About Indri Yoga

Indri is Andrew in Maltese. Or is it the other way round? Anyway, Malta is where the word comes from because that’s where I was living when I trained to teach yoga. I teach the restorative evening yoga class on Tuesdays at Fort Massey United Church at the corner of Tobin and Queen streets in Halifax’s South End.

I structure the Indri Yoga classes and takeaways so that you learn to practise carefully, safely and mindfully at your own pace.

If you’re anything like me, all you have to conquer is abject shyness; the crushing compulsion to hide out on the furthest mat at the back of the studio; the unequivocal certainty that they design spandex in every size but yours; the lingering fear that your deodorant was past its sell-by date; and that there’s a better than 50:50 chance you’re going to be the only one who ever farted in a yoga class. Easy right?

Andrew Mackay in a headstand at the LOVE statue (also upside down) in St. Julian's, Malta
me, upside down (“ta ‘taħt fuq” bil-Malti) at the LOVE statue (also upside down) in St. Julian’s after the 2014 Mdina 2 Spinola Christmas Run

My Yoga & Mindfulness Training

  • September 22-29, 2017: Plum Village Mindfulness Retreat (Son Ha Temple, Thénac, France)
  • November 1-30, 2016: (Rishikesh, India) 200 hour Yoga Alliance-recognized yoga teacher training with Harishchandra Yadav at Atri Yoga Center
  • July 12-18, 2014: (Vienna, Austria) 50 hour Yoga Alliance-recognized yoga teacher training with Monica Angelucci of Yoga Europa
  • June 28-July 07, 2014: (Prague, Czech Republic) One-on-One Yoga Teacher Training with Monica Angelucci of Yoga Europa
  • February, 2014: (Halifax, Canada) Yoga Teacher Seminar with Mike Munro at Therapeutic Approach Yoga Studio
  • June, 2013: (Mellieħa, Malta) Weekend Yoga Teacher Training with Monica Angelucci of Yoga Europa at Maritim Antonine Hotel

About Me

I’m a made-in-Canada father of three, grandfather of four, finisher of the Loch Ness & Marrakech marathons and the Prague half marathon. I became an open water distance swimmer (waves and jellyfish in Mellieħa Bay permitting) when one of my knees decided it had pounded quite enough pavement thank you very much, and gave me its metaphorical finger.

I trekked Tasmania’s Overland Track in March of 2016 because I was heading to a Tasmen Men’s Gathering there, thinking it might help me become a better man, and since I was going to be at the last port of call before Antarctica I figured, “How hard can it be to hike for six days carrying everything you need to survive?” Answer? “Hard!” I highly recommend both: incredibly beautiful and challenging — the scenery and the men.

John Muir quote on a sign at one of the Overland Track campsites.
“Wander a whole summer if you can. Thousands of God’s blessings will search you and soak you as if you were a sponge, and the big days will go by uncounted. If you are business-tangled and so burdened by duty that only weeks can be got out of the heavy laden year, give a month at least. The time will not be taken from the sum of life. Instead of shortening, it will indefinitely lengthen it and make you truly immortal.” — John Muir, Scottish-American conservationist and author, 1838-1914
(near Lake Windermere at one of the Overland Track campsites)

Later that year, after previous yoga teacher trainings in Austria, the Czech Republic and Malta, I became a Certified (Yoga Alliance) Yoga Teacher at the Atri Yoga Center in Rishikesh, India.

Atri Yoga Teacher Training graduation: Itamar, Sam, Erika, Cristina, Silviya, Terri, Yulya, Harish, Jamie, Andrew, Mégane and Deepa
Yoga Teacher Training Graduation Day at Atri Yoga Center in Laxman Jhula, (Rishikesh) India
L-R: Itamar, Sam, Erika, Cristina, Silviya, Terri, Yulya, Harish, Jamie, me, Mégane and Deepa

From the sounds of all that you might think I must have some athletic advantage. Uh, uh! I was the shy, chubby kid who got picked last for every team and every sport in every year’s physical education class.

I didn’t find yoga until later on in life after a debilitating divorce and I didn’t come back to it and add running, hiking and swimming to the mix until the consequences of years and years of being hunched over a desk working in advertising and drinking and smoking too much smacked me upside the head.

I’ve had to bust my butt for very single fitness milestone I’ve managed, headstand at the top of this page included.

  • I seriously contemplated quitting about halfway through the month-long yoga teacher training in India: I was the oldest yogi (by a decade) in the six-day-a-week routine of gruelling physical practice, plus theory (did I mention I also suck at studying) and it was almost as challenging to find some totally un-ayurvedic acetaminophen in Laxman Jhula (BTW it’s here at the Mishrwan Medical Store if you’re there and suffering as I was.)
  • I thought my feet were going to give up the ghost in the last kilometre before the Loch Ness marathon finish line in Inverness — only the inspiration of my brand new grandson Madden and the memory of my little brother Jonathan got me through it.
  • Prague’s cobblestoned marathon is ankle murder but I was with a team of 17 incredibly motivating Maltese runners from the Mellieħa Athletic Club.
  • The heat and smog of Marrakech is choking, unadulterated running torture but I was running with an Italian chick who just kept pushing.

It wasn’t the medals, certificates or scenery that kept me going or made a whit of difference in my life — it was the incredibly inspiring people I met trekking, running, stretching, standing on my head and travelling. That, and what John Muir says about wandering in the quote above is why I had no choice but to teach yoga.

Itamar, me, Yulya and Harish on the bank of the Ganges near the Vashishtha Gufa Temple west of Laxman Jhula, India at about week two of our 200-hour Atri Yoga Teacher Training

About my ego

I’d actually rather you didn’t know most of all that about me. The reason I spent a couple of days hacking at the words on this page until they became what I hope is a humble balance of my failures (real or perceived) and successes, is to hopefully make starting a yoga practice a little less intimidating for you.

If you’ve ever questioned your ability to try something new and stick with it, or even if you’ve had days when you’ve struggled to get out of bed (and make it,) wash yesterday’s dishes, be kind to someone (even yourself) even after crashing and burning the day or the week or the months before, yoga doesn’t ask anything of you but that you show up, even for a few minutes, keep breathing and try. I know — some days even that’s asking a lot.

The only other thing I know for certain is

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

William Stafford, The Way It Is, 1998
via Australian-Canadian Author & Counsellor Garry Gilfoy