Articles + Interviews
Articles + Interviews
Mara is a regular contributor to Spirituality and Health Magazine, Wanderlust, and gaia.com
Article for Spirituality & Health
Remedying a Community Through Ritual
Mara Branscombe is an adventurous spirit. She has sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, trekked across the Himalayas, studied yoga in India, planted trees in Canada’s north, lived off the grid in a remote cabin in the woods, worked as a Waldorf (Steiner School) teacher, and found a passion for dance and choreography along the way. Her training in the Incan shaman lineage and the pagan tradition have greatly inspired her life’s work of earth-based, ceremonial, intentional, and heart-centered living and loving.
Her new book Ritual as Remedy: Embodied Practices for Soul Care is reviewed in the May/June 2022 issue of Spirituality & Health.
How to Embrace Divine Timing
Divine timing is sensing what your intuition is saying and reading the environment you are in to generate a clear path and plan. With practice, divine timing will guide you on your life’s journey. Clues on how to serve your evolving self arrive in people, nature, dreams, aha! moments, words, synchronicities—intuitive glimmers.
Unfortunately, many people have been conditioned to be out of touch with a sense of divine timing.
Creating Personal Sanctuary
The concept of sanctuary is integral to human nature—gathering in safe spaces, building spiritual havens, and discovering who we are beyond our mundane daily life.
A sanctuary is steeped in intention, reverence, and peace. It is often a physical place of refuge where the imprints of truce exist.
Articles for Wanderlust
Honoring Spring Equinox: New Beginnings, Balance & Creativity
The vernal Spring Equinox is a potent time to get intentional about the seeds and dreams you want to plant in your life while shedding winter’s layers of being that no longer serve your highest self.
Align with the earth’s rhythm this Spring Equinox and welcome in renewal, new beginnings, and awaken the higher vibrational field within – your authentic nature is ready for a reset. When we sync up with the earth, sun and moon’s cycle, we naturally cultivate emotional balance, spiritual recalibration, physical awakening, and mental clarity.
Your Guide To Aligning With The Moon: Create Your Own Full Moon Ritual
Since the beginning of time, humans have been gathering under the light of the moon to share stories and songs, to attune to the rhythms of mother nature, and to bring forth the power of the divine feminine.
There is something wildly sacred that happens when we intentionally gather during the full or new moon cycles. As the moon is the ruler of the waters and water governs our emotions, we can physically get attuned to the waters inside our bodies and consciously create a container for our emotions to be harnessed in a healing way.
Activate a Daily Meditation Practice for Self-Love
Activating a daily meditation practice may be the greatest gift you can give to yourself.
Creating space in your day for stillness, welcoming in a calm breath, and being a witness to the present moment can shift your energy from chaos into calm, from overwhelm into clarity, and from fear into grounded joy. When we begin to meditate daily, even for just 5 minutes, we have an opportunity to reprogram pathways of stress in our minds and bodies, some of which we did not even know existed.
Articles for Halfmoon Yoga
Historically, cultures all over the world have used crystals as a source of healing, clearing energy, and transforming both physical and spiritual states. Recently, there has been a resurgence of crystal healing and a growing movement of people discovering how crystals can positively enhance wellness in body, mind, and spirit.
Even though you cannot necessarily see or even feel it, the cells inside your body and the energy of crystals contain their own unique vibrations and energy. Imagine how a magnet works, it repels and attracts energy, and this is also how it is thought that healing crystals work.
For a limited time, use code MARA20 for 20% off all yoga + meditation products on Halfmoon’s website!
Originating in Japan in the 1980’s “Shinrin Yoku” otherwise known as forest bathing literally translates as “taking in the forest atmosphere.” The scientific research done on forest bathing is quite amazing — tree’s (especially coniferous ones) release an organic compound called “phytoncide”. This compound supports our natural killer cells that allow our immune system to fight diseases such as cancer, ward off illnesses and keep our immune system strong.
The concept is quite simple: spend meditative time in nature by walking, sitting, or lying down for at least 1-4 hours. By slowing down, and allowing the forest’s atmosphere to penetrate your whole being, the nervous system will calm and trigger a relaxation and healing response within. This is very different than a trail run, a hike, or any physical activity that gets the heart rate up. Forest Bathing is a deep release of any agenda or exercise, and requires a letting go of external energy output to receive the benefits of Mother Earth’s finest energy.
For a limited time, use code MARA20 for 20% off all yoga + meditation products on Halfmoon’s website!
Drishti for the Holidays
For some of us, the holiday season may be overwhelming as our focus gets pulled in many directions. With never ending to-do lists, the pressure to spend more money, and the overconsumption of most things, the result may be feelings of imbalance, interrupted sleep patterns and being energetically drained. What if we could intentionally direct our attention to improve our energy and focus on what is important? Finding a focus or a “Drishti” can do just that.
For a limited time, use code MARA2018 for 20% off all yoga + meditation products on Halfmoon’s website!
Mama Yoga — How To Have Your Own Yoga Practice With Your Kids
The demands of motherhood are real. Some moments are blissful and profound, others are messy and exhausting. I often think, “how did my mother do this?” Then, I am reminded of her steady, calm, and loving presence and that I too can hold that space. Parenting teaches us about the power of letting go and directing our attention to the present moment. From the demands of daily schedules, to the emotional outbursts from our children, to the organization it takes to care for our families, our personal self care can be overwhelming and the last item on our to-do list.
A Full Moon Ritual: Women Who Gather Under the Light of the Moon
Since the beginning of time, women have been gathering under the light of the moon to share stories and songs. There is something wildly sacred that happens when women attune to the rhythms of mother nature, and bring forward the power of the divine feminine.
Articles for Saje
Cultivate True Self Care
We’ve all wrapped up a busy time of year—the holiday season—and now everybody’s talking about resolutions. Getting fit, cleaning out your closet, and starting a new routine are often where we choose to put our focus. But what about setting a resolution to increase our inner peace and opportunity for growth?
Six Ways to Find Stillness
Mara Branscombe has the kind of radiance that glows from the inside out. Recently, we connected with her about how true self-care starts with getting quiet, reflecting on our innermost desires, and allowing ourselves time to rest. Read Mara’s thoughts on cultivating the life of your dreams, starting with finding stillness.
Articles for Gaia
Your Mind on Pain: Healing Your Pain Through Mindfulness
Living in a state of constant physical pain due to illness or injury can be devastating and intolerable. The constant suffering becomes all-consuming and can bring forth the feeling of absolute despair and attachment to feeling this way forever. Lost in a sea of pain killers, constantly searching for help, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and the feeling of disconnection to self and others can become reality.
Toxic Thoughts Are Holding You Back From Your Mind-Body Connection
How often do you have negative thoughts? Have you ever wondered to what degree your life experiences affect how you think, perceive, feel, react, and respond? Do you notice that your behavior or your defense mechanisms become triggered by certain issues time and time again?
Shamanic Ritual: The Heart of Transformation
Historically, Shamanic ritual lives inside the heart of Indigenous cultures. Rituals, ranging from simple to complex, are a way to step out of the mundane of everyday life, to connect to spiritual life, and to lift the veil between the visible and the invisible realms. Ancient shamanic rituals have been practiced since the beginning of time. At their core, they aim to restore wholeness to individuals and communities, where a genuine reciprocity is formed between humanity, spirit and nature.
How to Hold a Four Directions Ceremony
Throughout history Native American, Peruvian, Mexican, Siberian, Celtic and Nordic people, to name a few, have practiced honoring the four directions as part of their culture’s connection to well-being, nature and spiritual harmony.
Smudging Ceremony: An Invitation
A smudging ceremony is the ritual of burning plant resins and herbs in a shell or a clay bowl while intentions and prayers are called forth. For centuries, Native American and Indigenous cultures have practiced smudging rituals to clear away negative energy, to invite in peace and harmony for individuals or environments.
As Featured On…
Episode 35 of The Empowered Curiosity Podcast
One of the pillars of our conversations in this community is Embodiment Medicine. I wanted to have an entire episode about what this actually means.
When I thought about who I wanted to have on as a guest for this topic, there was only one name that came to mind: Mara Branscombe. Mara is a mother, writer, yogi, dancer, mindfulness leader, ceremonialist and spirit coach. She has an amazing ability to guide others along the path of self-transformation. She is grounded. She is in tune with the cycles. She is the walking embodiment of doing this work of alchemizing emotions from the emotional plane into the physical to extract the lessons we are all here to learn.
8 Amazing Gifts for Wellness Lovers in B.C
For aspiring meditators and those into personal growth, the gift of a wellness program with a truly great teacher is a unique and personal gesture. We’ve done Mara Branscombe’s The Art of Ritual program and loved it. Other options: 30 Days of Soul Work for anyone who’s wanting to make space for their personal growth journey or Navigate Meditation, for aspiring meditators.
Empowered Curiosity Podcast with Kat Lee: Spiritual Rituals to Anchor into Intuition with Intuitive Guide
How do we listen to Intuition as a creative force? Confusion and Fear have an uncanny way of pulling us away from our own Inner Knowing, drawing us into our past wounds or pushing us forward into a scary and unknown future. In this podcast, Mara Branscombe and Kat Lee discuss Intention, practicing Rituals, Energetics, the Metal Element in relation to the cultural shifts that are happening right now with the coronavirus outbreak and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Daily Hive: 7 Pacific Northwest wellness retreats that go beyond yoga
Since ancient times, summer solstice has been celebrated as a sacred turning point in the year. It honours the earth’s most dynamic time of expansion, growth and abundance. This diverse yoga retreat is an invitation to immerse yourself in four days of discovering the art of breath, the healing of yoga, the transformative powers of shamanic practices, and the mindful awareness of meditation. This retreat is led by yoga teacher and shamanic practitioner Mara Branscombe at the sublime Hollyhock retreat centre on BC’s Cortes Island.
The Health Hub Podcast: Cultivating Self Care
In this episode we speak with Mara Bransccombe who has been teaching yoga and meditation for over 20 years about the practice of cultivating self-care. Mara hosts international yoga retreats, offers mentorship programs and spiritual counselling, fuses yoga and corporate leadership to executive teams, teaches professional athletes and artists, and teaches classes/workshops in Vancouver.
Guest Blog Posts
Head Plus Heart: How to Use the Power of Ritual to Reach Your Full Potential
I’ve come to believe in the power of divine timing: that there are no mistakes in life and that we all have an innate ability to self heal and self guide. In my life, this has happened via the use of intentional daily self care Rituals. Rituals are like mirrors that we can gaze into to reflect back to us our life’s journey.
Head Plus Heart: How to Create a Moon Ritual
Moon rituals are a beautiful way to align the energy of your life with the energy in nature. Here, we’ve reached out to one of our fav ritualists, Mara Branscombe to show you how to harness moon energies for your own empowerment AND create your own meaningful moon rituals at home.
A short dance filmed co-produced and co-created by Mara Branscombe, Katy Harris McLeod and Brian Johnson.