Inspirational People…Meet Gary!

Inspiring People…

I’m excited to add this category to my blog. I believe we are constantly inspiring each other, even if never hear about it.  What inspires me most is the “extra” ordinary.  Every day people who in some way or another through their actions, or how they live their lives are inspirational, yet ordinary. I guess I like to look for the “extra” in the ordinary.  It’s everywhere actually. And while you’re being inspired, you may very well be inspiring someone else.  So don’t be surprised if I approach you and ask to highlight you in my blog.  Why not allow yourself to be inspirational!

Meet Gary!

Gary started practicing yoga at the age of 60.  He started right around the same time I started teaching yoga. Gary will tell you he could hardly touch his toes. As an avid gym goer, he’s routine consisted mainly of strength training activities like boot camps etc.

What I admire about Gary is his courage to try something new, his dedication to whatever he’s doing and his ability to stay focused.  Like many people, he works full time and has family responsibilities, yet he is at the gym five days a week.
He’s the only male in our Zumba class and it doesn’t seem to bother him, even when the guys tease him. Obviously he doesn’t allow others perceptions to define him, which also takes courage.
Six years later Gary does yoga five days a week in conjunction with his cardio and strength training classes.  He’s doing poses like wheel, crow, and headstand, that’s inspiring!
The Quick Chat with Gary:
What’s the best thing about yoga?
“It helps me relax and makes me strong”.
What pose did you think you would never be able to do?
“Headstand or Crow”
What’s your favorite sequence?
 “Chataranga”
What’s your favorite pose?
  “Mountain”
Last words Gary!
“A lot of the guys I work with who are my age, even younger, frequently ask me …how do you do it?  How do you stay so fit? If my wife is around, I have to say it’s my wife’s cooking…lol, if not, I honestly tell them, its yoga.
Double headstand with Gary!

Love Yoga Fest 2018 Review

During the weekend of September 21th through 23rd I attended Love Yoga Fest 2018 in Falmouth, Cape Cod at the Seacrest hotel, with two friends. Anytime I attend an event like this, I try to simply be open to the whole experience, instead of critical. It’s exhausting to continuously rate and judge every single thing.  Life is more beautiful and enjoyable, if you allow yourself to be present and  allow yourself to experience.

I was happy to see that Cape Cod has a thriving, vibrant yoga community. There were people from a wide range of ages and backgrounds attending, some men, mostly women. There was a wide range of classes to choose from, including lectures that covered the spiritual side of yoga, as well as the physical practice.  There were classes on nutrition, philosophy and Ayurveda. I felt like I came away with a pearl or two for every class.

A few of my favorites were Kevin Courtney (www.kevinjcourtney.com) with the Yoga of Yamas.  I love that he’s bringing the teaching of these spiritual laws to yoga practitioners not just instructors, usually these are covered in our 200hour teacher training.  It gives the practitioners an opportunity to understand that yoga is not only an exercise, it is a way of life. The Yamas can be practiced every day, regardless of your religion, they are guides for your soul. I loved the condor of his presentation. It was just the inspiration I needed on my continued spiritual journey.

Emily K. Griffin (www.emilykgriffin.com) conducted the Ayurveda class. Ayurvedic medicine (also called Ayurveda) is one of the world’s oldest medical systems. She did a great job giving an overview of a system that works specifically with each persons’ individual personality and body chemistry.  She gave us, great, basic self-care tips, for every body to use. I particularly loved the tongue scraping instructional, and all of its benefits.  I was happy to know that some of them I already practice regularly, and plan to add the others. Her class inspired me to take at closer look at my “self” care.  I learned it is not a one-formula-fits-all.

I also enjoyed Melissa Boyd’s (www.melissaboyd.net) Yoga Mindfulness and Malas.  Her enthusiasm was uplifting.  I love when people share something that they are passionate about, and it exudes from their whole being, that alone is inspiring.  She covered a lot of different areas in her class, however, the one I loved most, were her lessons on the mala (www.malacollective.com).  She gave everyone in her a class a mala as a gift. I’ve been wearing it every since, and have already started using it.  Meditation is a practice that is slowly becoming a big part of my life. My mala will help me stay on course, and true to my path.

There were many other classes I enjoyed too, overall I thought they did a great job creating interesting, meaningful classes.  The vendors were wonderful too. So many beautiful, inspirational apparel, jewelry and artwork. I wish I could buy something from all of them.  These vendor are people who put their heart, soul and money into their products.

There were only a couple of things that could have been a little better.  First the SUP classes that were cancelled, the instructor could have stay to personally let people know, instead of letting them show up and having to figure out it was cancelled, not cool. Also the Saturday night fire at the beach was advertise as a “bonfire” and we were expecting a rip-roaring fire, instead it was a propane backyard fire table. Again not a big deal, however we were a little disappointed.  It was a cool night, and a bonfire would have been awesome.  They should hire a professional company to do that next time.  It would be perfect!  Again, small inconsequential in the big scheme.

All in all, it was a wonderful three-days of contemplation, inspiration, yoga and growth. It was also wonderful to share time with the two lovely women I went with.  We had an opportunity to get to know each other better.  There was lots of laughter, honest conversations and tears.  Tears because one of our friend’s mother passed away on the last day we were there. Nevertheless, we were comforted that she was in the best possible frame of mind and spirit (thanks to Love Yoga Fest) to receive the news. The universe works in divine ways, every day.

Namaste, Grace*