We had the good fortune of connecting with Heather Graff and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Heather, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
The single most important decision that I’ve made that contributed to the success of my business is to keep showing up. No matter what, show up. That’s been especially important during the past year and all of it’s challenges. Pre-Covid, I was teaching twelve classes a week at various locations throughout San Diego. By April of last year, I was down to two classes on teaching days with nine hours in between them. There were days that it was challenging to muster up the energy to teach that second class after isolating alone at home all day. I leaned on the teachings of my teachers to get through those times. And I showed up. Nearly a year later, I am still teaching online and grateful everyday that I have the privilege to do so. I remind myself of that gratitude when I find it taking effort to show up.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I love teaching Yoga! I believe that my love and passion for Yoga comes through when I teach, and hopefully, the folks I teach will love it too. I’ve been practicing yoga for 25 years and I’ve always appreciated the calm that it brings me. Following surgery in 2007, and after using private Yoga sessions with my original teacher to rehabilitate my body, I decided that I wanted to share my love for Yoga with others. It took a few years for everything to align and I took my first Yoga teacher training. I started teaching my first class, to a group of three friends in my home, two weeks after I finished my training. I built my business one student at a time, one class at a time. Today, I am offering my classes virtually live on Zoom. This has been my format for the last eleven months due to Covid restrictions. I currently offer five weekly classes, a monthly class and workshops all in the safety and comfort of your home. I feel so very fortunate to be able to continue teaching through out the pandemic. The list of the challenges that I’ve overcome over the past year is long. The biggest step in facing the challenges and overcoming them was that I kept showing up. I showed up online, night after night, so that folks could move and breathe and be together during these uncertain times. For many months, we were the only people each other saw, outside of our homes. And the biggest lesson I learned from this was gratitude. Gratitude for the practice. Gratitude for the students. Gratitude for the physical ability to do what I do. Again, I love teaching Yoga! My hope when I share my love for Yoga with others, is that they love it to.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Whenever people visit me in San Diego, I have a short list of places we must visit. Balboa Park is at the top of my list. The museums housed in their historic buildings, built for the World’s Fair ~ not to mention the lovely walk through the park. Lunch at the Prado would be a must and later, tea in the Japanese garden. Another favorite place to take visitors is the Self- Realization Gardens in Encinitas. Overlooking the bluffs at Swami’s Beach, with all of it’s beauty this is one of my favorite places in the world. If my company likes animals, the San Diego Wild Animal Park cannot be missed. Fun for all ages, animals are housed in natural looking habitats for the ultimate wild animal experience. Favorite restaurants include Hash House A Go-Go and the Chicken Pie Shop to take friends when they visit. And always, depending on who is visiting and what they like is based on what we do. There is just so much to do in San Diego!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Elena Brower is a huge source of inspiration in my teachings and in my life. Her book the Art of Attention has beautiful class offerings and themes, as well as an inspirational card deck. You can find out about her work and class offerings at: www.elenabrower.com.
Photo 1: C. Bailey Studios Photo 2: Rob Andrew