July Ambassador: Meghan Ryder

Getting to know my ambassadors each month has been such a blessing!! Really getting to know my students on this deeper level as we work together during the month lights me up in ways I never imagined. Especially because everyone is just so cool.

This month Meghan Ryder was one of the Barefoot Yoga Shala ambassadors and after getting to know her a little better on our retreat this year, it was such a gift to continue getting to know her even better this month. Her sparkle just SHINES every time she arrives at the Shala and I’m happy that you’re getting to know her as well.


Without further ado, let’s learn more about this farm-loving, beautiful nursing student who’s light shines so bright.

1) How long have you been practicing yoga?
I attended a few classes at different studios throughout the north shore since I was 20, but it wasn’t until I found BYS  this past March that I started practicing regularly. 
2) What drew you to the mat?
I came to my first class at Barefoot Yoga Shala a week before a turned 27 and I remember reading Jenny’s Bio on the website. This sentence stood out to me: “After starting yoga 8 years ago (with a broken heart and no direction)” … I thought it was honest of her to write and I felt like I was in a similar place in my life. I needed to join a studio like BYS to get me back on track. I came in for a class and I’ve been obsessed since!
3) What’s your favorite pose?
Dancer! I was a ballet dancer for about 10 years and I performed in the Boston Nutcracker a few times.
4) You grew up on a farm, which is super cool!! Can you tell us a little bit about your experience?
I loved growing up in Sturbridge, MA. My family owned a beautiful house with 30 acres of land. We raised chickens (that would lay colorful eggs), turkey’s and goats. We also had cats, bunny’s and dogs. Our house was a like a little zoo and we all helped to take care of the animals.
To me they were all pets and I went years without eating Thanksgiving turkey because I had named every animal and I hated knowing it was one of our own. I did, however, love having farm fresh eggs. Our neighbors also owned 6 beautiful horses which my sisters and I would help take care of too. We also gardened a lot! My house was surrounded by gardens. We had over an acre of raspberry bushes in front of my house, yellow & red raspberries, and wild blackberries that our neighbors would come and pick from because we had so many! My mom actually had my sisters and I plant our own gardens that we would take care of. I always grew watermelons, pumpkins, and tea leaves (lemon balm and mint). My parents were always sending my sisters and I around with baskets of eggs, fruits, and veggies to give to our neighbors.
My two older sisters and I have always been very close and I am so lucky to have two sisters that are my best friends. The woods were our play ground growing up and we have so many amazing memories. We did everything together and because there wasn’t a whole lot to do where we lived we would get pretty creative. I loved the winter because we had these ponds in our woods that would freeze over and we could go ice skating on them. And right next to the big white fence that lined the horse fields there was this big hill that would take forever to climb up in the snow, but sometimes when you sled down the horses would run along side you, like they were racing you. 
5) As a nursing student life can be very stressful, how do you use your yoga “off the mat” while you’re in school or at work?
My schedule is so busy: I’m in school full-time, I have two part-time jobs and I make yoga a priority as well.  I try to carry my intention with me throughout the day, and I really value the little things I can do throughout my day that don’t feel so scheduled. When I’m at school I just try to stay engaged and focused and take everything in because I take it very seriously, and at work I do the complete opposite! I let routine take over and I just try to make everyone I talk to smile. When I’m not at work or school, I love being outside. I bought a a purple and blue tie-dye kayak when I was 14 {it took me almost a year to save up for it} and I still use it every summer. 
6) Tell us a fun fact about yourself
If I wasn’t in nursing school, I would want to be a chef! I cook almost every day, and I love having my family over so I can plan out a 3-course dinner with wine pairings. They laugh at me because I get so into it! I probably have about 50 cookbooks and my kitchen is pretty over crowded. There’s 3 crock pots, 5 sets of dinner plates and matching wine glasses and so much more. I recently threw my sister Niki an engagement party and made a seafood feast for everyone. I’m subscribed to 4 cooking magazines and I also have a little herb garden I cook with. I was a restaurant manager for several years before going back to school for nursing and I hope some day I can open my own little cafe or bar just for fun. 
7) Why do you practice at BYS?
Because I always leave feeling so much better then when I walked in. I learn something new every day, and I definitely appreciate life more when I practice. Morning yoga class at Barefoot Yoga Shala is my favorite way to start the day, I wish that’s how I could start every day. And it is way more then just a yoga studio, I love the work shops and knowing there’s always going to be something new for me to try. 
8) What is one piece of advice you’d give your pre-yoga self?
To just be more present. Stop worrying so much about whats next and focus on the right here and right now. I used to spend more time planning out everything I needed to do, then actually doing anything. Yoga helps me to stay in the moment. 

Thank you, Meghan, for being a total amBADASSador this month!

Lots of love & light,

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