Name: Anna Michéle Grotzky O’Donovan
Birthday: July 3rd, my mom always told me I wanted out in time for the fireworks.
Birthplace: Putnam Valley, NY
Aquamarine, like the ocean when you can see all the way to the bottom.
Favorite post-practice treat: Gelato, frozen yogurt, a smoothie, something along those lines.
What does it mean to practice?
Simply said I think it means to be present in what ever it is you’re doing, whether on your mat or while walking up 6th avenue.
What does practice mean to you?
It’s my rock, my grounding point and a place I know I can always come back to find my center when I’m not feeling myself or need a little boost in the right direction.
Can you describe your practice?
The only constant certain thing about my practice is that it’s always evolving and changing. I find that it closely follows the ebbs and flows of my life. There’s always this close distinction between what’s going on in my life and what I’m focusing on in my practice.
How did you get into your practice?
It was a number of things that brought me to it. Back in high school I had an uncle who came to stay with us while he was going to see the Dali Lama. Then I started reading Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das, which led me to begin a meditation practice. Finally, when I was in college, the health services department held a series of yoga classes in the wrestling room which had me instantly hooked.
Can you describe your first class(es) and your reaction to it.
I saw a sign in the lobby of my dorm advertising a series of yoga classes sponsored by the college health services department. I’d always been very active growing up. Dancing, playing soccer, but when I got to college none of those outlets seemed to work for me, I was looking for something more. After seeing the yoga flyer I was intrigued and since it was so cheap I figured why not? After the first class I remember walking back to my dorm room all blissed out and instantly knew it would be a lifelong relationship.
How has your practice developed since then?
It’s kind of like trying to make an acceptation speech at the Oscar’s, there’s no way you can thank everyone in the 2 minutes allotted before you get cut off by the music. I’ve had many wonderful teachers over 10 plus years I’ve been practicing. I give many thanks to that first teacher at my college, whose name escapes me now, all the teachers at the JCC in Rochester, Open sky, Om yoga, Area yoga, Mala yoga and the Brooklyn yoga center. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time practicing at all of these places, but have also learned valuable lessons from teachers who I’ve only come in contact with for a brief period of time.
What is your biggest practice-related challenge at the moment?
Time is always a struggle. I make a conscious effort to get some type of practice in every day whether it be asana, meditation or Pranayama. But some days I find myself wishing I could stay on the mat just a little bit longer.
What are your practice goals for the future?
I try not to set huge goals in regards to my practice, I prefer to focus on what comes to me organically. The only goal I have for sure is to still be doing yoga when I’m 93.
Take class with Anna