We were delighted to interview Ché Dyer, the creative mind behind @indieyogalife. We asked her about the inner workings of creativity, her views on movement (she recently got into marathon running), and the mindsets that prevent us from reaching our full potential. We love her sense of humor and her ability to add a little playfulness to the serious things. Keep reading to learn more and stay until the end to receive a generous gift from her!
Who/what did you want to be when you were a child?
When I was young, I wanted to be a famous actress — I actually went to university to study theatre but ended up changing my degree when I got there to a Bachelor of Journalism (with a specialisation in graphic design).
What are some of the choices you’ve made that made you who you are?
I think everything in my life up to this point has made me who I am. Both the ‘big’ life choices – like following my heart to become a yoga teacher, which has given me purpose and direction in life like nothing else, as well as the ‘less glamourous’ choices, like ending up in an emotionally abusive and manipulative relationship, have all had an impact on the person I am today. It’s taken me a long time to see it like that – especially when I reflect on the less glamorous choices, but they have all allowed me to grow, develop and become more grounded in who I am and what I want from life.
What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
In my IDEAL life, I’d wake up with my husband and step outside to our pool deck to practice yoga together in the warm sunrise – with a pot of coffee brewing. We’d practice yoga together outside overlooking a beautiful nature scene. After meditation and intention/goal setting together for the day ahead, we’d make green smoothies for breakfast. Then we’d get to work – my work involving creating content for my Move Breathe Create Platform, and planning and/or hosting retreats/workshops. Warren’s work would involve the admin side of the business (spreadsheets, ha!) and overseeing our mini health cafe, attached to our yoga studio space. Our workshop/studio/cafe space is so well-renown for being such an incredible nourishing and healing space that it draws interesting people locally and from around the world to come and share it with us.
We have space (literally and figuratively) in our day, which creates a state of calm and peace as we work. We connect with incredible people and do work, which truly heals. At the end of the day, we make dinner together (maybe with a glass of wine, maybe not) and light candles to eat outside in the warm air as we reflect on how grateful we are to have created a life so filled with abundance doing the work that we love.
My life does not look like this now – but what I know to be one hundred percent true is that you cannot manifest anything in your life that you don’t already have a clear picture of — so that is my “perfect life” in manifestation process right there!
What role does social media/Instagram play in your life?
I love social media for the connection and community it can create! At the same time, it can be a very time-wasting rabbit hole if I’m not extremely conscious about my usage. I think it’s important that you are very selective about who you choose to follow online so that you leave social media feeling inspired, empowered, and ready to engage with life in a positive, productive way.
If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
Ooh! Great question!
I’ve recently had one of the most empowering experiences of truly understanding and accessing a state of being in which I was able to see my true, limitless potential. This limitless potential exists for all of us, always, but we tend to lose our connection to it when the mind takes over. So if I could gain one quality/ability, it would be to never lose that connection to that state of loving limitless potential.
Let’s talk about running! When did you start running, what role does it play in your life, and how does it connect to your yoga practice?
I’ve never considered myself a “runner,” but for some rather spontaneous reason, I decided to sign myself up to run a marathon (which is coming up in October!). I was reading a book called The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks at the time, and he spoke a lot about how we all have upper-limiting beliefs about ourselves — and how we put our own self-imposed ceilings on what we believe is possible for ourselves. I’ve never run a marathon, and part of me holds the belief that it is not possible (an upper limiting belief!). So I decided the best thing for me to do was to challenge my self-imposed self-limiting belief on it and sign myself up to do it! And here we are! Another book which I’ve found SO interesting on this ‘running’ journey is Born to Run by Chris McDougal. I definitely do not get the same kind of joy from running as I get from practicing yoga — but I can fully understand how many people can find a state of ‘yoga’ through long-distance running. Yoga and strength work have definitely helped support my running training!
What are your thoughts on movement in general? Why do you think it’s important for people who lead mostly sedentary lifestyles to get off their butts and move around?
Movement is medicine! Our bodies are designed to move, and, at the same time, our bodies are extremely adaptive, so if we are not moving on a daily basis, then our bodies adapt to support this lifestyle. Our joints lose their mobility, our muscles shorten and weaken (or lengthen and weaken!), we get tightness, and we create a compensatory imbalance in our system. A rigid ‘stuck’ body translates into a rigid ‘stuck’ mind, too —they are not separate— so it’s important to move your body every day from a place that comes from LOVE.
What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
Cultivating an open heart!
What is your personal yoga practice like? Do you favor certain styles, teachers, approaches?
I practice Vinyasa yoga personally, as it’s my preference to have a practice that creates opportunity for creativity and truly moving with what my body needs in the moment. Although I believe that the physical aspect of yoga is very important in its own right (as a way to build strength, mobility, or to rehabilitate the body), the approach that I gravitate towards when teaching is a practice that offers something more than just the body. As such, I also enjoy teachers who weave that something ‘extra’ into the physical practice. I love exploring different styles of yoga like Rocket, Yin, and Restorative, as I think it’s important to keep learning from a variety of teachers and styles as there is always something new to learn.
Working hard on your dreams vs. manifesting your dreams — what’s your approach, and can the two be combined? What are some common misconceptions about manifestation?
A common misconception about manifestation is that it requires zero action. Manifesting your dreams also requires action or “work,” but when you are moving in the direction of what you want, the work feels less like “work/hustle.” Rather, it feels like inspired action —like it’s coming from someplace else— or that the right path seems to unfold in front of you. When you are in emotional alignment with what you are wanting, things will flow with ease, and the path ahead truly feels very clear and effortless — even though there is still ACTION to be taken.
We love your “#ShitYourYeachersSay” comics. What role does humour play in your life and art? And why is it sometimes so hard for yogis to laugh at themselves?
I think humour is so incredibly important. Russell Brand has a really interesting podcast on how humour is one of the most powerful ways to deliver a message, and that really rings true for me. I believe that if we, as yoga teachers, are not able to laugh with love at ourselves, then we have lost some humility and some of the point of yoga. The humour I share on social media regarding teaching yoga creates opportunity for yoga teachers to laugh as they call themselves out and say, “Oh yes — haha! I totally do that!” Effective humour often taps away at the subconscious ego, which can sometimes rub people up the wrong way! But we have to recognise our ‘humanness’ in order to appreciate our divinity. They are two sides of the same coin.
Vulnerability – what does it mean to you, and how do you practice vulnerability in both real life and Instagram life?
It requires massive vulnerability as a yoga teacher to admit that you don’t know everything, that you aren’t an ‘enlightened being,’ that you’re just human, that you get things wrong, that you sometimes say random shit. All of my yoga cartoons come from personal experience, which I believe is important to share on Instagram. It’s so refreshing and relatable to have a yoga teacher on social media who ISN’T perfect — who is just human on this journey together with you! Those are the teachers I am strongly drawn to.
In my personal life, it’s taken me much longer to learn the art of true vulnerability — I asked my husband a few years ago why he believes our relationship to be so connected and stable and his reply was, “We talk about the things that are easier not to talk about”, and I think this really is the epitome of what vulnerability within a relationship looks like.
Let’s talk about the culture of yoga “influencers” on Instagram. What do you think our obsession with beautiful people doing advanced yoga poses on a cliff say about the current state of yoga? How could influencers use their power to change the world for the better?
It’s an interesting question for me to answer —because for the most part— ALL of Instagram yoga is a performance in some way or another. I am also part of the Instagram-yoga cohort. The ‘performance’ aspect of yoga that we see on social media definitely removes it somewhat from what yoga truly is, AND at the same time, it is a beautiful thing that yoga has been able to transform and shift to be so part of our modern culture and technology.
I have seen some truly CRAZY ‘yoga-antics’ on social media —people handstanding off the sides of cliffs and off death-defying building-ledges— and honestly, I think to myself, “Why are you doing this? For the sake of a few Instagram likes?” (TRULY!?) But I’m also not a daredevil sky-diver or bungee jumper, so maybe there is some Adrenaline kick that I’m just not understanding! In my opinion, I do think Instagram yoga teachers have some responsibility for the content they share, and positioning ‘yoga’ as something that puts you in a death-defying situation as if that’s the pinnacle of it all, is NOT healthy.
Let’s talk about toxic positivity. A lot of Instagram influencers (and wannabe influencers) craft a perfect happy image of themselves on social media. What are the dangers of inauthentic positivity, and how can we change the #goodvibesonly culture?
I’ve never heard of the phrase toxic-positivity before – but it really makes sense to me! Mostly the things we see on social media are some form of highlights reel – so we really need to be conscious of that when we are consuming it. The danger of inauthentic positivity is that it creates completely unrealistic expectations for us to live up to. Life is NOT perfect. It is messy and painful, and there are down days no matter who you are. Toxic positivity is much like spiritual bypassing — where we avoid or don’t acknowledge the truth of what we are feeling or the myriad of feelings we are moving through us in the name of our spiritual path, where we, therefore, need to show that everything is ‘high vibe’ all the time.
Instead of promoting #goodvibesonly, the most empowered action, in my opinion, is to be authentic with whatever it is we are feeling —judgement/shame/hurt/pain/guilt, etc.— SO THAT we can authentically move it through and out the body to return to a state of love/inner peace. To me, that is yoga in action!
How did you decide to create a membership space, Move Breathe Create? What is the advantage of being part of a dedicated community vs. doing it alone when it comes to one’s creative life?
The creative journey is a spiritual journey! The practice of yoga and the practice of creativity weave so well side by side for me —they both cultivate our creative life force and connection to something much bigger than us. Move Breathe Create is a platform that is run with a monthly theme so that members can work through Yoga content, meditations, creative tutorials, and soul work all linked to that specific theme. It is a platform designed to reconnect you back to your body, your intentions, and your soul/the natural creative intelligence that resides within you.
Having a calendar to follow and people to do the work with makes it much easier to stay accountable to show up for yourself!
What does creativity mean to you? Can everyone be creative? What are some of the most popular misconceptions on creativity you have heard in your life? How do you respond to them?
The most common thing I hear is, “I’m not creative.” Creativity is NOT about the end goal of painting a picture, writing a poem, etc. it is about the process of connecting to something bigger than you and allowing that inspiration/intuition to move through you in a state of flow. When we allow ourselves to be open in this way, then creativity is a natural by-product of this process.
We don’t need to be dancers/actors/painters to call ourselves ‘creative.’ ‘Creative’ can be the way you problem solve, the way you parent, the way you approach your boss, the way you engage with life when you are in a state of receptivity. Creative tutorials can guide us towards reaching that receptive state as we often need to let go of the things that inhibit us from being there —like the ego, the mind, our perfectionism, or our procrastination.
Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it (yet)?
Opening up a creative/yoga/healing/cafe workspace/retreat centre!
The simple answer to why I haven’t done it (yet) is: finances! (Stay tuned!)
What is your no-fail go-to when you need inspiration or to get out of a creative rut?
Getting outside/ into nature.
Putting down my phone!
Picking up a new medium (paints/pastels/camera) and getting curious/playful!
Letting go of needing to create something for a specific outcome or purpose.
Following a prompt/suggestion or being inspired by a tutorial — I have loads on the Move Breathe Create Platform!
What’s your definition of mindfulness? What is the first step to becoming mindful in your day-to-day life?
Being completely present! For me, the simple first step is slowing down and taking a few deep breaths.
If you could invite anyone in the world to dinner, who would it be?
Probably my family — mom, dad, brother… (Or maybe Deepak Chopra and Oprah! ha!)
In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?
Getting out of my head and into my body is the quickest way for me to pick myself up! Usually, my self-doubt comes when I’ve overly identified with my mind – so I help to let go of some of those doubts by turning down the mind and turning up the volume on the body!
What are three IG accounts you like to go check out even if their posts don’t appear in your feed?
@Yoga_Girl is the only one I actually go and check (but even that is becoming less frequent as I focus more on creating my OWN stuff!). Two other accounts I enjoy browsing are @nathanwpylestrangeplanet for some random fun, and @allthatisshe always sparks my creative interests!
What’s your favorite word?
Haha – I’ve never thought about that, but truthfully the first word that popped into my head is, “fuck” — it’s so versatile!
What does the world need more of? Less of?
More love, less judgment.
Check out Ché’s Instagram for more laughs and creative thoughts; her website for more inspiration and longer reads; her membership platform to get access to the calendar and creativity prompts for your yoga practice. Ché generously gifts our lovely Shut Up & Yoga readers one month free with the code: ShutUp.