Real Talk: Midlife By Design

Ep.15 | Real Midlife Nourishing Needs Ayurvedic Tools with Marion

November 19, 2021 Ericka, Curator of Zest / Marion, Yoga and Aryuveda Specialist Episode 15
Real Talk: Midlife By Design
Ep.15 | Real Midlife Nourishing Needs Ayurvedic Tools with Marion
Show Notes Transcript

Inner peace can feel elusive at times due to the curve path of living life. Some curves we choose, while others come hurdling towards us unexpectedly.

Regardless of the why the impacts can be similar on our emotions, our wellness and our sense of connection to self. It can leave us feeling depleted and lost.

There can also be a sense of guilt as we try to take time to heal so we may feel whole again. Yet, healing and guilt aren't the best partners in process.

So, what would happen if we shifted our thinking from self-care to self-nourishing. I'm looking forward to finding out with our guest today and I can imagine that you are too!

Marion is a 500 hour registered Therapeutic Yoga Teacher providing yoga to everybody in a one to one or small group setting.

Bringing upon inner peace, physical wellbeing and personal growth.

She truly enjoys teaching in this manner, because yoga was meant to be a one to one perspective practice which looks at all of the many dimensions of a human being.

Stay connected with Marion  and find out more about her work with the quick, access links below:


We're inspired to become the #1 Resource for Midlife Women. Go get access to articles, expert insights and more at  The Zestful Movement 

Ericka  00:04

Midlife. What does it mean to you? I believe that midlife is a place to recognize, reprioritize and redefine your purpose. It's a place of new beginnings, new personal growth and new adventures. Midlife is a chance to release your outdated labels and begin designing your second like journey. How? With heart centered experts, tangible tools and a supportive community. Why? Because if not now, then when now that's real talk. I am Ericka, your host and curator of Zest. Let's begin building our Midlife by Design together. If you're enjoying this content, please follow and share this podcast with someone you care about too, as it truly helps to keep that zesty energy flowing, and visit where you'll find more resources cultivated for your midlife journey on health relationships and more. Marion is a 500 hour Ayurtherapeutic Yoga Teacher providing yoga to everybody in a one to one or small group setting, bringing upon inner peace, physical wellbeing and personal growth. She truly enjoys teaching in this manner because yoga was meant to be a one to one perspective practice which looks at all of the many dimensions of a human being.  Inner peace can feel elusive at times due to the curvy path of living life. Some curves we choose while others come hurtling towards us unexpectedly. Regardless of the why the impacts can be similar on our emotions, our wellness and our sense of connection to self. It can leave us feeling depleted and lost as well. There can also be a sense of guilt as we try to take time to heal. So you may feel whole again. Yet, healing and guilt aren't the best partners and process. So what would happen if we shifted our thinking from self care to self nourishing? I'm looking forward to finding out with our guest today, and I can imagine that you are too.  Marion, welcome to Midlife by Design.


Marion  02:09

Hi, Ericka, thank you so much for having me. I'm very excited to be here today.


Ericka  02:13

Yes, I'm looking forward to delving into these traditions of Ayurveda, which is probably something that's new to some of our listeners, but maybe not so much. So I want you to tell me a little bit about your story. And how your journey led you to this personal truth of using Ayurvedic healing methods into your wellness routine.


Marion  02:34

Yeah, so the story is definitely a little bit longer for sure. But I'm making it as compact as possible. I feel like most of my life, it was all about she of taking care and making other people happy just of how I grew up. And that kind of went all the way through and to my relationships and to my friendships. Because my thing was that I thought, okay, I have to make other people happy to basically survive as a child, and then going on to have a good friendship to be loved. And everyone wants to be loved, right? So so it came to the point that it went all the way in to my first marriage. And I realized that I never really had my own voice when the relationship, over time, kind of went into a direction where we both were unhappy. And at this point, I started with my yoga journey. So it was about 2013, 2014, when I started with yoga.  It was a fun exercise at first, where I threw my limbs into all directions, but all of a sudden, all of a sudden, I noticed Ooh, there's more. And then emotions are coming up. And it felt good to do something for myself. And I was processing a lot. And so all the way, moving up a few years later, I would do a teacher training. And during that phase, I was in my divorce. So a lot of shift has happened, as you can imagine, during that time, and the teacher training was amazing. So I was in India for a month and it was full immersion. So morning till, early morning till late night. I was doing something just for myself. And that has never happened before. And


Ericka  04:28

it's such a gift to be able to have that moment in time to do that.


Marion  04:31

Yes, yes, that was an absolute gift. And it was the perfect time. Yeah, in what I was in what I needed, and I didn't realize that I needed it so much. And then going further and further. You know, the more you do it, the more you get to know people, the more I felt like there's still something missing. There are still a factor missing which will complete my knowledge of the physical body and the soul and the mind. Like all of these things are included in yoga, but still there was more, like how can I include all of this in my daily life. And that's kind of how I was asking or finding Ayurveda. And Ayeurveda is just such a such a beautiful way to understand your nature. How we are connected to nature. How we could notice this nature of ours, and just being much more of a balance. It's basically Yoga and Ayurveda sister sciences. And yeah, so. So that's how it all came together in the end.


Ericka  05:32

Well that is beautiful because I like to hear this like it was movement that helped you  bring up emotions. And in those emotions you have a better understanding of what you are lacking in your life. And then the Ayurveda became a place where you can give yourself that gift of wellness and wholeness, wholeness on a daily basis. Is that how I understand that? 


Marion  05:49



Ericka  05:50

Fantastic. Okay, so then how did you take this, essentially, like a life experience and the knowledge that you gained during this experience, and start directing it to others? Like, what was that journey? And and why did you decide this needs to be shared?


Marion  06:05

Yeah, so I just noticed, first of all, when I practiced in a group, I saw so many people on their mat having their own journey. And I've benefited so much from my own journey. I finally found inner peace, which was not available to me before. I didn't know how I would give that to myself. I always looked out for others to keep me safe, and give me that peace and that nourishment. So I thought everyone needs this. Yes, especially during, you know, a chaotic time. And we all have that to a certain degree as a society, as a person ourselves. So how can we make sure that we can nourish ourselves, and that's, that's how I decided I want to do more with it. And then after my second yoga teacher training, I finally felt ready to share this with my community. And I started teaching. So and the wonderful thing is that when I meet the people, then it's like, I'm being, you know, the the mat buddy, in a way. I'm next to them. I'm seeing where they are. And I'm finding their inner peace, because it's not the same for everyone. So yeah, and I can't get enough of it.


Ericka  07:18

But that's a nice place to be in, right. And I find that very endearing that your challenge. and walking through that challenge, has given you the gift of not only being able to better understand and nurture yourself, but also the tools and resources where you can share that and empower other women as well. And I have to say, nourishing in our conversations, I love that this word has come up and I have borrowed it Marion, you have to know.   It's like that is a lovely word. And I'm wondering if you can really give us the distinct difference between what how you would define self care versus self nourishing?


Marion  07:53

Mm hmm. Yeah, absolutely. And I do see Ericka, you know, watching your stories, listening to the podcast. I do see that you do love this word, as well. So it's definitely very much engraved with with your philosophy as well, right? 


Ericka  08:07



Marion  08:08

Yeah. So like is it this is just my personal understanding. But what I feel about when I hear self care that it's kind of mechanical. Kind of like a regiment. And it's also something that almost can be disconnected. So here's, here are some examples. So if let's say you pick up the news magazine, and they say, they say this is yourself care. Do this three times in the morning. And then every two days you do this. Then you're just sticking to something that you read, but you haven't embodied it at all right? You're thinking, well, if they say it, they probably know. So let me do that. But it's not anything what is according to what you need in this situation. So so what we want what is nourishment in comparison to that is that nourishment for me is flowy. And it's really always looking at the person like, what do you need? And just asking that question. I mean, that's the first hardest thing for a lot of people. What do I actually need? Right? So this is, this is also going deep. So I feel like care, I when you think about care, you can care for somebody or take care of somebody. But do you really truly are you really connected to that person. And this is where nourishment comes in. When you nourish somebody, right? When you nurse somebody, or yourself, there's no way that there's not the heart of it and the connection in it.


Ericka  09:37

I like that. So it's almost like self care can come off as like a checklist, my checklist and it doesn't have, right, it's not that it doesn't have value. But it's not necessarily connected to you answering what it is that you needed in that moment or day. And so therefore, it's not really connected to the heart center. So it's not fully as serving as it can be. And what I hear, it's like If we're going to take the time to do the self care, we may as well be nourishing ourselves in the process. So we get the full benefit as well. Yeah. Beautiful word. I absolutely love that.


Marion  10:12

And do you know where it's coming from Ericka.  The word nourish.


Ericka  10:16

What do you mean? Like for myself?


Marion  10:19

No the word. I looked it up so and I just looked it up just a few days ago just you know preparing for this beautiful episode. So it comes, nourish comes from the Latin word Nutrire. And it means feed and cherish. 


Ericka  10:35

Ah, I like that and even more because we're feeding ourselves. And there's a difference between eating a meal that you prepare, and you get your senses all in to it. And then you consume it and like every bite is joy. Versus eating because well, I was hungry. And so I grabbed that because it was there. Right? 


Marion  10:54

Right. Right. 


Ericka  10:55

Its like really feeding the soul. Being connected to ourselves. Well, no wonder I like to eat well, so no wonder I love it. 


Marion  11:01

Me too.  Its the best thing. 


Ericka  11:04

I love it. I think it's really a distinct, it's a simple shift. But but it makes a profound impact self care, nourishing self. I totally love that. So I hope our listeners embrace that and take that for themselves today. And as far as you nourishing yourself and what your routines are, what are some of your favorite ones that you could share with the audience today?


Marion  11:24

Yeah, so some of the favorite ones that I usually do, almost through the entire year. But definitely in the colder months, is that I use oiling. It's also called abhyanga so self oil massage. And the beautiful thing, so the word for oil. In Sanskrit, it's an old traditional language. An Indian language is sneha. Sneha means love. So there you go. They all had it figured out already. So what you're going to do, well, you can try it out. There, I have sesame oil. So a nice sesame oil, which is not roasted without the cooking oil. Most people have coconut oil at home. So that's that is usable, too, especially in the warm, in the warmer months, that's really good because as a cooling effect. So before the shower you might have never heard of before. But before the shower, give you give yourself a few minutes of an oil massage. So you use really nice long and gentle strokes, like starting from your hands towards your heart.  You're just, so you're basically moving all the way up to your heart, no matter if you're on your arms or on your legs. And then afterwards, you take a nice shower.  I like putting some essential oils into another aroma and it takes you literally a few seconds to just you know, put some drops in.  And then your pores are opening up and the oil goes into your body and it deeply nourishes you. That's the best thing you can do. So anyway, where read about Ayurveda, you will probably hear something about oiling.  So very, very good. Yeah.


Ericka  13:02

And so what should people understand about Ayurveda? When it comes to wellness and aging? Like it seems to me it's more of a whole being approach to your wellness.


Marion  13:11

Yes, it is. So there's actually a quote from one of the older books, in this case is one of the Upanishads and it is, "We are multi multi dimensional beings. Therefore holistic practices must also be multi dimensional." So what it means is that, you know, we yes, we can, you know, do our sit ups and those kinds of things. But it won't change us or it won't help us nourish us as the entire person that we are because we have an intellect. We have a soul. You know, there's so many different layers of our being that can all be included into the self nourishment practice. 


Ericka  13:54

I like that.


Marion  13:56

Yeah, and this is what Ayurveda considers.


Ericka  14:01

It was like a whole being experienced that way. Now and that's really important because I do think that it's easy to look at things one dimensionally, but when we fold it all together, we get more of a harmonious experience for ourselves. Which is what the goal is anyway when we're taking time to nourish one, correct?


Marion  14:17

Yeah, absolutely. And when since we're talking about midlife here, so Ayurveda everything Ayurveda is you know connected deeply to nature. And everything in nature Ayurveda says is that it is made out of five elements. So these are ether, air, fire, water, earth, so all of these elements are included. And these elements they form kind of they're called Mind Body Constitutions. So in the vata phase of life, so this is the midlife going on from there. We are in the vata phase. So there's a lot of of this air movement and ether.  All of this comes in. So what we need in Ayurveda is always that we give it the opposite. So if you if you think of air, right, if you think of the element of air, so it's it's really light, right? It can be cold, it can be drying can be rough. Yeah. So all of that is then found, or can be found in your body as well. So what we want to do is that we nourish the body accordingly. So we want the opposite. We want warming. We want to grounding. We want lubricating, and nourishing. So all of this is something that we should surround ourselves with, to just balance out what we naturally have coming through the time. So our time in our life, and also through an additionally if we're in winter, for instance, the fatter element like the coldness, the roughness, yes, really, really high. So when the opposite. And the good thing is we usually if you think about it, in the wintertime, what are we eating, we're eating, maybe stews. We want to have something warm. We put that extra pair of socks on.


Ericka  16:10

Yes, absolutely.


Marion  16:12

So we do have that inherently in us. But we forget about it sometimes. Because there's so many different concepts out there. And everything that Ayurveda teaches us is just that we have to go back to our nature and listen to what our own body needs. Because we're so individual.


Ericka  16:32

And so when you're dealing with your clients, Marion, how do you encourage them to have that confidence to begin to listen to selves? Because I feel like we live in a time where we look outward, outward, outward for information, for validation, to how to do things and why we should be doing things. So how do we get back to trusting that innate self and really giving ourselves what it is we need?


Marion  16:55

Right? So usually, so all of my students, I give them a very personalized practice for once and I explain them exactly why that is. And then when we're starting with our class, the first thing that will always be part of it is that I'm saying please check in with yourself. And usually it's easy for people to check in with the body. Like what do you feel in your body? Is there any sensation, any tension? But then we go deeper? Do you feel your breath? You know, around your nostrils? Maybe you can try it right now. If you're if you're out there listening try it, like, are you feeling your breath around your nostrils? Is that something that you ever, you know, ever paid attention to? The temperature moving in and out? And then the next step is that we're saying, Okay, what are you feeling? What is on your heart? Is there something heavy. So they do have a really safe space with me to just explore this together, right? So some people like to give me feedback. Some people just like to be in silence. And then every time we're doing a little bit more. So there will be a lot of encouraging, and also in a way challenging, you know. Because it's not easy to go back to your own self and, you know, talk to yourself and listen to yourself, because there could be things coming up. Which is scary, which say, well you need to change this? Right, like those kinds of things. But yeah, 


Ericka  18:26

Accountability can be a really challenging place to be. But I find that people who are willing to go there and practice that consistently. And I think the word practice is really important because it's, it's certainly not like a point A point B kind of experience. It's more of an evolution that ebbs and flows. But when we're willing to be in that, I find that those people tend to be the most clear on who they are. The most confident and what they're doing, and also seem to be the happiest in their lives, because they've taken the time to see themselves. Listen to themselves. Acknowledge. And either move forward or hold back and stillness depending on what it is they need in any given moment. 


Marion  19:03

Right, they are in contact with themselves. So a little practice that you can start today is that before you fall asleep, and in the morning, before you have even moved at all, when you open your eyes, take some moments and check in with yourself. So you won't be surprised over the day. What comes up all the sudden, you know, in other situations that don't have anything to do with what's going on with you. So that's something that you can practice and then in the evening really checking in. Okay, well, how was that day? What did I learn? What can I maybe make different tomorrow? What am I proud of that I did all of this, right like


Ericka  19:39

Yeah I love that? Yes. Because I think too, there's a practice of always looking back, but one, maybe not even taking time to look back. But if we do it tends to be like well, I didn't do that. I didn't do that. And I forgot that and I missed that where it's more kind of like breeding ourselves. But I love that. What are you proud of today? Because that's once again, it's just that dynamic from like a checklist to really listening to your heart. And so instead of being down on yourself, you're really elevating yourself, like, Hey, I did accomplish these things today, and I am proud of that one thing. And it doesn't. I think for me personally, sometimes I get lost in the being proud because I always feel like, a lot of the times, I feel like it has to be some grand thing. But the reality and listening to you is it doesn't have to be grand. It can just be like what I got through the day, and I took time to notice the air around my nostrils at least five times. And it made me feel better, because I truly paused and focused in on something that was significant to me. So it can be small and still have great significance no?


Marion  20:39

Absolutely agreed. And that's how it all starts, right. If you want to go to up to the Mount Everest, you're not going to go up there within a day, right. You may want I'm here in Charlotte, North Carolina, so you might want to go up Crowder's Mountain view towards Uptown, right. That's how you have to see it. But starting is the key starting is truly the key. That's how it slowly builds up.


Ericka  21:04

Okay, I think that's a beautiful message right there, and a lot of great tips and whatnot. And they're not grand, it's about listening, coming back to the heart, taking those small steps, and then being consistent. And then we feel like we are taking care of ourselves nourishing ourselves, and really allowing us to be a part of the day, right. Everybody else doesn't have to come first. Sometimes we can come first. And that is okay. 


Marion  21:28

Yes, absolutely. 


Ericka  21:30

Thank you. So Marion, um, you have to let us know how can our listeners find out more about your offerings, and become a part of your community?


Marion  21:39

Yeah, so you can you can, first of all, if you're on social media, I'll be happy to connect there with you. And my handle @happyyoga_with_marion. I do have a website as well. So it's And you can always email at any point. I'm very personable, always available for any chat or, you know, bouncing off some ideas and questions. It's And currently, I'm offering one on one classes. And really, I'm including the entire toolbox. So if you say, Well, I never did yoga, don't worry about it. Like I, I yoga is truly for everybody. And yoga is breathing already. So you can do yoga I know it.


Ericka  22:28

Yeah and I second that.


Marion  22:31

Again, it's all about nourishing your body. And yoga is just one way of doing that. Right? So yeah, reach out to me anytime. I'd be really happy to connect.


Ericka  22:41

Yeah, and I want to just kind of put an exclamation point on it that midlife is the time to do it. Because I think we're so skilled at taking care of everyone from our loved ones, to our children, to our spouses, to our friends, right. It's like I'm available, I'm available, I'm available. And so we already know how to nourish everyone. Allow, allow yourself a moment to begin nourishing yourselves. And I think this is an excellent time to begin these types of practices, because it lets us be uncomfortable, but with support. And it lets us learn about ourselves, so we can keep coming back to the things that make us feel whole and completed our life. So, absolutely beautiful opportunity to work with you. So thank you, Marion. And on our last question here, I have to ask you, how is it that you define zest in your life? 


Marion  23:28

Yeah, so going back to the theme of yoga, so there's a beautiful mantra. And mantras a sound that you repeat. So it's called So'ham.  It's really beautiful. And it means, "all that I am, I am that" and we are so much as you might have heard now in this podcast. We are so much. We are multi dimensional beings. So how I define it is that, I define it through that mantra. So being present with everything that we are truly everything and being connected to the universe, or you know, to the nature whichever you feel like more connected to.  And knowing that truly I have the power, and I had to learn that to tell you, that I have the power to nourish myself. And when I know this and when I'm feeling it and embodying it, then I can truly show up in the world with compassion and energy. And that's that's what we want right? So yes, that's that's my zest.


Ericka  24:35

I think that's a beautiful zest. I love that you went ahead and said hey, it, it takes time to find your power but it's in there. So that is absolutely beautiful. Well, thank you Marion on so much for taking time to be here today. Teaching us how to take better care of ourselves during the season. And I'm going to be looking forward to having you on for the other three seasons. So you can delve in a little bit deeper to Ayurveda and how it can support us in our natural wellness, and nourishing selves, so thank you so much for being here today.


Marion  25:04

Thank you so much Ericka for giving us space and all of these wonderful people to yeah, just learn everything about nourishing ourselves. Thank you.


Ericka  25:20

I appreciate your presence and holding space for my passion of helping women rediscover the essence of who they are meant to be, so they may live their life by chosen authenticity. If you enjoyed this episode, please like, subscribe and share with someone that could use a little zest in their life today. Keep the good energy going by following me Ericka Bell on Instagram and LinkedIn @TheZestfulMovement. You're invited to sign up for our weekly newsletter that will help you become a part of ours Zesty Crew as you stay connected to the conversations. This will also allow you to gain access to some monthly special offerings created with you in mind. Go to Until next time, please do keep it Zesty.