I recently caught up with friend and former lululemon ambassador, Regina Smith. I had the opportunity to meet Regina many years ago, and see her shine as she led her community through countless yoga classes at both Lifetime and her own studio, Gritty Buddha. She is also the owner of a coffee shop and local watering hole, The Karmic Grind on Long Island. What we focus on in this episode are the happy accidents that lead us to where we should be. We discuss how unexpected life moments (Car Accidents & Pandemics among many others) force us to pivot.
At the age of 18, Regina was in a debilitating car accident that took her six years to recover. One of her Orthopedic doctors suggested she try yoga to help with her rehabilitation. This ended up being a life changing experience for her as it helped her connect back to her body and set her on a path to make movement a part of her daily life forever.
Four and a half years ago, Regina opened Gritty Buddha and it quickly became a solace for many in the community. On the morning of March 15th 2020, like so many other studios, she closed the studio hoping it would be for only a few weeks, which we know led to months. Eventually the weight of the insurmountable challenges facing the studio led her to make the hard decision to close indefinitely. Regina reflects on a conversation she had with her father about grief where she allows herself to feel the weight of how the decision to close will affect the students and their practice but is also learning to make peace with what was the necessary decision to make.
Regina still owns and operates her coffeehouse, The Karmic Grind. Through this she brings the same qualities of a sweaty yoga class to the community by providing a place where people can center themselves. What I’ve always admired about Regina is her circle and the company that she keeps. We discussed what Regina looks for with those she keeps around her. She summed it up with three questions she asks herself when making a hire:
Does this person make my life easier?
Do I trust this person to speak on my behalf?
Do I trust that this person sees the vision beyond themselves?
I think Regina’s sense of calm within times of change is something to learn from. She refers to this as equanimity and I think this sense of composure is something we could all use a little more of. Things will inevitably change and while we aren’t always in control of the narrative, we can control how we react.
Check out the playlist to hear Regina’s must-have workout song and listen to the rest of our guest’s favorite songs to move to!