Today we’d like to introduce you to Tracey Goldman.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Tracey. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
It feels like where I am today is exactly where I’m meant to be. That might sound cliche, but I feel like all of the paths I’ve taken have lead me right here, to teaching yoga and meditation. I believe it’s always been my purpose, my dharma.
I was one of those people who never knew what I wanted to do, or “be”. I studied Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology in college, because I’ve always been interested in how people respond to their circumstances and behave with one another, and graduated from UCLA with a Sociology degree. Most of my many jobs, from the age of 14 on, were in sales because I enjoy interacting with people. I’ve always been a “people pleaser”, in my family life and in relationships. So, helping others has been a big part of my calling.
I was fortunate to be raised by young parents (they were both only 21 when they had me, which was common back then), and we celebrated both Christmas and Hanukkah every year because neither of them were really religious, although our family is Jewish. I was allowed and encouraged to formulate my own beliefs, which I’m very grateful for. As a result, I’ve never been religious but always seeking my own truth, and so developed a strong spiritual belief system.
When I was a teenager, I wasn’t interested in the romance novels or fiction my friends were reading. Instead, I would spend most weekends at a little book store in my neighborhood in Los Angeles, called the Bodhi Tree Bookstore, which at the time was unknown, and afterward became iconic, (although it’s not there anymore). I used to read every book I could find about metaphysics and spirituality. I was always searching for a deeper understanding of our connection to ourselves and the universe, or our source.
It wasn’t until I graduated from college and moved to NYC that I discovered yoga. My first class was a Kundalini class taught by a Sikh in a white turban, named Ravi Singh. I was enchanted and began practicing it when I returned to LA. That was just about the time that Bryan Kest brought his signature Power Yoga to Santa Monica, and people would line up around the block hoping they’d fit into the room of 150+ people that flocked to his sweaty, amazing classes. When I discovered Bryan’s yoga, I was hooked! I used to race to class almost daily for many years to work my body and enrich my mind from Bryan’s valuable teachings.
Through all those years, I never had the desire to teach yoga. I just loved the practice. It wasn’t until after I was married and had my son, and wanted to return to work after some time being a mother, that I was able to choose a job I was deeply passionate about. I knew the only passion I had, other than for my family, was yoga. So, I jumped into a teacher training, with two decades of practical experience under my belt, got certified to teach, and within days landed my first teaching job in Santa Monica.
And now, ten years later, I’m still teaching yoga, and loving it every single day, truly. It’s the best “job” I’ve ever had, but I don’t call it a job. I feel like it’s always been my calling. I get to be of service and help people. I get to continuously learn and share spiritual teachings. For six years I even got to teach with and for Bryan Kest! In fact, I still have numerous classes on his Power Yoga website, which people from all over the world get to enjoy. I feel very humbled and grateful for that. In fact, some of the public classes I currently teach are in that same room people used to line up for, way back in the day, where it all began.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
This road has been incredibly smooth, again, as if all paths lead seamlessly right here to this exact place.
We’d love to hear more about your work.
The type of yoga I teach is completely inclusive and for all levels of experience from complete beginners to seasoned teachers. It’s called Vinyasa yoga, which essentially means linking breath to movement, in a flowing style. I believe breath is the foundation of the practice. Our breath is literally our life force. Without it, we would not be alive. The yogis call it Prana. When we manipulate the breath, we can alter our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual states of being.
I also believe that although we benefit physically from the postures, called asanas, and movement, the greatest benefit we derive is from the peaceful mind state we achieve by simply witnessing, experiencing and lengthening our breath. In doing so, we become fully present to each precious moment, and we discover a deeper connection to ourselves and our uniqueness as well as our connectedness to one another. I know it sounds like a lot to experience from a yoga class, but it is real. It’s is experiential. It can be life-changing.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Yes, I have very big plans! I’ll be launching an online course in 2020, called Breathe Into Bliss, which will be a 21 day program, with short 5-10 minute guided meditations delivered each day for anyone interested in learning how to establish a daily meditation practice and also understand the science behind how changing the quality of our breath can improve our physical health and enhance the quality of our lives. We can all benefit from the healing qualities of releasing habitual stress and creating a life with more balance, calm, resiliency and ease.
- Power Yoga East (the original donation studio) –
522 Santa Monica Blvd, SM Tuesday/Thursday 12:30-1:30
- Naam Yoga – 1231 4th St, SM Tuesday/Thursday 9:00-10:15
- Private and Corporate Yoga and/or Meditation classes available upon request