How Bears & Yoga & Nutrition Consulting Fit Together
Written by Crystal McMillan, MA
The Holy City of Varanasi was not only a highlight in my life but a life changing experience, thanks to my love for bears. Believe it or not, it was my dedication to the practice of Iyengar Yoga for over 25 years together with my passion for reducing human-caused conflict with bears that brought me to India and ultimately to open a Centre for Natural Health and Yoga.
After completing my Master’s degree in Leadership (2009), I submitted my thesis to the International Bear Association Conference (IBA) in New Delhi, India. In short term I was invited to be a key note speaker. The experience was everything from exciting, astonishing, chaotic and absolutely raw. India is most beautiful. As are bears.
I knew I wanted to bridge my diverse educational achievements, passion for health and wellness practices and bears and so it was there in Varanasi that my vision for Bare Roots Natural Health & Yoga Centre was born.
The name ‘Bare Roots’ was chosen for the company’s name because ‘bear root’ is a medicinal plant used for improving human health, including: circulation, respiratory illnesses, and viral infections. The plant also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. In Native American folklore there is a story told of the brown bear’s affinity for the bear root plant. The bears would eat the roots and rub it on their fur to rid themselves of parasites. The Navajo credit the bear with leading them to powerful medicine.
Now, three years after its inception, Bare Roots is thriving thanks to all our wonderful students and clients. Bare roots has become more than I could ever have envisioned. It has become a community. Our dedicated teachers provide guidance to students learning the science of yoga and our consultants help those seeking health from natural healing sources. And what about the bears? We proudly continue to donate a percentage of our sales to reducing human-bear conflicts. The money is directed towards the placement of bear-resistant containers at strategic locations in the Oceanside Region.