Q&A: Yoga Instructor Mary Tilson
Q&A: Yoga Instructor Mary Tilson
A typical day for Mary Tilson, Director of Yoga and Wellness at Indonesia’s Nihi Sumba Island, is what the rest of us would consider sublime paradise. Here, she shares her favorite healthy snacks and self-care rituals.
My path to yoga…
The seed was first planted growing up, watching my mom do her practice.
Why Indonesia…
I had already visited Bali — a close neighbor — several times, but Sumba, often referred to as the “forgotten island,” was completely off the radar then. I was intrigued by the tribal culture, the raw, rugged landscapes and the resort's focus on philanthropy.
Favorite pose…
Anjaneyasana, also known as kneeling lunge. It’s a great hip and heart opener that acts as the perfect counterbalance to time spent sitting down.
I power through the sweating, twisting and turning because…
It powers me. Yoga has a beautiful way of waking us up to the present moment.
Favorite healthy meal…
Tropical fruit, chia seed pudding and muesli is my favorite breakfast. I also love coconut-based vegetable curries.
Favorite healthy eats when on the go…
Apples with nut butter! I also carry dried fruit and nut mixes with me for long treks or travel days when you can’t always rely on what food will be available. On my most recent trip to Peru, puffed quinoa — sometimes dusted with cacao powder — was the best fuel while exploring the Sacred Valley.
My self-care philosophy…
Listen to your body.
And self-care rituals…
I always have a sacred space set up with calming essential oils, incense, special treasures from my travels, inspiring books and my yoga mat. It keeps me grounded despite a lifestyle of continuous travel and change. I’ve also started disconnecting completely before bed and early in the morning — swapping in good, old-fashioned books for electronics.
You’d be surprised to know…
I spent a year living in a grass hut at a yoga and meditation retreat center in the jungle in Cambodia, surrounded by traditional farming villages and the ancient ruins of Angkor. Although the very simplistic way of life was quite an adjustment — no Wi-Fi or AC and only cold-water showers — those were some of the best times of my life.
Photographed by @mary tilson
Mary Tilson in the Printed Neoprene Halter Bikini Top; in top photo, wearing the Printed Swimsuit; Photographs courtesy @marytilson