TUESDAY TEACHER TALK: Michel

For this weeks Tuesday Teacher Talk we sat down with Michel Le Gribble-Dates for her take on yoga, teaching and life.

When did you start working for Yoga 4 Change?

I came on the Yoga 4 Change team in December 2014.

What inspired you to become a yoga teacher? 

The phone rang many times (so to speak) before I answered the call to become a yoga teacher.  What finally moved me to answer the call was a quote from the Dalai Lama.  “If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.”

Why did you choose to work with Yoga 4 Change? 

I chose to join Yoga 4 Change because it was a concept I had been dreaming about for years.  Not joining would have been denying the opportunity to live my highest self.

 Share with us a funny, sad, interesting, or memorable story about your teaching? 

I have countless funny, sad, & memorable stories about teaching.  The one I would like to share though actually didn’t happen in a class, but afterwards.  After the first class I led at Clara White Mission, a shelter for Veterans who do not have a house to live in, I sat in my truck in the volunteer parking lot and cried. I cried love for the 12 men who allowed themselves to be vulnerable with their bodies…and prayed that someday I would be that brave.  I cried gratitude for the leaders of Yoga 4 Change for giving me the opportunity to fulfill a calling to serve my brothers who don’t live in a house. I cried beauty for the healing that occurred within the broken bodies and broken spirits in that cafeteria.  It was a moment & a joy I hope I never forget.

What is your favorite drink? 

My favorite drink is the one I am drinking…though chocolate always helps!

Can you name one thing Yoga has helped you get through? 

I practiced yoga throughout my entire pregnancy and I am certain that it was one of the main contributors to my profoundly sacred experience of pregnancy and my developing a deep connection to my daughter. 

What’s your favorite yoga pose and why? 

My favorite yoga pose is Tree.  The many layers of symbolism…groundedness, growth, and connection to not only the natural world, but to ALL living things…rocks my world every time!  And besides that trees are awesome.

Cat or Cow? 

CAT! CAT! CAT!

How can yoga help people change their lives? 

Yoga can help people change their lives how ever they want it to!  Cultivate compassion, leave an unhealthy relationship, heal disease, kick an addiction, have FUN, reconnect to your center, ANYTHING!

Why should people support Yoga 4 Change? 

People should support Yoga 4 Change because it is one of the few organizations that is creating the systemic change that A LOT of people like to talk about and wish for and theorize but don’t actually act upon.  There are countless organizations in Jacksonville doing wonderful mercy work.  I am only familiar with a couple that are working toward systemic change and one of them is Yoga 4 Change!

Michel Le Gribble-Dates earned her Masters in Elementary Education from Western Governors University.  Though the more her yoga practice developed the more she realized that as an elementary teacher she was not serving children in the manner she felt called to.  That clarity, along with support from her husband, CJ, and the Dalai Lama’s quote, “If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world in one generation”, prompted her to earn a Storytime Yoga Certification and create Story and Stretch: Narrative Yoga for Kids.  Since then, Michel completed her 200hr Teacher Training at Bliss Yoga Shala, under the instruction of Shri Hamilton-Hubbard, and started ombrella, an organization aimed at helping you, regardless of age, reconnect to your center through spiritual practices.  Michel is also a Veriditas trained Labyrinth Facilitator and is honored to be part of the Yoge4Change team!  She is currently developing a yoga curriculum which coincides with the Liturgical Calendar.   


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