Name: Brooke Mckallor
From: Seattle, USA
Role at Sunshinestories: Yoga Teacher turned Social Host
Brooke started at Sunshinestories a little different to most. We managed to get her on board pretty spontaneously to fill in as a yoga teacher for one month, but after those four weeks we couldn’t face letting her go, so she became our Social Host! We are so happy to have this free-spirited ray of sunshine as part of the family.
Words to live by?
Ah there are so many! Here are my top 3:
Trust the timing of your life.
Be grateful for everything, even the stuff that appears really inconvenient at the time.
‘None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself as an afterthought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you are carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.’ – Nanea Hoffman
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Definitely anything that involves being outside, particularly in the ocean or mountains. My favorite outdoor activities are surfing, hiking and swimming. I could spend hours in the ocean simply floating, it recharges me and makes me so happy. I also love to cook, read, and spend time with my friends and family (particularly while eating food or dancing).
What is your main source of inspiration?
I find that I am most inspired after spending time in nature. It really is hard for me not to believe in magic after watching a sunset and then seeing fireflies light up the night sky as I am going to bed. Nature has so much to teach us and in this time that we live in it is easy to forget how much we are a part of it..
Describe your life in Sri Lanka:
Pure joy. It involves unlimited coconuts, daily yoga and surfing, dancing with friends on the beach to the wee hours of the night, post surf roti (a delicious Sri Lankan street food) while riding on the back of a rusty motorbike, tuk tuks blasting terrible techno music, writing in my journal with monkeys jumping over my head, meeting incredible and inspiring people from all over the world, and having trouble sleeping because I’m so excited for the next day ahead.
What does your practice look like?
My practice definitely changes based on what is happening in my life at any given moment. I’ve noticed that since I’ve been in Sri Lanka it tends to go from either really playful and goofy where I blast my favourite dance songs and groove my way through a very flowy practice, or it will be super gentle where I will do lots of yin and restorative poses and deep breath work. I just go with how I am feeling in the given moment and let it all unfold, and lately these two situations tend to be the most common.
What inspires your teachings?
Just like my practice, my teachings are always inspired by what is going on in my life at the moment. I find that when I am teaching from a truly authentic place and from the heart, people respond very well. When I started teaching at Sunshinestories I was going through quite an emotional rollercoaster as I was learning to surf. I was having moments where I would be so frustrated with myself, and then I would come back to my yoga practice and work through my mental blocks. So it felt natural to bring this into my classes, as I found a lot of our guests were facing similar hurdles. I tied these ideas into my classes and interweaved them with different poses. For example I taught a class that was focused on twist poses, which are a great way to see things from a new perspective and so I brought in the idea that sometimes all we need is to look at things a little differently. Okay so you spent the majority of your surf in the white wash getting thrown about, but hey you built up your paddling muscles! Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure, you just have to shift the way you look at things.
It is so fun to be able to help people bring their yoga practice off the mat and onto their surfboards with them. I also love to sprinkle in quotes that have really resonated with me throughout the class, whether it’s from a book I’ve read or from a conversation with my friends.
What does being part of the Sunshine family mean to you?
It means that I get to help spread the Sunshinestories love that Petter and Linn have created. I get to show people that we are all capable of living our dream lives, that it is okay to be vulnerable and to fall down sometimes (in my case quite a lot with surfing!), that it is not selfish to take time for ourselves and focus on our health, that sometimes the solution to all of our problems is that we really need to just play and laugh. I feel so incredibly grateful to be a part of this community and spread this love. Everyone deserves to live their sunshine story, and I get to help people realize this! How cool is that?
All photos by Mitch Fong.