I was asked to submit a story to lululemon for recognition on International Women’s Day, a complete honor to join the other incredible females charging ahead.
Stand as tall on the inside as you are on the outside…
This noble piece of advice or I call it my “mantra” was spiritually gifted to me by my grandfather on my father’s side. Although he himself was short in stature his wisdom rose high as did his progressive aims in business and creating community. Standing at 5’8, I inherited my height from my maternal grandmother who taught me to be diligent, hard working and to always be kind. It was only until I found my true path did these treasured bits of guidance begin to take shape and I was able to recognize the strength, resilience, awareness and growth I was cultivating.
Yoga found me in Washington, DC in 1998 as I worked to make roots in a brand new city. My southern upbringing provided me with robust social skills but I lacked the personal moxie and evolution to know what my true calling could be. Enter my very first yoga teacher, David. He knew nothing about me, we did not speak for the first month I took class at his studio, I kept my head down and did my work on the mat. Under his watchful eye the magic of Yoga began to sink into my muscles and immersed more compassionately into my soul. Things began to shift and a glimmer of that taller version of myself began to take a stand. As I grew stronger and more agile on the outside, I grew kinder, more confident and softer on the inside.
As a martial artist, prolific mover of all types of fitness and dance I felt very at home in powering through circumstances both physically and emotionally, a dead end destination. As yoga began to open my eyes I no longer saw this new city as a one-track highway but a grid with infinite possibilities. I learned to navigate my life on my own terms, take risks both professionally and personally and chose to spend time with a new community; one that challenged me and my less, cultivated perspectives on “real life” and learned to become a person of service.
After a steady practice for 3 years I became a yoga teacher, that’s when the above mantra began to take real shape. As a guide, I could no longer hide behind the movement, the postures and the breath, I had to take a tall stand and trust that I actually knew what I was talking about; my diligence and hard work at the forefront of my new journey. Coming from an OCD, often thin skinned, tenderhearted individual like me, this was quite the RISK. BIG TIME!
Fast-forward 17 years. That risk has awarded me with incredible experiences and life moments. Gaining insight into who I am and who I continue to become has presented opportunities beyond my imagination. Today, as a small business owner and teacher I have been honored to teach on International teaching platforms, film videos, teach First Lady, Michelle Obama in the White House for her “Let’s Move” initiative and other amazingly fortunate experiences that as a budding yogi I could have never fathomed. Along the way, I have met incredible humans and affiliated with fitness and wellness companies to further the mission to bring yoga and introduce a healthier path to as many people as possible. One significant interconnection is my relationship with lululemon. With the goal crushing #sweatlife manifesto and my own personal internal work I have been inspired to continue to seek, to reach, to serve, to explore, to love, to risk, to think waaaay outside of the box and to be still and let things happen (very hard!!). Through my 10-year alignment with the innovative brand and 3 stints as an Ambassador I have witnessed great change in the wellness community proving with more awareness, self-love and support we can all stand a bit taller.
This is a brief glimpse of how my valued family, the practice of yoga, and the willingness to diverge on a different path has contoured my soul. Keeping myself healthy with practice, time with my family, laughter, travelling to my bucket list destinations, cultivating my design business, and taking time to just “be” has created a cornerstone for me in DC. As my story continues to unfold and my insides continue to rise taller I am excited to see where the next path leads me…
Study and travel with me. www.mimiriegeryoga.com