When we heard yoga teacher Goldie Graham was moving to San Diego from Boston, we jumped at the chance to have her teach at Buddhi. Her ability to deliver the subtle aspects of yoga in an easy-going and relatable way combined with her unique, feel-good sequencing made her a perfect fit for us. Here we dig in a little deeper to what makes Goldie so unequivocally awesome.
The first studio I ever taught at was called All One Yoga. It was in Brookline, MA and I taught a community class there to start. Eventually, I started teaching at Back Bay Yoga Studio and that’s when I was offered more classes that would require me to leave my “conventional” j-o-b. Why the move? Well, my husband and I moved to San Diego 16 months ago for the sunshine, nearby family, and a sense of adventure. With the beauty of the concrete Boston jungle over the past 8-10 years, we decided if there was ever a time to move, it would be now while we are young, less rooted and have no children. So, here we are living it up in La Jolla, CA. Dreamy.
This is the best compliment a person could give me! Wow, thank you. It means more to me than a good hair day or cool outfit. In fact, I care so much about the quality of my classes and what I’m putting out there that I’d rather you like my classes more than you like me. Because of this, I don’t get complacent or become one of those lazy teachers who teaches the same thing day in and day out. I work hard to stay creative and inspired when I get down on my living room floor each Monday with a pad and pen and start scribbling and moving. I start with a couple of ideas for peak poses I want to teach or a specific focus and I work from there. My best advice for teachers looking for inspiration and for new teachers looking to get more comfortable is to have a home practice and PLAN and WRITE DOWN YOUR SEQUENCE! Come to class prepared. If you’re someone who makes up your sequence on the spot, know that we can all tell. There is a drastic difference between the quality of a teacher and his/her class who walks in with a plan, versus the teacher who makes it up on the spot and has to physically do the class in order to teach the class.
I often notice spelling and grammatical errors, so the joke between my husband and I is that I’d make a great proof reader or editor. I don’t think I’d be super passionate over time with this career choice, so my real answer is, I’d work in high fashion in some capacity.
This type of career doesn’t happen overnight and it surely doesn’t happen if your sole motivation is to “make it big” or become “famous.” What does that even mean, right? The process of becoming a teacher who is able to travel teach starts with building a solid home-base community by saying yes to every teaching opportunity you get. You have to first make a name for yourself in the city in which you live. How do you do that? Refer to question #2 Eventually, over time, studio owners and/or students who have moved to other studios will invite you to teach there. Bigger opportunities get presented that may get a “media win” but again, you’re not teaching yoga to get rich and famous. It doesn’t work like that. You’re teaching yoga because you love how it makes you feel and what it does for those in your class.
Music can ruin a yoga class if you’re careless and thoughtless when putting together your playlist. Just as meticulously planned as your sequence is, so should be your playlist. Every single song should have a reason for why it’s there and why it’s in the order it is. A carefully crafted playlist should match the energetics of the asana. If your class is decompressing and you have Beastie Boys playing, you either don’t understand how to playlist, or you don’t give a shit, and that’s a problem. If you don’t care about music, I would suggest not using any in class. Music evokes emotion, so I try and use music with little to no lyrics. I prefer interesting, quirky instrumentals. Oh, running you ask? I am an avid runner yes, but I don’t run with music. Ever. You can easily identify the runners who run with music without even seeing them. You can hear them first. Their breath is extremely heavy and stressed and their footfall is super loud. Running is meditative for me. It’s all about finding the zone where my breath and stride are in such synchronicity that my heart rate is consistent and I’m calm.
My husband, Brogan Graham. He embodies what it means to be altruistic. He teaches me just by living his authentic life and reminding me to worry about the things I can control. He’s the most incredible human I’ve ever met.
I’ve been meditating for years, but recently I started sitting twice a day. When life is smooth and I’m not battling much, I tend to veer away from coping mechanisms/tools such as meditation because my body and brain don’t crave it as much. But just like the asana practice, it’s there when you need it. With all of the traveling my husband and I do, the time zones and jet lag really affect me. Meditation helps reduce my sleep anxiety and increase my awareness and understanding that I have the power to overcome whatever false beliefs my sometimes anxious brain might make up.