• Yogi of the Month - May 2017

    Grace Yoga (GY): Please share with us how you came to find your Yoga practice with Grace Yoga.

    Linda Peters (LP): I came to find Grace Yoga through a friend in my Sunday knitting group who had recently discovered Grace Yoga as a respite from work and raising twins. My life itself was in flux with a career change and I was searching for a renewed sense of purpose, a physical and mental reboot. “Go to Grace Yoga,” my knitting group said. My job ended on a Friday and the following Monday I experienced my first yoga class absorbed with unfamiliar blocks, straps and bolsters. The challenge of being quiet, twisting myself into unfamiliar poses, balancing my body and mind became addictive. That was 9 months ago and Grace Yoga has since become my daily vitamin.

    GY: Every month we focus on a new theme centered around Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. This month, we are looking at the Sutras 1.30 - 1.32.

    According to the wisdom of the Yoga Sutra's, there are a number of predictable obstacles that arise on the inner journey (1.30 Dis-ease, idleness, doubt, carelessness, laziness, sensuality, false perception, failure to reach firm ground and slipping from the ground gained - these distractions of the mind-stuff are the obstacles), along with several consequences that grow out of them (1.31 These obstacles include consequences: sorrow, despair, restlessness of the body and irregular breathing). While these can be a challenge, there is a certain comfort in knowing that they are a natural, predictable part of the process. And the solution? There is a single, underlying principle that is the antidote for these obstacles and their consequences, and that is the one-pointedness of mind through meditating on one single truth (1.32 - If the mind is focused, then it is far less likely to get entangled and lost).

    Keeping in mind our theme this month - Yoga Sutras 1.30-1.32 - can you recall (and share) a time when you were able to overcome obstacles and their consequences through your practice.

    LP: September 2016. My career as Garden Photo Editor at Sunset Magazine had just ended. We’re talking 18 years of a daily routine, a daily destination, a family of co-workers, brain stimulation, achievements, soul nurturing, self worth, not to mention a personal and public identity. Although appreciating the world was now my oyster with new opportunities, I was suddenly overwhelmed, anxious, insecure, doubtful. I felt inner conflicts of excitement and fear, happiness and despair. I wasn’t exercising. Clearly I needed to re-focus, find peace and get a grip or I’d spinout like a toy top. My antidote turned out to be yoga. Grace Yoga. The calm studio, its ambient light, the smiles, the encouragement to slow down, breathe, challenge and accept, find faith and trust have been stabilizers in “repurposing Linda.”

    GY: What additional benefits have you gained from your yoga practice that may not be offered in another form of exercise?

    LP: Although I am in a group environment, the art of yoga is truly an individual and personal art form. I admit introspection used to intimidate me. However, welcomed into Grace Yoga and encouraged to let go and embrace myself, I discovered that keeping my mind, body and spirit engaged is self-soothing, self-healing. Something I’d not experienced before in other sports. My personal best is built on self-challenge, self-pace and self-reward.

    I have developed a newfound sense of calm, personal achievement, and acceptance. That’s the healthy head part. The healthy body part is increased flexibility, muscle strength and tone.

    GY: Please tell us a little about yourself: career, family, background and anything else interesting you would like us to know.

    LP: I hail from New Haven, Connecticut and moved to California, the San Francisco Marina District, in 1978. Although I lost my personal belongings and apartment to it, I survived the 1989 Earthquake – then moved right back into the Marina. The majority of my career has been in publishing. It began with the coffee table pictorial book series A Day in the Life, traveling and working with the world's leading photojournalists as they captured extraordinary images of everyday events in a single, 24-hour day of a particular country. My favorites: A Day in the Life of China, Italy, Ireland, Israel, and Thailand. Prior to my job with Sunset Magazine I was a newborn baby photographer in Seattle. On a more personal note, I enjoy photography, classic cars and a good sense of humor. I am married and live in San Mateo. We have 5 grandchildren, and Grandma Linda intends to reign supreme in a game of Twister this summer, after a few more months of yoga :)

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