Spirit Sister Series - Grace Teale
It's such an incredible honour to introduce our beautiful Spirit Sister, Grace, from Grace Teale Yoga.
Grace is a Brisbane based Yogini and Yoga teacher, beautiful mamma and one of the most positive and kind people you will ever meet.
If you feel like grace looks familiar, it's because we were blessed to have this beauty join us for our special photoshoot earlier in the year and you'll find her stunning images plastered across our website and social channels.
You can follow and connect with this gorgeous souls journey over on Instagram @gracetealeyoga and be sure to check out @empoweredwomenbrisbane for her co-created events around empowering women to thrive together.
But for now you can get to know Grace a little more in our interview below, where she shares with us a bit about how her journey with yoga began, what her practice looks like and some little nuggets of wisdom she's learnt along the way.
Let’s start with the basics, how old are you? And where did you grow up?
I am 34 years young; I was born in a place called Zamboanga City in the Philippines and my family migrated to Australia when I was just four years old. I grew up in Darwin, Northern Territory and I spent the rest of my childhood there.
Where are you currently based?
After high school, I moved to the Gold Coast with my little family (my now husband and then one year old daughter) and we lived there for two years. Work opportunities saw us moving to Brisbane and we have been here ever since. I now consider Queensland home and I think I will always live here. Or at least, I am certain that I will always be close to the ocean and in a place where it is mostly sunny!
What three words best describe you right now and your Intention/Essence/ offerings?
Passionate, loving, and light hearted.
Can you share with us a little about your Journey with Yoga and or Spirituality, whatever that means to you?
My first reaction to the physical practice of yoga was BORING. My grade 11 dance teacher always began our practical classes with an hour-long stretch session, and I was always in a hurry to get on with the dancing. Keeping busy was and sometimes still is how I roll!
Since then I never practiced yoga consistently, but I would go into a class randomly when I felt stressed or whenever I wanted to move my body in a more mindful way.
My regular yoga practice really began after I had my three children. I felt like I had ticked a lot of the boxes in my life; a loving relationship, a happy and healthy family, a home I was proud of and I worked for a great company that allowed me to work from home during school hours! But I still felt overwhelmed, stressed, stuck and like I was not living up to my potential.
What I discovered was my body, my mind and my heart craved something deeper and spending time on the mat allowed me to have inner peace, a feeling of calmness and a deeper connection to myself. It also taught me resilience, strength, and compassion.
My spiritual practice is still evolving. I grew up Catholic and even though I still sometimes go to church, I am finding I am drawn to higher beings which I now refer to as the Universe, Mother Nature and I believe in angels/spirits.
I have always felt that we as humans are not ‘alone’ in this world and even as a very young person I believed this but now this comes from a place of curiosity and understanding rather than from a place of fear.
Can you Share with us a little about what led you to begin starting your biz/ sharing your current offerings?
After having a consistent practice, I felt it was selfish to keep this discovery to myself. I wanted everyone to experience all these benefits I had discovered, and I felt like it was my job to let as many people know as possible- especially mums!
Mums are notorious for being incredibly selfless and time poor! They give so much of themselves to others and are often left exhausted and overwhelmed. What yoga does is it gives time and it has certainly helped me to become a better parent and a better human overall. I truly think through the practice of yoga we can change our world for the better.
What have been your biggest triumphs?
I have had some pretty cool experiences in my yoga teaching journey. I never thought I would get to be in fun photo shoots and yoga videos, meet other passionate creatives, work with businesses I have followed for years and meet with people I truly look up to.
But I consider my biggest triumph as getting to witness people really fall in love with themselves through the practice of yoga. Nothing is more fulfilling to me than witnessing somebody’s journey as a beginner (some skeptics even) and have them completely transformed into a ‘yogi.’
This makes me so happy.
What have been your biggest Fears, obstacles and challenges along the way? And what has really helped you in overcoming them?
I read somewhere that human kinds two biggest fears are; the fear of not being loved and the fear of not being good enough.
I have experienced both fears and for a while these fears were very loud and they manifested negatively in my body. The very thing I was ‘teaching’ and ‘preaching’ was making me extremely sick and unhappy.
I had to learn about healthy boundaries, self-love, and inner confidence.
What lessons are you most grateful for in life and in what you do?
I am grateful for the decision I made to leave my ‘secure’ desk job to work for myself and teach yoga.
It was truly terrifying to step out of my comfort zone and try to do something that was so different from anything I had ever done.
Right now, we are knee deep into a global pandemic and I at times fall into the trap of regret and loss.
Ultimately though, I know I made the right decision- life is more than waking up, going to a job we don't love and then dying. We are here to live out our purpose and that purpose is not served when we are stuck in fear and in our comfort zone.
What advice would you give another facing a similar challenge?
You do not have to go all in! It is okay to have a safety net. Whatever your passion, your love or your desire- there’s no rule that says you have to give up your desk job entirely, or sacrifice your health, your mortgage or your relationships.
Just start! Start small; write one line, make one item, teach one class, create one thing or share with just one person. And then everyday do a little bit more. We are our habits, not what we do every now and then. When I get really overwhelmed I try to focus on each step and not the entire staircase. And finally, learn to rest, not to quit.
What are the biggest challenges you face now? either personally or in what you do? or both?
This global pandemic has forced me to think big. How can I use my small influence to help others on a bigger scale? In person I am limited to my street, my neighborhood, my community, and my small immediate network.
The challenge is how can I speak to my people online? And how can I be of service in a more meaningful way? I teach asana but that is just the icing on the cake and in person this can be easier to teach, but how to reach my people online when at times it can feel impersonal and distant?
We all deal with fears and insecurities; how do you combat overwhelm and self-doubt?
I combat these fears and insecurities through routine.
My routine consists of gentle movement, meditation, affirmations, and journaling. Some days I like a strong power yoga class and others I crave a more restorative practice. Often my home practice is just ten minutes and on other days I will commit to a class on the other side of Brisbane that will go for an hour and a half. It all depends on what my body needs at that time.
I meditate as soon as I wake up. And if I’m not too tired I’ll sit and meditate in bed before I go to sleep. I love a guided meditation so I’ll often use an app called Headspace, but if my mind is super busy- I will commit to silent meditation with a focus on deep breathing.
Journaling is also a powerful tool that I have been using since I was a kid. Through journaling I let my hands take over and I can let go of anything that I have been holding onto. Often, I look down and read what I have just written and become amazed at what I was harbouring. It’s also really great for reflection. I love looking back at old journals to see what I was experiencing in another time in my life. It makes me proud to see how far I have come and what I have been fortunate enough to manifest.
But I have to say that affirmations is probably the most powerful practice that has helped me combat fear and insecurity. Sometimes I write them down, but I find saying them out loud in front of a mirror is very impactful. Whatever I feel negatively, I will counter it with a positive statement and say it repeatedly. Even if I do not quite believe it, the message slowly starts to sink into my subconscious mind and then I start to believe it.
What do you currently most crave in life and in what you do?
Right now, I am craving connection. I consider myself introverted and very much a homebody, but I find myself really missing the beautiful yoga studios I work in, the people I normally see every day, all the beautiful students in my classes and my everyday ‘normal’ life.
I know that nothing will ever feel the same again, and that the only guarantee in life is change, but I find myself craving the familiar. It won’t take me long to get used to the new way of life but right now I remain nostalgic and melancholy.
What’s next for you, any exciting plans on the horizon that you would like to share?
I’ve just released my e-book ‘Yoga for Beginners.’
One of the questions I get asked all the time is ‘how can I get started in yoga?’ I wanted to create a guide for someone who has ever been curious to try yoga but has been too intimidated to come to a class or wants to understand an asana more and how to move safely and confidently in any type of hatha, power or vinyasa class.
I asked myself ‘what offering can I give to students right now that will benefit them straight away?’ and this e-book was the answer.
I also have my live Zoom classes that are on offer and am currently working on a virtual studio so that anyone from around the world can practice yoga with me. I’m so excited to bring these to all of you very soon!
Spirit Rituals, can you share with us any practices or routines that you do to keep you feeling inspired, grounded and connected?
To feel inspired, I read books. My favourite books are by female authors such as Gabrielle Bernstein, Elizabeth Gilbert, Marie Forleo and Melissa Ambrosini.
To feel grounded I go for a walk with my girls and our pet husky. I usually take my shoes off and take time to breathe the fresh air and spend time in nature. It is very important to me that I have a lot of green in my view! When I wake up and can see trees, green grass and a lots of plants I instantly feel at peace.
To feel connected I hug and I play. I am a very affectionate person towards the people I love. My loved ones will always find me hugging them, kissing them and I will always try to be close to them- I’m sure when they are older this will drive them crazy! But my husband loves it (at least that's what he tells me).
I also love a good laugh! Amongst my friends, I love nothing more than to joke around, make fun and just have a good time. It’s important for me to not take everything so seriously that it no longer feels enjoyable- I look for joy in my friendships to feel more connected.
Who have been the most influential or inspirational people/ teachers/ Books or places on your path? and why?
I have been fortunate to work with some amazing mentors and teachers. One mentor taught me how to let go of guilt and shame. She taught me an amazingly simple but very effective exercise in which to release ‘mum guilt.’
I never liked leaving my children for work or for pleasure and for years it crippled me. It stopped me from doing a lot! She recognized that this was a very big problem i my life so she forced me to write 100 reasons why leaving my children in safe care would make me a better parent. We were on the phone for over an hour and she would not let me hang up until I had finished. It worked! It gave me the ability to attend yoga classes regularly without feeling guilt, which started my love for yoga and ultimately allowed me to begin a yoga teaching career.
One book I return to time and time again is Paul Coelho’s ‘The Alchemist.’ My sister recommended it to me years ago and since then I have read it at least six times! I love story telling, and this one is daring, heartfelt and shares my message of purpose and heart.
What does #iamspirit mean to you?
#iamspirit means I am not my physical body. I am not my appearance and what others see me as. I am a soul having a human experience and I am here for a good time, not a long time. So I choose love, I choose purpose and I choose joy.
Image 2nd from top - Grace wears the above outfit with the Archangel Gabriel Luxe Silk Kimono - Desert Orange by Warriors of the Divine
Images Captured for Spirit People by The Goddess Michelle at Eyes of Love Photography