Halifax Ashtanga Yoga Shala

Angie MacKay - Meditation Instructor

- Born in Halifax and raised in the Annapolis Valley, Angie is a practicing psychologist and Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy practitioner. She has a BSc. Honours in Psychology from Acadia University, and a Masters of Science in Clinical Psychology from the University of Calgary. Having had a long-standing curiosity for meditation and yoga, it was when Angie moved to Calgary in 1999 that she first had the opportunity to try Ashtanga. Initially practicing Hatha yoga (there were classes offered near her house), Ashtanga began to rise in popularity in Calgary, and Angie decided to make the 45-minute commute to Ashtanga classes. “At the time, my life was out of balance and full of chaos. Yoga provided me with the joy and sanity I desperately needed. While I enjoyed Hatha yoga, I had a sense that Ashtanga was the practice for me.”

It is the sequence—the form of Ashtanga that engages Angie and motivates her to continue her practice. “There is something magnetic about doing sun salutations, standing poses, seated poses, backbends, and closing poses over and over. By repeating the practice, I am able to witness how my body and mind open and shift gradually over time…Once you start to see your habits, you can no longer ignore them, and slowly, gently, you make different choices; choices that are more congruent with your true being. Yoga is a means of becoming the person you have always wanted to be.” The meditative and healing properties of yoga, particularly those she experiences during Mysore practice, relate directly to Angie’s approach to psychology, and have inspired her to complete yoga therapy training and to become a yoga teacher. She believes that teaching is a gift and feels both a longing and responsibility to share the practices that are dear to her heart. Angie feels both excited and blessed to be teaching at The Shala, and is pleased to be working in a beautiful space, with inspiring teachers and staff, and a dedicated yoga community.

As a psychologist and a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy practitioner, Angie works with children, adolescents, and adults, combining mindfulness meditation, yoga therapy, and psychotherapy. She offers three streams of psychotherapy: Mind/Body Psychotherapy, Yoga Fusion Psychotherapy, and Play Therapy. For more information about Angie’s private practice, please visit www.halifaxhealth.ca or her personal website, www.angelamackay.com, which is currently under construction and will be online in the near future.

Angie’s yoga training ranges from her studies in Mysore, India with Sheshadri at the Mysore Mandala to workshops in Halifax with David Williams and Tim Miller. She has studied Thai Vipassana meditation in Northern Thailand, Tibetan Buddhist meditation at the Shambhala centre in Halifax, as well at Lotus Garden Retreat Center in Virginia. Angie’s main teacher is Her Eminence Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist nun who teaches the buddhadharma worldwide.

In her spare time, Angie likes to knit warm sweaters, travel to ancient lands, and play with her dog. She is also an aspiring author/illustrator of children's picture books--consequently, writing and art are integral parts of her life. Yoga has had a profound impact on Angie’s life, allowing her to let go of past trauma, accept and love her body and mind ‘as they are’, and has opened her heart to love and joy. “On a day-to-day basis, my practice keeps me grounded and focused, allowing me to be more effective in psychotherapy, and more present in my life. Even though, at times, practice may be challenging--both physically and emotionally, yoga energizes my spirit, allowing me to connect with joy throughout my day. On days when I don't practice, I notice a significant drop in my mood, my ability to focus, and my energy level. In a nutshell, yoga makes me happy.”