Yogi Selects – Tracey Coretta

Now we have been following Tracey on social media outlets for as long as I can remember. I’ve always appreciated the visual aesthetic of what she captures. A very consistent look is easier said than done. Tracey also shares personal insight and helpful tips to living a life of abundance and accomplishment!

“Are you being led by your spirit or your wound…” Can you give an experience where you were guided by your pain but were led to spirit?

Sometimes pain causes us to ask meaningful questions. In my case, the questions I had centered on why living in America as a Black woman was so painful.  My questions led me to pursue a graduate degree in Africana Women’s Studies. In Atlanta I was led to spirit because I ended up taking a Womanism course taught by Dr. Layli Maparyan.  Her class inspired me to teach yoga to students at Clark Atlanta University where I was studying.  And well here we are today!

What is the most difficult test your yoga and meditation practice has confronted you with thus far?

Being patient has never been my forte.  Finding the strength to allow my practice to unfold naturally without wanting to see more progress faster has definitely been one of my biggest challenges.

Describe your self as you would a flower

I’m exquisite

Why is it essential to care for your self through proper nutrition and fitness practice?

Proper nutrition and fitness is paramount to maintain good health.  In order to accomplish your goals, whether its career, school or relationship related, good health needs to be a priority.  You can’t do good work if you’re sick.  Poor health is a recipe for failure.

What do you believe your purpose is in this lifetime and how do you think it will feel for others when you fulfill that purpose?

My purpose is to love myself unconditionally and to encourage others to do the same.  That unconditional love is best practiced with self care and discovering creative ways to promote health and wellness. For others, they will feel a strong commitment to cultivating their wellbeing on a daily basis.

Do you feel there is segregation within the yoga community if so in which ways and does that help or hinder the “appeal for new comers to join and try yoga”?

The yoga community exists within the broader context of US society.  Since we live in a very segregated America it’s not surprising that the yoga community is also segregated by class and race.  Fortunately, social media has been used as a powerful tool to help get the message across that yoga is for everybody.

Can having a vegan diet improve your relationship with Mother Nature?

I think having a vegan diet forces you to become more mindful of what you’re eating. I wouldn’t say that that mindfulness always transfers over to one’s relationship to the environment.  In general, however, I think that any plant based, whole food diet that cuts out processed food will change your relationship to many things including the planet.

Have you had any yoga related dreams or metaphysical experiences that you find hard to explain? If so feel free to share

I’m Caribbean so paying attention to my dreams or metaphysical experiences has always been an important practice even before learning about yoga.  I think getting waves of strong memories filled with multiple sensations while awake has been the strangest experience I’ve ever had.

What are 3 items you must have to set the tone of your space before meditating?

I don’t need much for meditation.  Lately, however, I’ve been revisiting the Headspace app that offers guided meditation exercises.

Does your perspective on yoga affect your practice, if so how?

Yes, absolutely. I don’t just practice “yoga” by doingposes.  Yoga is a pretty flexible practice in that it can touch many areas of your life.  For example, yoga helps cultivate mindfulness.  Mindfulness is extremely important to creating a centered and healthy life.  My existence is rooted in an understanding that my life isn’t ruled by outside occurrences.  I’m not perfect so my day to day practice of mindfulness sometimes falls short.  However, knowing that I have the power of awareness affects what I consider my “yoga practice”.

How can yoga be a tool of empowerment for women?

Practicing yoga helps develop a strong sense of self efficacy.  You try a pose and it’s impossible.  You’re wobbly, weak, and your breathing is labored.  You keep practicing it without judging yourself. Then one day you’re practicing that same yoga pose and you’re nailing it.  Yoga teaches us that you have the ability to achieve your goals.  You can take that confidence in yourself and apply it to other areas of your life.

What book have you picked up and put down but years later found to be a fascinating read?  Also why do you think the message in it didn’t resonate you the first time.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho has a pretty big following.  I wasn’t a fan at first because of how the protagonist’s love interest was written.  Santiago goes on this fantastic adventure while the woman he loves has to sit waiting for him? I thought it was bullshit! I’m not a fan of stories where women wait around.  However, I re-read it and found that the overall message of making moves despite knowing exactly what lies ahead is an extremely valuable lesson.

Is there anything you would like to share with the readers of Infocus247?

My website is  TraceyCoretta.com and I’m starting a YouTube channel this summer at Tracey Coretta.