Next-up in the Doing What You Love series on Just Rolling with It is Hannah Gruber – Yoga Teacher, Reiki Practitioner, and Ayurvedic Holistic Health Counselor
Hannah’s a big reason that my on-again-off-again yoga practice became more on than off a few years ago. I was fortunate to meet Hannah through the Wednesday and Saturday yoga classes at Quick Fitness, in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Hannah also developed a yoga for cycling plan for me. The plan has been a huge help in counteracting the effects that my poor posture has had on my body over the years and that riding a bicycle for long periods of time continues to have, especially by opening my chest and shoulders in ways I never before thought possible!
I hope you find Hannah’s interview as inspiring as I have! You can read more about Hannah in her bio at the end of the interview.
Here’s my interview with Hannah –
1 – What is it you do that you love?
I am a full-time lover of life. I run my own business teaching yoga and Ayurvedic health counseling and also work as a private chef.
2 – How and when did you realize what it is you love to do?
I was waiting for it to jump out at me, like a text message or an email, when I realized I was already doing it.
I was teaching yoga part-time, cooking great meals for friends and family on the weekends, while working several part-time jobs to make rent. When my father pointed out that what I was doing made me an entrepreneur, I was in denial.
But then I realized, the things I love to do are me,and I was already making them happen. I noticed what it was I love do when I started paying more attention to what already made me happy.
3 – When did you decide to make a commitment to doing what you love? What does that commitment look like, e.g. full-time job, part-time hobby, etc.
It was gradual. I wanted everything to go down simultaneously, as though I were already fully formed. I felt like I kept hitting roadblocks, especially because I was focusing on how my part-time job as a waitress was incongruent with my passion, which was to practice and teach yoga and healthy living.
I think the commitment came when I let go of the idea that my life had to be all or nothing. I started to ask how I could be present in any situation, like a living, breathing, meditation. I showed up to the restaurant with as much joy and mindfulness as I did to my yoga and Ayurveda practices, open to the possibility that I could gain everything I needed from any situation. In my case, all I’ve ever longed for is to live life full of passion and joy.
4 – How long have you been doing what you love?
Ever since I understood my dad’s words of wisdom. Each day as a kid he’d tell me to have the best day I’ve ever had. I was in my early twenties when I started to believe that it was possible and that my attitude had an effect on how I lived my life.
5 – What was the toughest decision you had to make when making a commitment to doing what you love?
The toughest decision was choosing to be honest with myself. There are times when I wish for more security: the kind that comes from having a regular job and healthcare and retirement and the ease of having someone else tell you what to do.
To have the freedom of being my own boss, I have to constantly keep watch over what I do and remember that love doesn’t always come easily. There are highs and lows and the struggles make the successes sweeter.
6 – Was there a time that you had doubts about doing what you love? If so, how did or do you overcome those doubts and keep doing what you love?
All the time!
It’s easy to feel good about teaching yoga and Ayurveda when folks are hungry for it. My work doesn’t pay a particularly high salary, so I’m constantly having to brainstorm and reach out and be patient for clients to come. Just like anyone else, I have good days and bad days, and it’s not easy to show up for others when you’re having a tough time.
But the magic of what I do is that I get to participate in the process. I get to practice what I share with others and reap the benefits. So I have tools for managing stress, techniques for nourishing myself when I start to question whether I have “enough” to take care of myself.
7 – What are some of the things you enjoy most about doing what you love?
I love interacting with clients and students. When someone has a personal breakthrough, and they share that joy with you, you know you’ve done your work well. When my students leave class and say, “I feel better now,” I go home and say the same.
8 – Do you have any advice for people who are struggling with making a commitment to doing what they love, even if they know they want to make the commitment?
Be patient. Start to look for ways in which the thing you Love most is already happening. Even if it’s in small ways, when the mind is goal-oriented it tends to look beyond the present. Set yourself up for success by taking small steps, and enjoy watching yourself grow each step of the way, into the loving magical beast that you are.
9 – Is there anything else you’d like to add about doing what you love?
Tap into your biggest needs and desires. What is your deepest longing? What does it feel like? Start to imagine not only the thing or the job or the activity that you want to achieve, but the feeling you seek that is associated with it.
When we begin on a path towards progress we imagine the end goal to look a certain way. Oftentimes, due to external circumstances, combined with changes that take place within us and around us, the result of our efforts looks very different from what we first imagined. Always stay connected to your deepest desire and aim to get more and more clear about what that feeling is.
Here’s Hannah’s Bio –
Hannah came to yoga from a stressful, jam-packed life with debilitating allergies and asthma. Tired of medication, inhalers, doctors, and caffeine, she was willing to try anything and through yoga learned that she was in charge of her own health and life. Practice: whether it’s yoga, meditation, cooking, or just going to sleep at a regular hour, continuously builds her confidence and peace and has led her to live a life she loves. Hannah believes that everybody deserves to live a life they love and started teaching yoga to help people find their own power and peace. Her distinct and playful yoga classes challenge you to be your best self: through curiosity of holistic well-being, the intelligence of good alignment, and a willingness to evolve. Hannah is a yoga teacher, trained in Anusara yoga and Yogahour®, Reiki practitioner, and also an Ayurvedic Health Counselor. Featured on the Food Network, her passionate belief that food is medicine inspires the creative and delicious meals she prepares. Hannah teaches yoga and cooking classes throughout New York City and also leads a farm-to-table Supper club. You can learn more about her work here.