We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Greco and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephanie, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
If you ask anyone who knows me, they would without a doubt say that I am the least likely person they know to do something risky. I am very much a look before you cross, weigh the all options, make a pros and cons list kind of gal. However, that’s not to say that I have never taken a risk in my life. In fact, when I was 21 I left the comfort of my family in Florida and moved all the way across the country to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film. At the time, this didn’t seem risky to me. I knew that’s what I wanted to do and so I did it. I think the way we define risk has a lot to do with our perception of it. Something that is risky to one person, can seem very tame to another. Probably the second biggest risk I’ve ever taken was when I made the decision seven years ago to shift careers and teach yoga full time. Starting over can be very challenging and scary. But I knew in my heart that my purpose had changed and I felt called to teach. From that moment on I shifted gears and figured out how I could translate my love of yoga into a fulfilling career. The risks I’ve taken in my life have all been calculated and thoughtful, but they have also been big and life changing. I think the greatest obstacle to our goals is fear. And fear can manifest in many ways. That little voice inside our head saying we are not worthy or good enough. Sometimes it’s an aching in the stomach or a racing of the mind. There is a quote by Anais Nin that I absolutely love- “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Moving out of our comfort zone can be terrifying and the fear of the unknown can keep us from experiencing our true potential. But at some point we have to be willing to take that leap, even if it looks like baby steps at first. There will always be risk. Some dive right into it at every opportunity with little hesitation, but for me I’ve come to view risk as a necessary part of evolving. And evolving in my life and career is something that I hope to do for a many, many years to come.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
As a teacher my desire is to help people uncover the greatest version of themselves. The who that they are regardless of what they look like, their circumstances and any situation that they may have had or currently be going through. It’s never been about the postures for me and I truly teach from the heart. My hope is that my students not only feel better and more connected to their bodies, but that they walk away having had an experience that is deeper than just the physical. Even if it’s just a tiny hint of that, they leave feeling better than when they arrived. The practice itself facilitates that, my job is to just guide and support them. I think what sets me apart from other yoga teachers is that you’re not going to get a cookie cutter, predictable practice from me, but a really individualized, genuine experience that incorporates the many limbs of yoga not just the physical poses. And it’s also about holding space for people to explore and understand themselves. I mean what greater goal can we have than to understand why we are who we are and hopefully use that knowledge to make a positive impact on those around us. I teach classes weekly as well as private sessions and really love doing both. I so enjoy the energy that you get in a group setting and thrive with the opportunity to work one on one with a client creating a very specific plan that serves their particular needs and situation. We are such complex beings and there is no one size fits all yoga. And I think that is something to really celebrate and embrace. It’s what I try to do in my own personal practice and what I encourage my students to do as well.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m a bit of a homebody, but when I do go out you’ll likely find me outside somewhere. Which living in LA is not hard to do since we have such gorgeous weather pretty much year round! Definitively some hiking would be involved- the Wisdom Tree Hike is one of favorites for the view. El Matador State Beach because it is just so breathtaking. While we are by the beach I’d stop by Malibu Seafood for some lunch. I also love Playa Provisions, great drinks and food as well as super relaxed vibe. We’d spend a day exploring all the little shops in Old Topanga Canyon and make a reservation for a sunset dinner at Inn of the Seventh Ray. One day would be dedicated to hiking around Griffith Park and exploring the Observatory. Of course we would have to see my favorite show at the Planetarium, Centered in the Universe. I’d plan another day casually strolling around Huntington Gardens and do afternoon tea in the Rose Garden. Lake Shrine would likely be on the itinerary as well since it is so serene. There is just so much to see and do in this city, I’m sure we’d have a blast wherever we went.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would not be teaching yoga today without the incredible teachers that have inspired and guided me along the way. There are too many list, but my roots are with YogaWorks and since the recent closing of their studios my heart aches. As the landscape of the yoga community transitions due to Covid-19, my hope is that seekers and students can still find refuge and peace through their practice. So many teachers have shifted to online teaching, myself included, and I truly hope that we can all stay connected and continue to practice together.
Kami Arant Keb Doak