Publishers Note: Be sure to read the May & 1/2 2011 Full Multimedia Edition to see all the videos and pictures.
The phenomena known as Bibi McGill picked up her first guitar at age twelve. Growing up, her earliest inspirations were the retro seventies’ grooves of Earth, Wind and Fire, Mandrill, and the Commodores. The Isley Brothers was her first concert. As she listened and learned to single out the guitar in music, she started schooling herself in the harder, rock-based sounds. After graduating from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Scoring and Arranging, Bibi took off for California and hit the local club circuit.
Bibi has been a yogini of over 12 years.
Bibi McGill had always been intrigued with yoga and wanted to take a class, but as a struggling guitarist in Los Angeles, money was tight. In 1998, she saw an ad that offered the first yoga class free and jumped at the chance. Afterwards, Bibi felt elevated, light and clear. She decided right away that yoga would be part of her life forever.
Little did Bibi know that in 2001, when she started to tour professionally, she would eventually study and practice yoga in over 100 countries around the world.
Bibi was featured in commercials for Heineken and Motorola, among others, and in 2001, her career in music erupted. She hooked up with Pink for her promotional tour in November and started blazing the stages of London, Spain, Singapore, Germany, and Australia with her high-voltage licks and stage moves.
In 2006, she became lead guitarist and then music director for Beyoncé’s 10-piece, all-female band. On the road, Bibi practices yoga to keep up the energy for nonstop performances.
Initially, Bibi practiced Kundalini yoga, a focus on breath and movement, which is defined as a physical, mental and spiritual discipline for developing one’s inner energy and awareness. Bibi then began practicing Anusura Yoga, which literally means flowing with grace and emphasizes movements that open your heart center or heart chakra. Later, she discovered Ashtanga yoga which is a series of poses, done in specific order with students moving on to the next pose only after gaining as strong foundation with their current pose. Bibi fell in love with the Ashtanga Primary Series, and began practicing 6 days a week as recommended even while on tour.
In 2004, Bibi was selected to participate in one of the most respected teacher training courses in Asia, possibly the world, Centered Yoga Thailand. Only 28 students were selected from all over the world to participate in this training. She started with 5 months of pre-course studies which included reading and writing assignments as well and documenting everything from when she practiced yoga to when she woke up and went to sleep. Even which nostrils were open or closed at different times of the day. All this Bibi did while touring for the Latin Rock group from Chile, La Ley. During the sixth month of studies, Bibi traveled to Ko Samui, Thailand for 5 weeks to complete her training. A typical day would include the study of meditation, mantra, sanskrit, diet and nutrition, ayurveda, pranayama, and kriyas. In addition, the students would practice the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series every morning and also an afternoon Classic Eight Limb Yoga practice 6 days a week.