I’m Brianna Welke and I’m a yoga teacher in Los Angeles, California. Some of my greatest joys are traveling to new places, meeting people and practicing yoga. I connected with Cara as a fellow lululemon ambassador in Boston on a visit and took an amazing class with her. I’m honored to be a part of her blog and excited to watch the way that she is creating community!
I entered this yoga life around 8 years ago, I lived in Seattle and I was stressed with many other personal complication and entanglements distracting me. I went to class one day and it all began to unravel, I dedicated my time to the practice of self-knowing, discovery and forgiveness. I had so many questions, why was shoulder stand good for you? Why do I do it this way and not that? What is this sanskrit all about? I made a decision to take yoga teacher training based on my interest in expanding my knowledge and my higher knowing that I needed distance from the corporate world. I was a chronically shy child and always had a hard time speaking up so I never thought I would teach. But by the time of my graduation it was clear to me, how could I not teach? I moved to LA with my now fiancé and recreated my life mindfully and in a way that felt true to myself.
I am grateful every day I wake up here in the southern California sun, I am proud to be building a sustainable and awesome career as a yoga teacher.
One of my greatest pleasures is having created a life for myself in which I don’t have to wake up super early and on someone else’s schedule. On a typical day my alarm will go off at 8:00am (other days as early at 6am), but I wake shortly before that and in a dreamy state I draw the soles of my feet together, knees wide and place on hand on my heart and one hand on my belly. It’s a practice I’ve been in for a little over 5 years. It began as a restorative approach to opening my chronically tight hips and has evolved over time to be a meditation, prayer and blessing for the day. When I place my hands on my heart and belly I breathe into that space and repeat an affirmation of “I am” I use the first 3 words that come to mind. Often it’s “I am peaceful, I am loving, I am free”. It sets the day up just right.
Over the 5 years of teaching yoga, I have learned the key is balance, probably no surprise there! I love what I do and I want to do it forever so I know that I can’t get burnt out. I teach 2-4 classes a day 5-6 days a week, I stagger the days so I teach in the first part of the day and have evenings off or I have mornings free and teach in the afternoons and evenings. I have found this to work really well and to also be free to pick up additional private classes when requested. The other keys? Getting away to the beach, desert or mountains and taking care of my self, rest and quietude. Surrounding myself with love by carving time out for my fiancé, family, girlfriends and dog. Teaching yoga is a gift, but outward moving energy requires balance.
Just before 8am…. Within 30 minutes of rising I have taken some deep breathes (maybe a practice if I have time!), centered myself, made coffee (or if it’s a really good day gone to pick up coffee), small bite to eat and let my sweet dog out before leaving for the morning.
9am- My first class is at 9am, twice a week this class is on the rooftop of the Ritz Carlton in downtown Los Angeles. From this view you can see all of LA, it’s a gorgeous place to practice!
11am- Feeling refreshed from the first class of the day, I head to West Hollywood and teach at Agni Yoga in West Hollywood.
I teach about half of my classes in studio and the other half private classes. Working with people one on one or in small groups is my favorite way to teach. I’ve observed that when someone brings yoga into their homes, everything shifts. Quite literally they move their furniture around, but creating space in your home leads to making better decisions about conscious living and eating. Whole life changes and integrating yoga into everything is something I am a strong proponent of.
1:30pm-Arrive back in downtown LA to teach Yoga Purify at Equinox, I’ll take a eucalyptus steam at equinox before I leave (this is that self care I was talking about 🙂 And grabbed some cold pressed juice.
3:30pm farmer’s market– when deciding to move to LA I dreamt of fresh fruits and veggies all year round. Ripe avocados and tomatoes! It’s a vegetarian’s paradise.
4:00pm home sadhana, meditation or studio class – less doing, more being
If my dog Phillip hasn’t had a walk yet I’ll take him on a sunset walk. These LA Summer’s are HOT, sunset is a beautiful time to be out and about.
11:00pm-I’m wound down by now and it’s time to get in bed and sleep
I practice yoga for more joy and for creating more capacity for love. Yoga helps me feel my best living in my body and in this life.