of understanding that ever-continues.
Since then, Mandee has been attending retreats with Francis and friends regularly. His teachings and that of his teacher Jean Klein, form an intrinsic part of the classes she offers. Neelam, who’s teacher was Papaji also helped to guide Mandee into deeper embodiment through the path of tenderness and presence. Other strong influences include Adyashanti, Shunryu Suzuki, Tulku Urgen Rinpoche, Shri Atma Krishnamenon, Ramana Maharshi, and more.
It was in 2014, that Yogaheart Yoga Teacher Training program grew out of growing interest in her students to go beyond and their interest self-discovery process through the program. The Yogaheart School itself has been has been based out of beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada since 2001, until 2020, when all offerings went online. Mandee continues to offer classes and programs online to help take us beyond our sense of limitation and into the discovery to the true self.