20 Questions with Mary Bruce

30 days of yoga
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A peek into the inspiration behind the beautiful Mary Bruce

20 Questions with Mary Bruce

Mary BruceGY:  What is your go-to yoga pose when you’ve only got a few minutes to practice? Why do you think it’s so appealing?

MB: It depends on what I need to do that day. It might be handstand for a quick burst of energy or Janusirsasana if I need grounding and an inward focus. If I have a little more time I like the restorative pose Supta Baddha Konasana, or Yoga Nidra.

GY: Early morning routine? What’s yours? Coffee? Tea?

MB: Up at 6:30 0r 7 a.m. and then first things first… feed the cats so I can attend my own needs. Next up is tongue scraping and brushing my teeth. Meditation for 20-40 min. Then dry brushing followed up with abyangha oil massage. Nasal wash with neti pot, drink some hot water with lemon,short physical practice then shower, breakfast and good to go.

GY: What is one song you never get tired of hearing?

MB: That’s a hard one. I love music!!! I love anything by Matt Nathanson or Sara Bareilles. Right now I’m digging She used to Be mine by Sara and Matt’s new Album Show me your Fangs.

GY: Do you have a favorite quote, affirmation, or saying that gets you through the tough times? What is it?

MB: That’s a tough one too. I am a quote junkie! One that I really love though is by Rumi. Out Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 09.59.39beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field, I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make sense. I like this one because it reminds me that that the world is not the black and white world I grew up with. I surpassed my conditioning. There is a place where we can all meet beyond our personalities, nationalities and cultural differences. That the same light that dwells with in me also dwells within you. It softens the edges and I remember that The World is Beautiful no matter what is going on.

GY: How would you describe your yoga teaching style?

MB: My teaching style is Inclusive. I teach Para Yoga founded by my teacher Yogarupa Rod Stryker. It incorporates the richest of the traditions. It includes asana, pranayama, bandha, mudra, kriya, mantra, meditation and more. It’s 3 Rivers are Tantra, Ayurveda and Yoga. They are woven together into a tapestry to bring out individual thriving in the world beyond the mat. It is yoga beyond the poses, a full experience of the depth and reach of yoga’s promise. My goal is to teach in a way that brings people back home to themselves so they leave a healthy distance from their cares and concerns and remember the light of their soul.

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GY: How old were you when you fell in love with the practice of yoga?

MB: 35

GY: What was so appealing about it to you?

MB: For the first time in 35 yrs I didn’t feel like there was something wrong with me. I came home to myself. I got a taste of that in my first class during savasana and I wanted more ~

GY: What made you want to become a yoga teacher?

MB: I’ve always been a perpetual student and there was a longing to know more about the shifts that were taking place in my life. I didn’t necessarily start out to teach. That came later.

GY: Describe yourself at 21.

MB: A hot mess

GY: What would you say has been one of the best parts of growing up, getting older?

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 10.00.36MB: Being more comfortable speaking my mind. and not caring what other people think. Being true to myself. Believing myself. Becoming who I am meant to be. Thats an ongoing process.

GY:  Snack wise, what is your greatest weakness, what can you simply not pass up?

MB: Avocados

GY: What are a couple of traits of your own that you hope your kids (or future kids) may inherit. Maybe a couple you hope they don’t?

MB: Well, I don’t have children but for my nieces and nephews I would hope to pass on a love for learning something new, having a great deal of interest and curiosity rather than fixed ideas. A love for Music and Art. I hope they don’t take on my traits of procrastination and self doubt (working on that one!)

GY: Describe your first love, in six words or less.

MB: dreamy, funny, adventurous, artsy, musician, worldlyMaryBruce033

GY: A Sunday all to yourself, how do you spend it?

MB: In pajamas all day, slow living~taking good exquisite care of me~filling my own cup first so I can give from the saucer, making soup, reading, sunset hike, early dinner and early to bed. Delicious!!

GY: What about a night out on the town? Who would you spend it with? What would you do?

MB: A great dinner at FnB or a Concert at Crescent Ballroom or The MIM or both with a close friend or by myself. I like taking myself out on dates! :)

GY: Who have you been friends with the longest and how did you meet?

MB: Hmm…Peggy and I met back in our wild years in Madison. We survived and still remain friends today. We’ve known each other 35 yrs.

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 09.59.58GY: What yoga teacher has most influenced your practice and teaching? (We actually already know the answer to this one!)

MB: Rod Stryker

17. Can you name three traits you cherish most in this teacher?

MB: His dedication and soulful approach to his own practice and his love for his teacher, His humor and lightheartedness, His humility and the way he loves and cherishes his family.

GY: What do you love most about your home space?

MB: It’s an explosion of Shakti. There’s an abundance of color and it’s very artsy. There are little altars everywhere; vignettes of the sacred. It makes me Happy.

GY: What was the last thing you binge watched on Netflix?

MB: I don’t have Netflix but a friend recently turned me onto True Detective Season 1. Not something I would normally watch but I got into it.

GY: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

MB: Drop the story~ The mind is a great fabricator, I can make up a story in a flash, but is it true? Most of our thoughts are not helpful or true. Meditation helps me to sift through this and see with more clarity but a wise mentor told me that everything is story and we can drop it, let it go any time. We have choice. Choose the stories to hold onto that nurture you and let go of the rest that hinder you.


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