Eoin Finn, one of Canada’s best loved yoga teacher, is an avid surfer and Blissologist who offers retreats, workshops, and teacher trainings all over the world. His yoga classes are a reflection of his personality – strong, deep, and grounding, yet joyful, playful, experiential, and total fun at the same time, with some awesome yoga grooves inspired by his love for surfing and the ocean.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Finn for the first time in 2009 at Bali Spirit Festival. We talked about yoga, slowing down, and what Blissology means. Finn’s positive energy is infectious. Beneath his wit and goofiness you’ll find wisdom and deep reverence to nature.
I’ve taken more of Finn’s yoga classes since then, whenever he’s in Venice, California. With a busy travel schedule that includes Bali Spirit Festival, teacher training on Bali, Wanderlust Colorado, and Wanderlust Whistler, among other events, it was pure serendipity that we got to do this Q&A just before Finn left for Wanderlust Oahu.
What Is Yoga To You?
Yoga is the art of getting out of your own way and your own thoughts. Yoga allows you to channel something as big as love, which connects us to everyone. Yoga makes us realize that we’re all one. We’re all connected in the hearts.
What's The Yoga In Your Travel?
Travel helps me find newness in life, be present, and be more joyfully engaged.
Whenever you’re in a new environment, you feel so hyper alive and aware because everything is new. You don’t need to travel to get to this stage of awareness, but it helps.
Travel opens the mind. You get to see things outside of your culture or social conditioning and learn new ways of being in the world. A lot of them are better than what you thought you knew. For example, something so simple like “Namaste” in India - bowing to people in humility - which is also the culture in Thailand, Japan, and other Asian countries, and experiencing the strongly passionate culture of the people of the Mediterranean – can make you realize how repressed and restricted we are here in terms of our emotion.
Traveling also makes you feel grateful and realize how lucky and privileged we are, while at the same time you see how similar we are everywhere. Lots of problems we have in the Western world – stress from work, pollution issues – these exist everywhere. The media likes to compare “us” versus “them” and point out the differences in life between different cultures but the truth is, we really care about the same issues. Love for our family and others – it’s a universal theme I find everywhere.
Why Are Retreats And Festivals Good For The Soul?
Retreats and festivals are a nice way to meet people when they’re away from their daily life. A retreat’s purpose is to get you away from your everyday concern and into an environment where you can focus on what truly matters. It helps when the setting is beautiful, in big open space.
In yoga, the nature element is often missing in a class environment. A retreat offers us plenty of opportunities to reconnect with nature and bring us back to Earth.
Getting to a beautiful place connects us to the beauty of nature and our humanity.
If we have no connection to the planet, we have no hope. Environmental movement can’t really gain traction because we can’t really protect what we don’t revere.
When you add the power of community and music, that connection with nature and our Earth quadruples in power. This is what you can experience at yoga and music festivals like Wanderlust. Yoga festivals bring together a conscious, like-minded community in a big way, but they’re small enough that you see and connect with the same people in classes and after hours at music and dance events.
What Are Your Favorite Yoga Destinations And Why?
Vancouver Island on the Northwest Coast of Canada is rugged and full of power. Everything about nature here is big and majestic – the trees, the storms, the sunshine, the animals in the ocean.
As far as beauty goes, Kauai has all the things Canada’s Northwestern coast has, plus Hanalei Bay, culture, and year-round surf.
Costa Rica is not as culturally different or deep but there’s plenty of space and nature. Bali also has both space and nature, as well as a very rich culture.