Originally published in the Summer + Fall 2019 issue.
Gina Murdock is an Aspen-based writer, yoga and meditation teacher, inspirational speaker and community organizer. She is founder of the Aspen Yoga Society, The Aspen City of Wellbeing, Lead with Love, The Love Ninjas and the Mind, Body, Spirit Rx content brand.
CO YOGA + Life® asked Gina some questions on her own practices, as well as what’s next for Lead with Love:
You are making big impact as a writer, yoga teacher, retreat leader and community organizer. How do you create balance for yourself every day?
I am not sure if I am making a big impact. I used to have this deep desire to have a life of impact and significance. I felt if I didn’t do something important and worthy then what is the point of my life? I felt so called to make a positive impact in the world somehow and I put a lot of pressure on myself to do that. More recently, I’ve changed. I don’t care so much about “impact.” What feels most aligned for me is to be myself unapologetically — tapping into my joy and what lights me up — and to be intentional in all that I do. To me, living from this place gives me a ton of energy and I am full of enthusiasm and lightness of being versus any obligation or “should” energy which I find incredibly depleting. I am doing what feels true and right for me regardless of circumstance or outcome and trusting if it’s coming from my heart, then it is for me and if it isn’t, I can let it go. This is how I’ve come to balance, by learning what is a no and what is a YES! When I give myself permission to live from this place of discernment I feel free and when I feel free, I am happy and I think that is a very attractive energy. It may or may not make a big impact, but it doesn’t matter to me and I love that!
What do you love about the state of yoga right now, and on the flip side, what frustrates you the most?
I love that yoga is spreading across the world! We are hosting our first Lead With Love event in France in May and I am so excited to be bringing our special blend of magic there and knowing what an amazing tool it is for transformation. I am frustrated by righteousness in all forms, especially religious, and for sure righteousness in yoga teachers. We are all special and we are all not-so-special; when someone feels or acts as if they are soooo special or “above” others it’s a big turn off to me. What I love about my teachers is that they know so much and have dedicated their lives to teaching, yet they remain humble for the most part and I know that’s a struggle, especially when people start treating you as if you’re special. The more I’ve learned, the more I actually feel compassion for the struggle of life because I’ve felt it myself and I’ve overcome a lot to know who I am. Instead of teaching from an elevated place of “I know more than you,” I feel inspired by people who can really be present and authentic and share the love of the practice from a place of humility and grace and truly relate to others. We’re all yearning to feel seen and heard and to feel connected to each other in some way or another and to me that is the magic of yoga. The true honor of teaching is to connect to people in that way, from the heart.
How do you find inspiration and/or motivation when the going gets tough?
The best place for me is with me — that’s where I get inspired and truly know myself and that’s where I find solace. I often will seek comfort outside of myself and most certainly being in nature is a huge part of my life and it soothes me. But most effective for me is to get quiet, feel my feelings, write and write and write and move the energy and look for ways to reframe something if the way I am holding it is creating suffering. I had a pretty big epiphany over the last few years about how much of what is happening in life on the outside is a reflection of what’s going on on the inside, so for me I have a knowing that if I don’t like what’s going on on the outside, the best place to go is in. +
Photo by Luke Dahlgren.