Steve sits down with Chantal Russell. Chantal is a mama, a tantric yogini and lover of all things wellness. She’s a meditation teacher, entrepreneur, and founder of The Well on Bowen Island. In this wide-ranging conversation, Chantal and Steve talk yoga, meditation, relationships, forest bathing, psychedelics, spirituality and how to be grateful for every day that you’re alive.
- The Well on Bowen
- Forest Bathing
- Vipassana Retreat
- Nada yoga
I’m a mama, a tantric yogini and lover of all things wellness. As an entrepreneur and cancer thriver, I know that life can be overwhelming at times. And because of that, I also know that being WELL is a choice we make. It’s a culmination of all the little things we do every day, that create the wellbeing we all seek.
My passion and purpose lie in awakening and reclaiming the sacred feminine, the creative Shakti power within us all, regardless of gender or how we identify.
Whether we realize it or not, we are all master creators on our life’s journey. Weavers of spirit and matter. Through yoga, conscious lifestyle design or simple daily rituals, my desire is to empower modern womxn with practical wisdom. I believe that well-being comes from aligning to nature and soul, and is ultimately about embodying who you really are.
In addition to leading weekly classes at my studio, Werklab, and Jaybird, I’m a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and very soon to be Ayurvedic Wellness Consultant. I’m proud to be the founder and director of The Well, a boutique yoga studio on Bowen Island, British Columbia Canada where I live; a long-time faculty member at the Vancouver School of Healing Arts, and Wellness Director at The Orchard Addiction Recovery Center.
This year I also completed an apprenticeship in the way of the Priestess, and love creating ceremonies for womxn moving through different phases of life/death/rebirth. I know I’ve been on this path for many lifetimes and believe deeply in the healing power of ritual and prayer. I weave it into all that I do.
When I’m not teaching or writing, I can be found gardening with my husband and son, reading by the fire, or traveling the world in search of good waves, healing foods and nourishing conversation.
I started practicing yoga at 18, after being by my grandmother’s side as she passed of cancer. My thirst for truth and wellness led me on a quest to learn yoga and natural nutrition, and have since studied with some of the world’s most renowned and luminary teachers. I feel blessed beyond words to have met everyone on my path.
In December 2011 I gave birth to my son at home and discovered a lump on my neck that same night. A week later, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I was a twenty-eight year old vegetarian yogi, and now a new mama, completely blindsided by life. Lost and confused, disheartened and depressed, I questioned everything I had ever believed. Although somewhat terrified that I might not live to see my thirtieth birthday, deep down, I trusted that for some wild reason I could not yet understand, this crazy crisis was happening for me.
Today, over 7 years after finding the lump on my neck, I am cancer-free. I hope to live in Paris one day, become fluent in Spanish, and dream that my second book (not yet written) will be a New York Times Bestseller.
Chantal has been practicing and teaching yoga for over 15 years. Her passion for health and wellness led her to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist through the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2007. Since then, she has deepened her studies of holistic lifestyle modalities and is completing her Ayurvedic Wellness Coaching accreditation this fall, through The Shakti School.
Her first teacher training in 2005 was in the Ashtanga tradition with David Swenson. Years later while in Costa Rica, she discovered Anusara Yoga, and went on to study the elegant Universal Principles of Alignment with the school’s most senior teachers, including Darren Rhodes, John Friend and internationally celebrated yoga innovator Sianna Sherman, whom later became her mentor and dear friend.
From 2010-12, Chantal professionally managed and apprenticed Sianna, during which time she assisted numerous workshops and teacher training programs in San Francisco, New York, and Paris. During her apprenticeship, she also completed in-depth studies in pre-natal yoga and yoga therapeutics, and practiced with top yoga and meditation scholars including Sally Kempton, Paul Muller-Ortega, Christopher Wallis and Douglas Brooks.
In October 2017, she released her first book, Wildfire Within, which quickly became an Amazon bestseller in three different categories. In 2018 Chantal co-founded The Well (formerly Bowen Island Yoga) a boutique studio on Bowen Island, off the west coast of British Columbia where she resides. Along with being the studio’s director, she is also a faculty member The Vancouver School of Healing Arts, manages the yoga & nutrition program at The Orchard addiction recovery centre, and offers weekly classes at Werklab & Jaybird.