Grace Brownlie

Yoga Interview, Edinburgh, Scotland

Grace at Edinburgh

With coming upon Edinburgh, Scotland on a long weekend getaway I was quite interested on continue my journey of yoga photography in the places I visit. It’s quite a tricky thing to find a last minute yogis as a lot of them tend to teach on weekends. I felt very grateful when I not only found 1 yogi, but 3.

First person who reach back to me was Grace Brownlie, stating that she might not be the person I am looking for.
Personally I found Grace as a perfect example for a yogi, gentle, kind, open hearted, a bit of spontaneity in nature and as her name clearly state, Graceful - Exactly what I was looking for.

And here a short interview:

Why yoga?

Grace Brownlie:
Well, yoga became a big part of my life when I found that it greatly helped me manage my anxiety, something which I have struggled with all my life.
For me yoga is like a soothing balm, and is one of the most powerful tools I have ever found in bringing me peace.

There are many ways to deal with anxiety, how did your yoga path started?

Grace Brownlie:
I had tried yoga before, and gone to regular evening classes, but it wasn't until I went to a yoga retreat in the south of France in 2012 that I really experienced the therapeutic benefits, and started to get it. Then in 2013 I was really struggling with my mental health, I had a serendipitous meeting with a wonderful yoga teacher  who offered me free one on one lessons. He was my inspiration.

What is the most important thing you learn from him about yoga and about yourself?

Grace Brownlie:
To relax in to it, to be slow and steady, and to breath! I learnt that I could use yoga to gather inner strength, and to let go. That just being in the moment was enough.
And that teaching should be available to all - the importance of giving yoga for free as part of your do it for the love of it.

Beautifully said!
Personally I find that keeping yoga practice is not an easy task, how do you find it? and what advice do you have for yogis who would like to take their practice deeper?

Grace Brownlie:
It can be challenging, we all have to juggle so much in our lives. For me, I have learnt, and again something which my yoga teacher taught me, that, even 10 minutes a day makes a difference. Better that than 1 hour once a week. So I don't put pressure on myself to do an hour a day, but try to make sure that I fit sessions of varying lengths in depending on what time I have available. Sometimes a 10 minute session gone into with the whole concentration can be more beneficial than an hour long one if you are constantly watching the clock and rushing to get to the end!

Elad Itzkin:
how does yoga manifest off the mat in your life? (point of view, nutrition, karma, relationships etc.. )

Grace Brownlie:
Yoga has definitely solidified a more spiritual aspect in my outlook. It has also reinforced in me the powerful benefits of giving, selflessly. It has taught me to have faith, that wherever you are in your life is where you are meant to be.....I still have so much to learn from yoga, and where it can take me as a person - I am very much a novice, and work in progress!

Ultimately though, I know that whatever happens, i can always find a space, physically and mentally to just be, whether practicing yoga or not.
And I have met some of the most beautiful and wisest friends though teaching yoga classes - my students have been an inspiration, and teachers to me!

Elad Itzkin:
do you have anything else you would like to add? personal motto? something that keeps you going?

Grace Brownlie:
I have a few personal mottos...well, wise words spoken by others!

I didn't say it would be easy, I said it would be worth it

You don't need eyes to see, you need vision

Although I am not religious, I do love the serenity prayer:

give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference

Grace Brownlie on Facebook