We connected with Taylor Godber in the summer of 2014 when she won our #natureinspiredyogi photo contest on Instagram. She truly inspires us with her passion for the mountains & the sea, her creative expression, her commitment to wellness and yoga, and her devotion to make the world a better place. Get Inspired!
Photo Credit: Ashley Barker and Jessika Hunter.
Tell us a little bit about your story…
My Story! Not quite sure what chapter I’m in here or where it really starts and most definitely no idea where it will end. I have called Whistler home for the past 10 years, moved here for a year and have yet to leave. With the exception of trips to Tofino on Vancouver Island to dip into the water and play in the waves. I’m a sponsored snowboard athlete for a few brands such as; Billabong, k2 Snowboards, Electric, Skullcandy, etc. My discipline or better yet, my passion as a snow enthusiast is in the mountains. Deep in the backcountry, off the beaten path and usually accessed via snowmobile. When I’m not freezing in the snow my heart yearns for the ocean. I’ve made 3 solid trips to the island of the Gods, Bali and a few of the surrounding islands. Part of me most definitely belongs there. The energy of that part of the world will shift your perspective at plain sight and on a deeper level that can only be experienced from being there. Outside of the adrenaline addiction of snowboarding and surfing my other hobbies & passions reside in creative endeavors and wellness. The yin to my yang is painting canvases and creating healthy high octane fuel for my body and others, in the form of food! I find value in eating organic, local, fresh, nutrient rich foods and see it as a gift and priority to be able to nourish ourselves with healing beautiful foods. Which leads me to an item on the bucket list, a cookbook. A wellness cookbook, of course! I write, not as often as I should- on my blog, freelance articles for a few websites, and magazines. Passions into “jobs”, a tool belt that brings in some cash here and there, to keep the dream alive-living! Travel and adventure always on the mind-open to experience life in the front row. A burning desire to see the world, meet new people, and live life to the fullest.
How did you find yoga and how do you “live” it?
Yoga found me. Classes were being offered amongst other fitness classes at my gym. I thought that I would try it out to increase my flexibility. My first class was a power class, that kicked my ass. Less stretch more shake and sweat. I started integrating the power classes as my rest days between workouts. Then another yoga studio opened up a stone throw away from my apartment and I figured I would give the 2 week deal a chance. The first class opened up with some pranayama and mantra, I was like “what the heck is this?” It was my first experience of stepping away from the poses and cliche or not, this teacher was magical. She was an older woman and had 20+ years of teaching all over the world. Totally drawn to her “presence” for a lack of a better word, I started rocking out to a couple power classes a week and then some more spiritual classes here and there. Fast forward a couple of years and I was looking to add to my resume to become a lifestyle coach. Yoga seemed like a great skill to tack on to the standing credentials: certified weight trainer and nutritionist. I had a month between moving to the Island to surf and work for the summer. I logged on to the web to find a teacher training and with less than 2 weeks till start date, my first ever yoga teacher and favorite power guru was holding a training in Mexico. I signed up last minute, tried to cram the stack of books, one of which was the bible brick- the Yoga Sutras. I read it all & didn’t understand much. Committed to 2-3 classes a day for a week to “prepare” for what I thought would be a serious physical journey, since my teacher was known and I had experienced- a teacher that will make you sweat! My teacher training…changed my life. It was an introductory to so much more than the asana (poses) and it pretty much took me for a roller coster ride of emotions and experiences both physically and mentally. It was a shift that changed my perspective to how I live my life. I think that it was the opening comment, you need to do the work in order to help other people make the transformation. Kinda like, you can’t help others if you aren’t helping yourself. Like everything in life, I dove in head first and straight to the bottom to clean up all the sh!t that I had tucked to the side. What a trip that was, ha! With the dark comes the light and a journey with a dozen more wicked people. What I learned & was reminded of, and am continuing to work to apply on the daily:
-be kind to others
-find the light in every situation
-find balance, create balance
-love love love
-shanti / peace -carpe diem / seize the day
-see the beauty in all
-go after what your soul churns for ……….the list goes on.
But collectively it shifted me into a space where I really truly started loving and accepting myself and listening to that voice in my head, my intuition.
Have you ever participated in any kind of yoga trade? What are the positive impacts you notice that evolve from volunteering and travel?
I have yet to participate in any kind of yoga trade. I have had the pleasure of teaching in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, on the beach in Tofino, British Columbia Canada, a couple of sub classes in Whistler British Columbia Canada, and at a surf resort in Bali Indonesia. I love teaching, I often forget that I love it. Something to be re-ignited in the near future, I do believe. If I can help or inspire someone be it through healing a previous injury, finding space in a locked off zone through movement, find clarity in slowing down or through moving meditation, or stoke what needs to be burned away- then I’m down! The whole idea of what you do on your mat can be translated into your daily life, I dig that. We as human beings are instinctually caring. It is in our innate nature to give back and be compassionate. Volunteering not only has an impact on whom we are giving to, but also gives back to us. Spreading the love and helping anyone or anything is necessary to reconnect and break barriers that have been created. Love love love. To travel is to live. To experience and shift our perspectives be it: positive or negative. Through culture shock, food touring, new sunsets, blurry nights, near death experiences, or new personalities. All the while to come to the simple conclusion that we are all connected at some level and all the same and should be loved and supported all the same. We need to give a fu#k about the planet and one another and desperately need to stop sweating the small stuff. Wow, is this world ever incredible!
Any tips for how we can all help improve our local and global communities?
We all matter. We all have the power to create change. Be it through smiling at a stranger, picking up a chip bag at the beach, putting a coin in an overdue parking meter, working at an orphanage, turning the tap off while we brush our teeth… Everyone has a huge voice and every positive action has a massive affect on the movement towards peace, acceptance, and love.
What inspires you most?
Standing on top of a mountain in the middle of Alaska at the mercy of mother nature herself or feeling the power of a wave hurl on to your legs as you just manage to duck dive. It humbles me and consistently reminds me that life is to be experienced and the planet is to be respected and cared for. Seeing the smiles on people’s faces where all ego slips away and they are completely vulnerable and content, lost in the moment and as present as possible. Traveling and seeing kids play in the dirt and sand with the biggest smiles. Anyone living a simple life, who has understood the difference between needs and wants. People that exercise living life to its fullest and follow their dreams.
Anything else you would like to share…