Creator Profile: Yoga teacher & heart alchemist Bryonie Wise on practicing stillness as you practice motion
If you haven't yet found a yoga class or teacher in Toronto that makes you feel ready to fall in love with your practice, please meet Bryonie. She is a poet-writer and yoga teacher who brings a lot of heart to her classes (check out the schedule at Kula Yoga to find one!) and holds space in a nourishing way - and delivers (in the literal sense of the word) useful wisdom.
Rarely do experts manage to translate their magic over to the 'gram so effectively, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how Bryonie DOES - just in case you want to invite some more love into your feed this spring. We talked to our favourite local yogi creatrix about her practice on the mat, and at her desk, and self-care pointers for empaths in the city.
How do you describe what you do when people ask?
It depends on who is asking!
I say I'm a yoga teacher, or poet-writer—but my favorite way to describe my "do" is to say I'm a heart alchemist—it holds the right mix of mystery and magic, adding much to the imagination, of which I am an avid supporter of.
How would you describe your creative process? (Or, what does a typical day at work look like for you?)
A typical day doesn't exist, really—they each have similar ingredients (dog walk, writing, stillness, bathing) plus a little extra here and there, depending on what I have going on.
I'm currently wrapping up a virtual eight week program called Writing Down the Heart, as well as partway into another virtually supported thirty-one day daily writing program I designed called H.I.W.W.A.* (or, *human is what we are)—plus, I teach yoga (sometimes a lot and sometimes a little) around the city, so these days are saturated with writing, writing and more writing.
The thing about growing up (and growing older) is discovering this peculiar yet wonderful feeling of comfort in redesigning the structure of my life to honor my needs, as best I can—both as a creative and as an extraordinarily sensitive creature. Because I know by now I can make it up as I go, parts of me are flourishing in the freedom I offer myself to shake things up and move them around, listening as closely to my heart as I do.
What is your all-time favourite part of being a human in the world today?
Woosh—this is a great question.
I would have to say my all-time favorite part of being a human in the world today is the immense opportunity available for each of us (both as individuals and as a collective) to stand up, speak out and love bigger.
What self-care routines are you loving right now?
1. Turkish coffee in the morning.
2. Giving myself permission to change my mind about something with great kindness and without apologizing.
3. Unplugging frequently to plug into deeper heart space.
What advice do you have for someone who lives and works in the city and wants to make more space in their lives for spirituality? What about advice for empaths in the city?
Make more space.
Seek out practices or teachers or spaces that support your spiritual growth.
Try different things, and if they work, make them a ritual.
Read, as much as you can.
Practice stillness as you practice motion.
Make sure that along with social happenings, work things, travel adventures and whatever else you fill your time, you create blocks of time in your calendar for just you. Unplug from all things electronic at minimum once a week, or make it a daily practice for an established time period each day. Take yourself outside, into nature—we have so much available to us in this city of ours, along the waterfront or all sizes of parks and mama nature is always grateful for a visit.
Remember each other.
Remember that although we live in a city and it's easy to close ourselves off to one another (and sometimes necessary) we're all in this together.
Let your living be embodied.
Stand by your principles and open to learning about things you have no experience with.
Be willing to shift perspective.
Practice becomes everything.
So often in yoga, we come to the mat and we think that's all the practice is: moving around and breathing on this one little patch of land. And for some time, it's true—that's what yoga is. But over time (and practice) it becomes everything else, too.
Practice becomes everything, from our choices to our thoughts to our feelings to how we treat ourselves—to how we care for each other.
What are you making (or working on) right now?
As mentioned earlier on, I have two writing programs on the go, one of which is almost done—so my brain-heart space are feeling quite content and full.
And, with that fullness comes the necessity to make some space to daydream and create the next things. Everything is a creative act—even the motion of making space to make.