Yoga Radio Ripples

CHLY Volunteer Programmer Profiles

How does a busy yoga instructor whose current practice exceeds 100 students a week manage to fulfill her responsibility to share her knowledge and reach out to even more students? She proposes yoga radio to CHLY, an independent station, and lets the ripples permeate the atmosphere.

Photo by Denisa Krausova

Just shy of her ten year anniversary on the fm airwaves, Kelly Murphy, a practitioner of Iyengar yoga, has successfully blended sacred wisdom with new technology. For the first eight years Murphy created her 30 minute show at the radio station. She would broadcast live on Tuesdays and air a recorded version on Thursday. Now, thanks in part to her willingness to embrace technology, Murphy records the show at her home. She uses Audacity to make changes, uploads it to the digital splicer which then uploads it to the station’s website.

Not sure that yoga radio is for you? Rest assured Murphy adheres to the first principle of yoga: do no harm. From thousands of yoga poses, she narrows down the range of options and ensures that anyone who is listening will be working within safe boundaries. As she speaks into the microphone, in her mind’s eye there is a student in front of her. With that student in mind, she carefully coaches the listening audience through various postures. Her experience allows her to anticipate where student’s might experience a challenge, and just when you wonder if you are doing it properly, she offers specific adjustments to ensure that the pose is held correctly.

Regardless of age or capacity, Murphy believes that yoga should be accessible to anybody. In addition, she willingly accepts her responsibility as an instructor and seeks out additional ways to bring people together to practice yoga. As further evidence of this belief, Murphy offers yoga instruction to the men housed at the Brannen Lake Prison. Each week Murphy works with 10-15 inmates who are more comfortable pumping weights than chanting om. Talk about good karma!

Many would agree that yoga is a powerful healing tool and Murphy’s podcasts have that healing effect. An occupational therapist on the Sunshine coast recently contacted Murphy with respect to a CD she was sending home with her patients. Among other health tips and information, several of Murphy’s yoga podcasts are included in this valuable resource.

Murphy’s family moved to the Island in 1947. Raised in the Comox Valley, she went to Africa in 1969 as a volunteer and spent 8 years in Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania. She began to study yoga in 1990 and lived in Saskatoon, Ucluelet and Parksville before returning to Nanaimo’s old city area in 1998. She became certified in 2001 and in 2002 yoga radio was born.

Surrounded by one hundred year old trees, Murphy’s yoga studio is nestled in the back yard of a residential neighbourhood. Better described as a community centre, Murphy explains that it is a space where friendships are formed, local events are promoted and people can learn from each other; be inspired.

In fact, inspired communities are just one more ripple effect from the power of yoga radio. Murphy firmly believes that the only way our demographic can survive the dramatic changes that are inevitable is if we create and nurture inspired communities. From producing food to sharing transportation, we will be able to reduce our carbon footprint and create a sustainable life if we get to know our neighbours and support each other.

Tune in to 101.7fm and listen to Murphy on Wednesday and Friday mornings from 6:00-6:30am. If you don’t want to start your practice that early, you can download her podcasts anytime at

Alison Roberts can’t bend over backwards but she can do a downward facing dog. She is the author of Clutter’s Dirty Secret and a volunteer writer with CHLY radio.