Mandee Labelle has been sharing her love of yoga and meditation through teaching, writing, and radio since 2001.
The path of yoga is incredible. We may intuitively know that it’s much more than exercise. In a broad sense, it could be said that yoga is whatever we do that brings greater clarity, balance, understanding, health and equilibrium to our lives.
Looking back, I had always somehow been interested in the search for truth, happiness, and well-being. It made sense to me to explore the important question, what seems to keep us from it? From a young age I noticed that even the very wealthy and successful, didn’t seem truly happy and at ease. This point was driven home after spending 6 months travelling in India, and much to my surprise, there I found some of the happiest, kindest… and poorest people I’d ever met! Of course, it’s a large country, so we can literally find everything, but what I saw, first-hand, was how happiness is inside.
As soon as I returned to Canada, I dove into the study of Psychology at McGill University. Upon graduation, although I loved my studies, I was left pretty much with only more questions than any real answers. Even the professors didn’t seem particularly happy or healthy. I found myself exploring meditation in the Zen tradition and the teachings of Albert Low, however it was also then that I also discovered Yoga. I loved it in a very natural way and it captured my interest with an enthusiasm which has not subsided.
When I met my first yoga teacher, David Goulet, founder of the Chakra Yoga School, I discovered how yoga was a much deeper and richer field of exploration than I could have imagined. David met his teacher Swami Gitananda in India back in the 70’s. Because the Swami was also a medical doctor, the yoga was a blend of the modern and the ancient, and the ancient wisdom of the chakras drawn from the Sat-Chakra-Nirupana (circa 1500AD).
After meeting David and co-founder of the Chakra Yoga Centre Marina Halleran, I dove into the Chakra Yoga Teacher Training program and it was life changing in ways that began to truly address more directly some of my deeper questions about the human experience. The program was comprehensive in that it consisted of the study of energy, the body, the mind, the Atman, the universe, through nine different forms* of Yoga. This training completed me at that time, and gave me greater skills and knowledge to combine with my psychology degree in order to work with people in a much deeper way from all walks of life. I taught my first class in 2001 and I have been teaching ever since.
It seemed perfectly natural to step out of the training and into teaching yoga full-time in schools, community centers, privately, to government agencies, to school teachers, nurses, even Ninjas! What I found is that yoga and meditation was really having an impact on the well-being of the people who were coming. I loved being with people, supporting people, and I especially loved providing safe spaces for us to find healing, respite, and the wisdom within ourselves. An added gift of Yoga teaching is that it also gave me the opportunity to keep studying, learning, practicing as a lifestyle.
In 2011, I hit a wall, so to speak. I had been doing everything according to the teachings, and it seemed like something was missing. I was not fully satisfied. “Ask a true question and if you’re listening with openness, life will provide an answer.” My question was, what do I need to go further? I don’t even know how I even found this catalogue, but I found myself flipping through all the workshops that were the Omega Centre in NY when I happened to land on this one picture of Francis Lucille. I’d never seen nor heard of him, but strangely my body became filled with a sense of trust like I had never known! It had no rhyme or reason, but it was so strong that without question, I immediately started making plans to attend his retreat called Eternity Now.
It was really a quest into the unknown, driven by the unknown as I just continued to make plans and pack. I made the long journey by car and from the moment I met Francis Lucille, my life changed. I had finally found the answers to my questions. The process of clarification naturally followed and ever-continues, however it was that initial meeting when a major shift in perspective took place and it seemed like all the teachings of every spiritual tradition was glowing with understanding.
Since 2011, I have been attending retreats with Francis Lucille and friends approximately twice a year. The teachings of Francis Lucille, his teacher Jean Klein, and the love of truth that form an intrinsic part of my class offerings both online and in the weekly classes. The teachings of Neelam and Adyashanti have also had incredibly illuminating influences on my work and in my life. Through readings and recordings, I’ve also learned (and unlearned) so much from many others wisdom teachers in both the Buddhist tradition and the Advaita tradition including Shunryu Suzuki, Tulku Urgen Rinpoche, Shri Atma Krishnamenon, Ramana Maharshi, and more.
In 2014, the Yogaheart Yoga Teacher Training program was added as an offering out of the Yogaheart School and added this component to my offerings. Since then many wonderful students of yoga have gone on to become Yogaheart teachers. What an incredible joy and privilege it has been to be able to create a truly supportive and noncompetitive YTT program that supports individuals through the transformative process of self discovery and the discovery of true happiness. The Yogaheart School has been has been based out of beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada since 2001, until 2020, when all offerings went online. Our programs are not based on belief systems or religion, but rather based on firmly on freedom from beliefs–which paves the way for the student’s experience and discovery to the true self.
Dedicated student of yoga, life, psychology, energy, meditation, and consciousness, Mandee shares from her heart and delivers classes that suit anyone who is ready to pause–and realign with the truth within themselves. “Yoga is amazing. This wise and ancient practice offers a wide variety of methods to support healthy living and clarity of mind. It speaks to different people in different ways. The fundamental teaching of Yoga is to discover the ultimate wisdom within your own heart. The physical practice can be joyous and rejuvenating to all levels of ability. I like to create safe, open spaces for people to find what they are looking for.”
Yogaheart was founded in 2001 by Mandee Labelle E-RYT500, and in 2014 her teaching practice grew into the Yogaheart School which now also offers teacher training, workshops and specialty programs, as well as continuing education for yoga teachers.
BA. Hons. Psychology. McGill University 2000
– specializing in Health and Social Psychology
Certified Chakra Yoga Instructor Certification 2001 E-RYT500
– covering 9 forms* of Yoga: Hatha, Pranayama, Raja, Yantra, Karma, Bhakti, Mantra, Jnana
Certified Advanced ThetaHealing Practitioner, 2016
Continuing education continues always… when we are open.