yoga teacher & personal development coach
“evolution happens little by little.”
when we last checked in with Selena Garefino (@selenagarefino) two summers ago, she was traveling so much she couldn’t even list one place as her home for our profile. (“a citizen of the world” is what we landed on. it felt right.) then covid hit. and Selena — a yoga teacher, a personal development coach, a crazy electric soul — had to rethink everything. like a lot of us. here’s where she netted out.
so. what’s changed since we featured you TWO summers ago?
“TWO summers ago sounds like another lifetime. i was running global yoga retreats and yoga teacher training. i was traveling the world, and in a new city every couple of weeks. last spring, covid hit, and i found myself returning to my hometown in Montana to wait it out. i’ve been home with my family since March of 2020, and it's the longest i’ve been in one place in years. like so many of us, i had to pivot my whole life. 2020 was going to be my biggest year. i had speaking invitations and sold out retreats, i was EXCITED. when this all first began, i thought i might have to stall for a few weeks, or, at worst, a few months. reality started to sink in, and i had to make major pivots. i’ve spent this past year learning to navigate the online space. i had to teach myself to shoot and edit video, i moved my courses and training online, and realized that i have to expand how i offer myself and the work i’m creating. i was dependent on the travel industry. it has been difficult. but it has also opened up so many opportunities for me. when your back is against the wall, sometimes it's the catalyst you need to expand your creativity. i am really proud of what i’ve accomplished this past year. i have a lot of projects in the works, and i’m looking forward to my first retreat back to Greece in summer 2022! that's where i was 2 summers ago when we first connected!”
your summer plans, summed up in three words?
“renewal. rest. presence. we are experiencing a historical drought and fires in Montana. it's been heart-breaking. i’ve really had to limit my normal outdoor activities because of the smoke. so i’ve taken this opportunity to focus on my Jiu Jitsu training, to rest, and to really focus on my inner world and what i want as i move forward.”
something you’re doing this summer that you couldn’t last summer?
“i am traveling! i am headed to Hawaii in a few weeks to visit a friend. a year without travel felt like a lifetime! i am so excited to do some exploring again.” (click here if you want to join selena for a nourishing retreat in the Greek Islands in 2022)
the takeaway from the past year that you will keep with you?
“i need very little to be happy, joy-filled, and steady. my breath. my family. close friends. so many things i thought i "needed" went by the wayside this past year, and it cleared up so much space in my heart and mind. it has also taught me to do it anyway. whatever “it” is. to do it when i’m scared. to do it when i think i don't have what it takes. to do it when i think the resources aren't there. to do it when i think i’m not qualified. we build things up in our minds so often and hold ourselves back. and i’m not doing that anymore. i’m taking the leap. saying the hard things. having the tough conversations. loving wild. and saying "yes" to my dreams.”
we’re more than halfway through 2021 (!!). best thing you’ve done, so far?
“starting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has been life-changing for me. i started last September, and i’m the strongest i’ve ever been, i’ve learned to hold my boundaries in a new way, my confidence is through the roof, i feel secure and safe in my own skin, i feel more resilient, and capable. learning to defend myself, to be comfortable in really uncomfortable circumstances has done so much for me. my gym Straight Blast International has such an incredible culture, and i’m honored to be coached by some incredible female black belts, and to be part of a community that feels like family.”
piece of époque on current rotation?
“oh gosh, i love all my époque pieces but i LIVE in the jumpsuit. i toss it on when i leave the lake to head to dinner. i pop it on after Jiu Jitsu. i dress it up with heels to dinner. it's my go-to. i also lean heavily on the one crop top and pencil skirt. i have them in three colors, and they're on constant rotation.”
shop selena's picks
three random items you can’t live without?
“my Gua Sha stones. my theragun. (i train a lot, haha — self massage is a MUST.) Gel Pens. there is only ONE kind of right pen to use.”
not-so guilty pleasure?
“Whitney Cummings’ “Good For You” podcast. i listen to every episode. she cracks me up, and i love how real she is.”
“evolution happens little by little. there's been so much pressure on all of us to develop new skills, to change our lives during these historic times. i think that one of the biggest things i’ve learned this past year is that personal development and growth only "works" when we're approaching ourselves from a place of love. i love who i am, and i love who i will be, and the space in between. i think as we continue to face unprecedented times we have to hold ourselves and one another with more compassion than ever.”