Tara-Lee | From musician to nomad yogi chef
By Eleni Meraki
I grew up in Dublin, Ireland and played the cello since I was seven years old. After my Bachelor in Music Performance, I moved to Holland for a postgraduate degree finally arriving to Italy where I worked in the world of opera with my then opera singer boyfriend. After my Master studies in London our relationship ended and I postponed my planned PhD study and move to New York and decided to follow in the footsteps of my friend and learn Ashtanga yoga in Goa, India. I needed a break and get away from everything.
5 THINGS ABOUT
WICKED WHOLEFOODS | CELLO | GOA | WRITING A COOK BOOK | ASHTANGA YOGA
LEAP OF FAITH
My new boyfriend and I got married soon after I returned to Ireland. I moved to where he was based in a small town in the west of Ireland and started my own music academy known as The Munster Music Academy. A little after a year of marriage I found out my husband was having an affair and I left him. A random chat with the mother of one of my music students about life and direction made me realize I needed to rethink what my life was about. My foot had been on the accelerator for so long but I wasn’t truly happy. My life had no balance. I asked myself the core question; “What do I really want to do?”. I decided I wanted to be a raw food chef in Ashtanga yoga retreats around the world.
I have just finished writing my first raw/whole foods cookbook whilst working at Purple Valley Yoga Centre, Goa. My book is called Wicked WholeFoods and will be published this month. It will be available online and in stores this Summer (2015).
I discovered raw food during my first trip to Goa, India. I experienced so many physical and emotional benefits from raw food that I wanted to explore more. Back in Ireland I started organizing raw food dinner parties with friends, summer pop-up cafes and caterings. Once I decided to follow my heart, I contacted a couple of Ashtanga centers around the world and was hired for 5 months in Crete with no real professional experience whatsoever. I promoted one of my music teachers to managing director of the academy and left on my journey, not knowing where it would take me. From Crete back to Ireland, back to India and then Australia. While in Australia, the yoga centre where I studied Ashtanga yoga in Goa called me if I would come and cook there for this season. My ultimate dream job came true. I accepted the invitation and that’s where I am now.
THE TOUGH TIMES
Internal conflicts. It’s important to keep balancing what your head and your gut are saying.
I am a do-er, sometimes I forget to take time to sit and reflect.
Luckily I can play my cello wherever I am. I toured with a theatre company around Ireland after my stay in Crete and saved enough to finance my trip back to Goa and then Australia. I had no money saved when I initially left Ireland but however whilst working in a yoga retreat your meals and accommodation are covered. The small compensation I received, I saved to pay for my flights and masala chai.
5 INSIDER TIPS
Never regret anything.
Anything is possible.
If you work hard and really focus, you get what you deserve.
The minute your work becomes a job you must walk away.
Do what you’re good at and let other people take on the rest. Start feeling and listening to yourself, forget the rest.
Written by Eleni Meraki
Eleni is the founder of Guts & Tales. She is a hypnotherapist, mind-trainer, coach and creator of the women’s coaching program Be Your Own Muse. She helps women become clear, confident and courageous to be and live true to themselves.