Famous for standing on her hands, MacKenzie Miller takes time out to talk to Audra Stanley about travel, yoga, the secret to earthly happiness and how to follow her handstands all over the world.
What drew you into the world of yoga?
It’s kind of a funny story… I was grinding it out in the corporate world at the time for a company in Santa Monica. It was pretty hip though. If you went for a workout at lunchtime you got an extra 15 minutes for lunch so that was reason enough for me to try a few different classes. They also paid for my gym membership which, on a side note, is a great incentive to keep your employees healthy, happy, productive and motivated! But I digress… so I began going to a yoga class taught by Angela Kukhahn. Boy was that a blessing! In fact if it weren’t for Angela I wouldn’t be where I am now. As time went by, she and I became really good friends and she began introducing me to the ‘LA yoga scene.’ She took me to Vinnie Marino’s class at Yogaworks and it was love at first vinyasa. I’ve been hooked ever since!
You’re always on your hands, how long did it take to get to the level you’re at today?
I’ve been practicing yoga for about eight years now! I’d say my handstands have slowly evolved over the past five years. Most people assume that because I’m 5’2” and compact I am a gymnast, which isn’t the case. I work hard, put in the time and my handstand has slowly gotten stronger and more stable. I can’t wait to see what’s next!
What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Love. It’s that simple.
Who are you inspired by most?
Hala Khouri – in both my personal and professional life. I recently worked with her on the Empowered Youth Initiative training. If you don’t know who she is, look her up. This woman is amazing. She’s one of the founders of, ‘Off the Mat And Into The World.’ I have one word for her: badass.
What are you listening to right now?
What are you watching right now?
I just wrapped up season four of ‘Arrested Development.’ Lordy, I love that show.
What are you reading right now?
Last Chance in Texas, by John Hubnard, and Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown.
Aside from yoga, what activities do you enjoy?
I love good food and drink. I recently went gluten free so now more specifically wine. I’m headed to Napa in July with my mom for my birthday! I couldn’t be more excited!!
What is your personal motto?
Rock what you’ve got.
What natural gift would you most like to possess?
Vulnerability. It’s something that’s always been a challenge for me. Yoga has helped soften me quite a bit!
Who inspires you or your practice?
If you had to pick a favorite place in the world, where would it be?
I traveled to Aruba in January, which was pretty amazing. I’d never seen such clear bright blue water. I immediately fell in love with the people there too. At some point in my life I’d like to live somewhere exotic and teach yoga on the beach – a simple but happy life.
What would you say was your favorite travel discovery has been?
All I need is good people, good food, drink and laughs to be happy. Oh and a picture perfect handstand opportunity, which if you follow me on instagram (@mackenzieyoga) you’ll realize could happen anywhere!
What are your ‘must haves’ while traveling?
I never travel without tea tree and lavender oil, snacks like avocado, nuts, chocolate, rice cakes, a good book, my iPod and my journal.
What’s your favorite retreat venue?
No pressure, but I’m hoping Maderas Village in Nicaragua, where I am leading a retreat in September, will become my favorite!