“Bliss.” Just reading that word can make all kinds of thoughts and feelings bubble up to the surface: a warm day at the beach, a tight hug, a visit to the playground. Bliss can mean working at a non-profit or a corporation, moving across the country or downsizing to a studio apartment. The beautiful thing about bliss? There’s no one-size-fits-all formula – we’re all looking to find our bliss in some way, shape or form. Enter Venice Beach based life coach and yoga teacher, Mary Beth LaRue – a true blisscrafter.
Forget about New Years resolutions – rocking your bliss is where it’s at this year. A sought-after yoga pro in the Venice area, Mary Beth is also the co-founder of Rock Your Bliss, a mash-up of life coaching, goal crushing, and yoga both on and off the mat. Rock Your Bliss’s mission is to inspire others to live their best lives through the power of yoga, coaching, and community. Along with her BFF Jacki Carr, Mary Beth helps others bring action to their intentions through personalized life design, asana, goal coaching, and brand creation that encompasses every aspect of your lifestyle and values. Think the coolest, realest, most ass-kicking brainstorming sesh slash yoga class slash vision boarding to the next level.
We adore Mary Beth for her open spirit and raw courage – take a peek at her answers below for some serious inspiration! – and can’t wait to flow into 2015 with both in person and online via Yogis Anonymous’ collection of virtual yoga classes. Roll out your mat, get out your moleskin, and get ready to – as Rock Your Bliss’s motto says – make shift happen.
Mary Beth LaRue.
What originally drew me to yoga:
Freedom. I was bound to a desk in a job I didn’t like and was looking for an answer. That answer came in the form of a funky little carpeted yoga studio on U Street in Washington DC. The second I laid down on my mat and the instructor put on Bob Marley and told us to “roll around,” I was hooked.
Authenticity and the gorgeous way it shows up. Some of my biggest inspirations are my radical rat pack of girlfriends, the movie “Stealing Beauty,” Byron Katie, Elena Brower, Anne Lamott, Danielle LaPorte, Donna Farhi, Beyonce, and the book Carry On, Warrior.
When I'm not on the mat, I’m:
Scribbling ideas in my notebook; walking my English bulldog, Rosy, around Venice; biking to the farmers market; sweating it up on a spin bike; or helping my husband make magic in the kitchen (and by helping, I mean sitting on the counter drinking wine).
Anahatasana or any other ultra-delicious heart opener.
I wish that more people realized that yoga…
Is simply to practice of being present. The asana, or physical practice, is this itty bitty part of the yoga practice. And the asana is, of course, a huge love of my mine. But the real yoga happens when you are completely present during a challenging conversation…or even out dancing with friends. In a world addicted to distraction, yoga is the practice of paying attention.
Project or cause I am most passionate about:
I’m not sure this qualifies as a “cause” but I’d say women. So much magic happens when you are able to stand in vulnerability with another woman. To speak your truth and to truly hear theirs. I’m a huge proponent of showing our “underbellies” a whole lot more.
Biggest lesson yoga has taught me:
That this moment is full of joy, possibility and adventure, if I choose to see it. It’s the practice of cleaning the lens through which you see the world.
Biggest lesson I hope to teach through yoga:
I love to help people find their own jam. What feels good in their body, in their soul, in their hearts. Fuck fitting in or doing it “right.” Find your unique expression and live it out.
Most rewarding yoga-related experience:
There have been so many and I’m very grateful for that. But I’d say that where it all started was about nine years ago on a yoga retreat in Negril. I was new to the practice and literally Googled ‘yoga retreat,’ bought a ticket and off I went. After hitchhiking to the yoga retreat with a blues band (True story. I missed the bus.) I met Kyra Anastasia who instantly became my teacher, and my roommate Glennie, who is now my neighbor here in Venice. It was a juicy time of discovery, sunburns and Red Stripes.
5 things on my Bucket List:
Road trip from Vancouver to Baja in an RV.
Plant a garden we can eat from.
Take cooking classes with my man.
Write my book.
Live in Sayulita, Mexico with my family a few months out of the year.
Advice I would give my 16 year-old self:
Give yourself a giant bear hug at the end of each day. You are doing the best you can and, lordy, is it going to get better.
Happiness equals reality minus expectations.