• Congratulations, Irina Cumberland!

    Grace Yoga: March 20th is the first day of Spring - signaling the time of year where we see so much growth and change. Fittingly, for our newsletter this month, our theme is "renewal" - and how yoga plays a role in allowing us to renew/rejuvenate ourselves constantly.

    What is your personal reason for starting and continuing your yoga practice, and how - if at all - are you able to rejuvenate your practice as time passes?

    Irina Cumberland: I can say that my art brought me to yoga. I was thinking about starting to practice yoga for many years and then I stumbled upon an article about the way energy moves differently through and around the body in each different yoga posture. The pictures of this energy started coming out in my mind so I started drawing some doodles of that energy which led to the desire to experience it in my own body. I tried YouTube yoga classes and then I worked up the courage to go and try a real in-person class at Grace Yoga. It feels like my practice, and my spirit are being rejuvenated somehow naturally with every single session. It's an ongoing process like a spiral that goes on and on, reaching a higher level each time.

    GY: We are so excited to offer your "Brain Yoga" adult coloring books in our store this month. What inspired you to create these beautiful works of art?

    IC: The foundation for my book were those original doodles of the yoga energy flow that I mentioned earlier. I refined and improved them along with my practice; incorporating the natural flowing lines and shapes that are scientifically proven to reduce stress (also known as fractals). My main goal was to create the most calming, relaxing, inspirational coloring experience for those who use the "Brain Yoga" coloring book.

    GY: What is your favorite aspect of your practice at Grace Yoga?

    IC: Definitely the teachers. Grace Yoga teachers are the most spiritual, knowledgable and helpful human beings that will guide you in your own unique practice instead of just showing some fancy positions that the average person can't repeat. Each teacher is unique and contributes their own view and advice and I learn something new and actionable at each visit to Grace Yoga.

    GY: Please tell us a little about yourself: career, family, background and anything else interesting you would like us to know.

    IC: I am originally from Ukraine. I finished medical school and was in the beginning stages of my medical career as an OBGYN doctor, when I met my husband and moved to the USA with him in 2011. Art was always my true passion, so when I had to make a career choice in a new country, I became an artist. Now I am living my dream as a full time artist, while helping people reduce stress with "Brain Yoga" coloring book that you can now see in the Grace Yoga studio, and with natural fractal ocean paintings, which you can view on my website at www.irinacumberland.com.