I keep remembering how good Tara Good made me feel the first time I was in one of her meditation classes. I had this urge to finally try out 889 Yoga. The space is located a mere 10 minutes away from my house, and it took me four years to enroll in a class. Tara, a yoga and meditation teacher put it best, people come when they are ready. And I guess I was ready.
When I first walked into 889 Yoga in Rosedale, I felt like I had walked into Nirvana. I wasn’t expecting such a beautiful, bright, massive space that embodies, peace and calm within a busy, filtered city.
I can still remember how her meditation and reiki class changed my mood that night. I remember it because I was a meeting a friend that night, and I was taken back by my mood. It was gentler, lighter, happier. Conversation came easier. Happiness was present without feeling forced.
Tara’s energy, colluding with my subconscious promise to get deeper in my meditation practice stuck with me. That class stuck with me. It was so freeing, so powerful.
In the class, Tara was seamless in guiding us through breath work, which is an essential part of the meditation process. I was worried that meditation would be an elaborate process that I wouldn’t be able to connect with. But that’s the thing about Tara, she surprises you with how easy she makes meditation. How at ease you around her.
“It’s very simple.” She says to me. “It’s all energy.”
Energy being people, attitudes, behaviours. It all comes from energy. Tara can sense that energy when she walks into a class with her students. She may have a plan for her class that day, and she’ll feel the energy of the students and know they need something else.
Tara believes that yoga is simply a practice of wholeness and love.
“In order to create a place of love, you have to break through the fear that holds you from getting there,” says Tara. Often, it’s our ego that holds us back.
Your ego doesn’t like to be vulnerable or exposed even though vulnerability is what will get you to that place of love and wholeness. “My practice is to observe how the fear is coming in and be okay with being in that state.” Says Tara Good.
The ego is situated in fear. Tara explained it to me this way.
“The way the ego works is to create a shell around your heart. When you go through experiences, change, anything that happens in your life, your ego is fed by this negative chatter working to protect you from being vulnerable. When the fear starts to come in, I am trying to observe it instead of believing the stories it’s telling me.”
It’s a very real process that we all have to move through.
Tara’s evolution to meditation Wonder Woman has been an interesting process. The confines of growing up in a small town in Ontario didn’t allow for the growth she needed. She moved to Toronto because of a simple feeling that there was something more for her. She began practicing yoga, and worked as the general manager at 889 Yoga for three years.
It was there that sisters and owners Emily and Christine Russell helped her connect the missing puzzle piece – meditation. They talked about meditation on the daily, and gave Tara the space she needed and craved to explore and practice.
Eventually Tara received her Master level in Reiki. It was while exploring energy work that things really shifted for Tara. She came out of a long-term relationship with her partner, left the yoga studio and went on to explore other roles. It was going through tumultuous relationships with herself and others that repressed feelings started to come up.
Tara’s meditation foundation helped her get through this stressful time.
What is Meditation to you?
“It’s all about allowing something to rise and release and it’s that continuous process of rising and releasing. Yoga is a meditation. It’s a way to move blocks through my body that I can’t release through any other way. As I move mind – body – spirit which is exactly what meditation is, that breathe connection moves me into a space where I can sit and connect with whatever is going on.”
Where does resistance to Meditation come from?
“The easy answer is to say, in the mind,” explains Tara. “When you try to control by repressing, suppressing or blocking, then it has to go somewhere. If you’re stuffing it all in, you will place a block on yourself. Let’s say you go through a traumatic experience. You feel like you want to push through it and keep going. You don’t have time. But if you don’t set aside that difficult emotion, your mind may forget but your body remembers.”
Tips On How To Start:
“Meditating can be really intimidating when you start. You’re not sure if you’re doing it right. My suggestion is to start going to a group class, because it gives you a venue to ask questions. I did guided meditation to start, and then I just wanted to sit alone with my breath.”
Tara always starts her day with a meditation. Sitting on her couch in silence, she focuses on her breath and follows her energy. She doesn’t meditate for long, but rather, stands by the mantra, quality over quantity.
“I meditate for 11 minutes every day. I do energy work on myself and then if I’m going through change, or a stressful time, I meditate more frequently throughout that day. I need the ritual of sitting every day in order to ground and connect with myself. The ritual of sitting and trying to be present of whatever is coming up is so important. Don’t try to get rid of what’s coming up, allow it to rise and begin to move through the body. If there’s something that’s rising, I do energy work to flush it out. Once that’s been flushed out I can connect back with that space and listen to what my soul is trying to tell me.”
For non-healers, Tara Good recommends using your breath as energy. Use your exhale to push out the negative that rises. The exhale through the mouth is a powerful tool to release. “As those dark emotions start to rise – jealousy, anger, fear – be comfortable with it rising and then work to let it go.” Says Tara.
We’re lucky to have someone like Tara Good in Toronto as part of a fortified community of healers and yoga teachers. Tara is here to make it easier for us to meditate and process our feelings of growth.
You can find Tara Good at 889Yoga, framewrk, Resilience Fitness, and her weekly Heal & Meditate with Sara Moncreiff in The Attic at Lululemon’s Queen Street store where she is Lululemon’s newest ambassador. Tara also offers one-on-one yoga, meditation and Reiki. Contact her on her Instagram account. @TaraG123
Photo of the author and Tara. Photos thanks to @jaycrewsphotography and @889yoga.