A few weeks ago, I talked with Marci Zaroff, founder and President of Under the Canopy, about starting a yoga routine. An avid yoga practitioner, artist and passionate organic consumer, Marci followed up to see how was progressing in my yoga practice. “So far, so good,” I said. “But, I still have some starter questions.” As always, Marci was warm, gracious and generous in offering both her encouragement and advice.
Olive: What is your favorite type of yoga?
Marci: Over the past 23 years, I have experimented with many different yoga modalities. Currently, I am really drawn to Vinyasa yoga. I enjoy a practice that balances the spiritual and more physical elements of yoga, fusing mind-body discipline in every movement and moment.
Olive: What are your favorite yoga positions?
Marci: As a sun lover, all of the asanas (or poses) of a sun salutation awaken and excite me. I’m also a fan of Dancer Pose (Natarajasana), Head Stand (Salambra Sirsasana), Revolved Side Angle/Twisting Lunge (Parivrtta Parsvakonasana) and the ultimate relaxation poses, such as Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana), Plow Pose (Halasana) and lying down (Savasana).
Olive: Ha! That last one is one of my favorite poses too! In all seriousness, if there was one pose, in your opinion, that could best describe my personality or physique, what would it be?
Marci: I would say Eagle Pose, where the arms and legs are twisted around each other. Your whimsical and flexible body and your persona allow you to wrap and move effortlessly, just as an eagle is endowed with its sense of freedom and independence. Your thin frame and large feet even reflect that of an eagle’s torso and expansive wings. If only you could fly, Olive…
Olive: Oh, I can fly! Haven’t you seen any of my stunts in the “Popeye” cartoons? But, let’s get back to basics…What is your philosophy on yoga and clean living?
Marci: Yoga, a way of life, represents the integration of the physical, emotional and spiritual. It embodies community, connection and consciousness and is a state of mind and being, not just a form of meditation and/or fitness. I believe an authentic yogini/yogi should practice yoga “off the mat,” extending yoga into “clean” and “green” lifestyle choices that reflect a cohesive sense of responsibility, integrity and wellness. Yoga is about service to oneself, to others and to the planet, as we are all interconnected. The energy which emanates from a yoga mindset is a powerful vehicle to affect positive change in the world and that change starts at the individual level.
Olive: Wow, I’m speechless…and, once again, inspired and humbled by you. I have a lot of external and internal work ahead of me.
Marci: Namaste, Olive.
Olive: Namaste, Marci.
Marci Zaroff has been an internationally-recognized ECOlifestyle pioneer, expert, innovator and educator for over two decades. As Co-Founder of “The Institute for Integrative Nutrition,” Founder of ECOfashion brands Under the Canopy and FASE, and Portico Brand Group CMSO, Marci has been instrumental in driving authenticity, environmental leadership and social justice worldwide.