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Spring has sprung! Lots of exciting goodies, please read!

Hello to YOU, fellow yogi!

So much to announce, and grateful you are taking time to read this because you might want to take advantage of some great April offerings at my studios this month!

Over at EXHALE VENICE (aka Exhale Center for Sacred Movement) –

New Student Promo!

A Fabulous Week of Transformation! For just $30, all new students (or students that have not been in 6 months) will receive unlimited access to all classes in Venice and Santa Monica, spa access, free mat rental, AND $25 of an hour long spa therapy!

Flow with a Friend!

ALL April long, Students can bring a NEW Friend to class for free!!! My 7am yogis, please bring yogi friends who want to come experience a sweet sangha (community). Let’s encourage those we love, including friends, family, colleagues to come practice. If you have yogi friends that used to practice at this sweet 7am time and have not been to the studio in 6 months, please invite them back. FREE on the house!

Exhale is Lululemon Studio of the Month!

Lululemon SantaMonica is hosting us this month and I’ll be offering a free all levels class on Sunday, April 13th at 9:30-10:30am. If you’ve been there to take my classes before, would love to see you there. I’ll also have goodies from exhale for you as well. Please dress warmly…I find that it is quite cold in there until our bodies warm up.

New studio YOGASALT
YS is offering $30 for 30 days this month! Take advantage of checking out the sweet neighborhood spot while you can! Easy parking is free all around the studio! Message me via fb if you have any questions, or you can email me directly at g@graceflowersyoga.com

Last but not least, here is my most current schedule.
M/W/F – 9am to 10:15am (L1/2) at YOGASALT
T/Th – 7am to 8:30am (L2/3) at EXHALE VENICE
T/Th – 5:45pm to 7:15pm (L1/2) at TRUYOGA

Blessings abound!

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Read: Perfection. The Silent Killer.

I recently discovered that someone had taken a piece of my writing, tweaked it a bit and reposted it, passing it off as their own genius.

At first, I was irked. The more irked I became, the more I began to dive into why it was irking me so much.  The more I dived in, the more I started to untangle my initial reactions.

Perfection is a silent killer.

I began thinking about why someone would plagiarize. Sure, I’ve been there when I’ve struggled to write an essay about something I had absolutely no interest in. I’d tell myself after hours of scouring online for words I could pass off as my own, “Yeah, that sounds good. Let’s use that.”  However, that was back when I was still a college student, trying to make passing grades so I could graduate.

How does it apply to our lives now, in the social media age?  We live in a world where we no longer have anonymity, are craving true connections, but instead, are left stranded with estranged, delusioned online lives where a “like” on someone’s Facebook post or a comment means that they are our “friend”.  Our ego inflates with the number of “likes” we accrue, and we are engaged with this obsession of displaying our lives in a way that makes it, on the outside, look perfect and ideal.

How did we get here?

We now have the ability to present ourselves in a way we’ve always wanted. Not particularly in real-time per se, but real time enough where we can post snippets of our lives as it’s happening, moments that seem exciting, photos of ourselves that always look good, and can delete any and all things that we dislike or decide not to share for whatever reason.  We live in a constant world of editing. We can edit ourselves to be more “attractive” online, we can share parts of our lives that seem the most fun, the most exciting, the most beautiful, and others end up with this really biased view of our selectively publicized life.

We essentially, can create “perfection”.

We want to present ourselves as perfect, pristine, with photos that are touched up, and words that aren’t quite truly our own.  If we aren’t careful, we can blindside ourselves into believing that this alter ego, edited and touched up is who we are.  Sadly, this only moves us further away from our essence, our core, our Spirit.  The work is to live honestly, authentically, and unfortunately, trying to be perfect all the time only reinforces the fact that deep down inside, we believe that WE ARE NOT ENOUGH.

And I’m guessing that this is what this individual felt.  I wrote something that touched her. It quite possibly resonated, and while my first response is feeling irked, my second response is a heck yeah.  You go girl. If I can write something that touches you deeply, and resonates with you deeply, and if I gave you words to express something that you otherwise wouldn’t have expressed, then it makes me happy…that my words have power. And it is transcending, and far-reaching, AND making a difference.   I’ll take it as a form of flattery.  However, this little “irk”, which is so unimportant at the end of the day, led me to really mull around this idea of “perfection” a little bit more and examine our need to make our lives look perfect in this secondary world.

What I see is that this notion of perfection is silently killing our true spirit and authenticity.  Our online world only encourages it.

Wanting, seeking, constant perfection makes us do all sorts of crazy things.  

How about we lose this need for perfection and reconnect with the need to be authentic and the desire to share our truest, most beautiful self?

Read: Perfection. The Silent Killer.

I recently discovered that someone had taken a piece of my writing, tweaked it a bit and reposted it, passing it off as their own genius.
At first, I was irked. The more irked I became, the more I began to dive into why it was irking me so much.  The more I dived in, the more I started to untangle my initial reactions.
Perfection is a silent killer.
I began thinking about why someone would plagiarize. Sure, I’ve been there when I’ve struggled to write an essay about something I had absolutely no interest in. I’d tell myself after hours of scouring online for words I could pass off as my own, “Yeah, that sounds good. Let’s use that.”  However, that was back when I was still a college student, trying to make passing grades so I could graduate.
How does it apply to our lives now, in the social media age?  We live in a world where we no longer have anonymity, are craving true connections, but instead, are left stranded with estranged, delusioned online lives where a “like” on someone’s Facebook post or a comment means that they are our “friend”.  Our ego inflates with the number of “likes” we accrue, and this obsession with displaying our life in a way that makes it, on the outside, look perfect and ideal.
How did we get here?
We now have the ability to present ourselves in a way we’ve always wanted. Not particularly in real-time per se, but real time enough where we can post snippets of our lives as it’s happening, moments that seem exciting, photos of ourselves that always look good, and can delete any and all things that we dislike or decide not to share for whatever reason.  We live in a constant world of editing. We can edit ourselves to be more “attractive” online, we can share parts of our lives that seem the most fun, the most exciting, the most beautiful, and others end up with this really biased view of our selectively publicized life.
We essentially, can create “perfection”.
We want to present ourselves as perfect, pristine, with photos that are touched up, and words that aren’t quite truly our own.  If we aren’t careful, we can blindside ourselves into believing that this alter ego, edited and touched up is who we are.  Sadly, this only moves us further away from our essence, our core, our Spirit.  The work is to live honestly, authentically, and trying to be perfect all the time, only reinforces the fact that deep down inside, we believe that WE ARE NOT ENOUGH.
And I think it’s what this individual felt. I wrote something that touched her. It quite possibly resonated, and while my first response is feeling irked, my second response is a heck yeah.  You go girl. If I can write something that touches you deeply, and resonates with you deeply, and if I gave you words to express something that you otherwise wouldn’t have expressed, then it makes me happy…that my words have power. And it is transcending, and far-reaching and making a difference.   I’ll take it as a form of flattery.  However, this realization led me to mull around this idea of “perfection” a little bit more and examine our need to make our lives look perfect in our cyberspace life.
What I see now is that this notion of perfection is silently killing our true spirit and authenticity.
Wanting, seeking, constant perfection makes us do all sorts of crazy things.  
How about we lose this need for perfection and reconnect with the need to be authentic, with a desire to share our truest self?

Stop. Peel your eyes away from your screen.

Blink once, twice, look around and wake up to life happening around you.

The sunrise happened when you and I were looking at your gadget trying to take a picture of it. Wouldn’t it be better to actually see it in all its glory, as it is rising to shine light on our day, and have the beauty of it be forever etched in your mind rather than than have captured it in half its glory?

My eyes are so tired from switching back and forth from gadget to gadget.

Technology will never replace our human need, desire, for human and nature connections. We may have lost our way temporarily, but with intent, we can be right back to where we were, where we should be, eyes on eyes, not eyes on screen. I’ve been thinking of this a lot lately…how much of life are we missing with the advancement of technology that is serving only to seemingly make our world smaller? We can see via google earth all the way onto the other side of the world, have their latest news right at our fingertips, but at this very moment, we can’t be further apart from the random person next to us, or the loved one in the same room, sharing the same space as us?

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(View of my morning, my sun rising, captured half ass from behind the ipad)

Read: Sharing the intangibles of Yoga

I was asked recently to speak about why yoga is important and what I wish to, as a yoga instructor bring to my fellow practicing yogis…I had to spend a moment and write down some thoughts, some free flowing thoughts coming from the heart.

Why is yoga important to me? What do I wish to share through yoga practice with other practitioners?

I wish to share the intangibles.

The magic of breath.

The magic of staying grounded, focused through our transitions, through life’s challenges while maintaining ease and grace.

The magic of finding ease in our mind, creating space between ourselves and our thoughts, in particular the negative ones.

How serene it feels to drop into our body, to sense our entire being in this exact moment and know that we have landed and come home.

How wonderful it is to slowly observe our mind, and learning time and time again to bring ourselves back to our center, our heart, when the mind wanders off. We do this over and over until we become acutely aware of when our mind shifts and it becomes second nature to pull it back until it becomes easier and easier…

What it feels like to be RIGHT HERE. What it feels like knowing we have arrived, how it feels deep down inside when we have arrived to our life, to fully participating in the present moment.

In time, tuning into the magic of knowing we are not these postures we practice, but how these postures serve as vehicles to explore our entire being – How we breathe when we are challenged, what our inner dialogue is in that particular challenging moment, how we respond to postures we may be good at or perceived not to be good at…how we dance with balance and embrace alignment not simply physically, but what it truly means to be aligned with our core beliefs, values, our strengths, our heart.

At the golden core of it all, when we are able to let go of the layers that shield our light from each other, we return back to love, our truest nature. We learn through our yoga practice what it means to love ourselves, truly and fiercely, what it means to be in harmony with our inner and outer worlds and how we can align our soul’s work, with making our world a better place.

Yoga and meditation teaches us about fear, fear of the unknown that keeps us locked down, a nasty little virus that keeps our creativity stifled. We begin to see how fear taints every part of our lives when we slow down enough and learn to see with clarity. Yoga teaches us to nip fear in the butt and inspires us to live a full, creative, courageous life.

I wish to share what yoga has been for me and my life and hope that we can continue this journey together…on a path of self acceptance, self love, and sharing in true community.

I don’t have all the answers. Sometimes I feel like I don’t even have any…some days are good, some days are not so good, but I do know that what I feel is the normal ebb and flow of life. Feeling good and loved is our birthright, but we have to excavate, dig deep, study, learn, and most importantly, we must DO THE WORK.

My vow to you is, I’ll keep doing the work so that I may hold space for you to do yours.

With love,
Grace

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