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Posts from the ‘Yoga’ Category

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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Ask: What is Yoga?

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To Do: Divin’ Deep Workshop with Grace

Divin' Deep Workshop with Grace

Grace’s Divin’ deep workshop is suitable for beginners and experienced yogis who would like to (re)learn and refine the essentials of the practice! This workshop will focus on the foundations of your yoga practice:

~ Pranayama – Finding your breath
~ Asana practice – 108 minutes of learning how to find the best poses for your own body, in
each stage of your life
~ Alignment breakdown – Proper alignment is essential in developing a safe and long term
practice. We will look more in depth at the most commonly practiced postures and learn how
to make the poses work for your own body
~ Discussion – open forum!

We’ll explore how to work with our breath in Sun Salutations, create strength in standing poses, and develop greater flexibility in simple twists, forward bends, and backbends – without tension, struggle or pain. With the understanding that there is no “perfect” pose, we will explore how to fit the postures into our bodies, instead of the other way around. We will also explore yoga’s intangibles and how this practice can help us stay calm, centered and balanced in our daily lives.

Throughout this workshop, we will learn in a nurturing and safe environment, how to motivate ourselves to find our own satisfying, personal and ever-evolving practice.

Workshop hosted at TruYoga Santa Monica – http://www.truyogala.com

Space IS limited! Sign up early to ensure your spot. Email Noelle@trifitla.com

FREE: Saturday, March 16th AND Sunday March 24th! Free Yoga with Grace @ Lululemon Santa Monica!

Hey all,

Happy to be teaching a free class at Lululemon Santa Monica on:

Saturday, March 16th at 8:30am to 9:30am AND Sunday, March 24th.

For all you Marathoners, come by before your big race and get a good stretchy flow going!

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Come by, practice, and say hello!

Temples of peace and tsunamis of love,

Grace

Me: I was ashamed to be a Yoga instructor

I did not grow up thinking I was going to become a yoga instructor, nor an avid yoga practitioner.

When I finally, formally, transitioned away from what I thought was my “career” less than 2 years ago, I cringed whenever anyone asked me what I did for a living. Given the professional/social network I cultivated over the years, this question came up a lot, especially in Los Angeles, where I live. In the beginning, post transition, I stuttered every time I was asked the “What do you do for a living?” question and could hardly even get the words “I’m a yoga instructor” out of my mouth.

Somehow, I felt ashamed. The shame part of it stemmed from having overly identified myself too much to a high-salaried career, which included successful, hard earned accolades with Fortune 500’s, jet-setting with President’s Club (over)achievers, and having built a business from the ground up by the time I was only 25 years old. My sense of self was attached firmly to what I was raised to believe: That a person’s worth is defined by their job title, success in chosen industry, and how much cushion is in the bank account.

If you grew up in a consumerist, first world society where big and bigger, bling and more bling are prized over more simple gratitudes, this value system may feel familiar. Certainly, the cultural side wedged this belief system in pretty deep too. Before I was even walking, it was decided on my behalf that I was going to be either a doctor, lawyer, or an engineer. I mean really, that’s the reason why I graduated from a prestigiously ranked private liberal arts college, paid $150,000 in tuition, just to make sure that after I graduated, I was able to hit the workforce and become any of the 3 choices listed above, and make something of myself, right? I was raised to believe that these “career” options provide stability, great salaries, a wage that a little yoga instructor would never make. And if I did not want to become any one of those options predetermined for me, I’d better choose a profession, or create a business that brought home a beefy paycheck. It didn’t matter whether or not I enjoyed, or even loved what I was doing. Money was going to bring me joy. They were sure of it and I was sold on it.

Key word, “was”.

As I was slowly moving away from my full time job and teaching what was almost a full time yoga schedule in between (and this process took nearly 3 years), thoughts were grating at me. What in the world was I thinking? How am I going to support myself? Who will I be, if I’m not making any money? This vicious mind-numbing, fear-instilling, thought process was eating me alive. I realized that my mind was a complete train wreck. I needed to lasso the darn thing in and make a perspective shift in order for this all to have any meaning. Was it really all about the pursuit of “success” as defined by my upbringing, or is it truly about something more, something bigger, like a life’s purpose driven by the seemingly ethereal idea of making the world a better place and giving back for the greater good?

…And if I was going to jump, I’d rather nose dive in rather than to poke around in the water with my toes. At the very worst, I’ll face plant, but hey, I had a backup plan. If all else failed, I can always go back and climb the corporate ladder.

The moment I leaped, the Universe delivered. The moment I let go of what plans I had for myself, plans others had for me, and followed my bliss, the net appeared. It takes a courageous moment, a courageous mindset, and in the sentiments of Joseph Campbell, you can’t “follow your bliss” mindlessly. You still have to have a courageous plan. Everything else will fall into place.

I say this with pure conviction now, that having walked away from the work I was doing, the career I had, was the best decision I have ever made. It is interesting to watch myself as I type this. That’s exactly it. It was “work”. These days, I don’t feel as if I work a single day in my life. My days are filled with opportunities to serve others, to bring health, balance and a sense of overall ease and well-being to my yogis. The wise say that once you find your passion, you’ll never have to work a day in your life again. It is absolutely true. My only want? I would like to touch more lives in the most authentic, compassionate, healing way possible.

Love what you do.
If you don’t, change it.
Get clear about what you want,
and surround yourself with supportive people.

Then LEAP.

The results may just surprise you.

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