Over the last few years, I have had the pleasure of watching (albeit from the other end of the country) my high school roommate and friend Marielle Ebersol discover her passion for yoga. Marielle has always been one of the healthiest people I know, with a reserve of energy and determination that is at the core of her character and her strength. It has truly been inspiring to see the puzzle pieces fall together in her life – it made perfect sense to me when she told me of her decision to shelve acting and pursue a career as a yoga instructor – and I am so proud that she is blossoming as she begins to establish herself. This past summer, we woke up at daybreak to hike down to Lucy Vincent Beach in Chilmark, Martha’s Vineyard for a little photo shoot, and the light was just unbelievable. Good things come to those friends who allow themselves to be dragged out of bed at 5 am, I guess. Read on for an interview with Marielle.
Hope State Style: You’ve been doing yoga every single day for over two years now, and sharing your journey with your Instagram followers- what started you down this path, and what have you learned in the process?
Marielle Ebersol: Today is my 790th day in a row of yoga and I really cannot believe that I have come this far. What started as an experiment has turned into an incredible journey of learning about myself and growing day by day. When I started out I was feeling a little stuck and on New Year’s Day of 2013 I said enough of that, and I decided to challenge myself to see how long I could keep the resolution going. And somehow here I am over two years later, a certified yoga instructor teaching in Venice Beach, California. I have learned that I am much stronger than I ever thought, and that when I really put my mind to something I can achieve it. I have learned to be kind to myself and not to compare myself to others and that is still an everyday challenge. Everything I learn I am continuing to learn every single day.
HSS: Yoga every damn day though…that’s really intense. What do you do on days when you are sick or just don’t feel like it? Does child’s pose count?
ME: There are definitely days I don’t have a ton of energy and on those days I either really take it easy in class and take a lot of child’s poses throughout, or I do a very simple at-home practice. That very well might be a long child’s pose on my bed. Or scooting close to a wall and sticking my legs up the wall for ten or fifteen minutes. As long as I am taking the time to bring my thoughts away from whatever else might be going on in my life, that is yoga for me, as challenging as that may be. But it has allowed me to be kinder to myself and acknowledge that it is absolutely still yoga even if I’m not in a 90 minute class.
HSS: What does your usual routine in the morning look like? Any favorite post yoga breakfasts?
ME: My morning routines seem to change every day, but I usually wake up on my own around 7:30 or 8 and walk to yoga. Sometimes I get on a swing of waking up really early but those don’t always last! I am a big fan of eating after I practice and that is nine times out of ten two eggs over easy with whole wheat toast and raspberry jam. Before that I usually heat up some water and mix it with a little apple cider vinegar and honey (thanks to my mom’s ritual every morning).
HSS: What’s the coolest place you’ve ever practiced?
ME: This summer I was lucky enough to visit Dubrovnik, Croatia and I think my favorite place was practicing on the roof of our airbnb, looking out over the Adriatic and listening to the church bells down below. Practicing above such a magical place was incredible.
HSS: Any advice for the fledgling, charmingly inflexible yoga convert (naturally referring to myself)?
ME: Baby steps. Don’t put so much pressure to fall into a perfect practice. Be kind to yourself, even if it’s a few sun salutations every day. Even if it’s just ten minutes on your mat. As long as you take a pause from your busy day to breathe, you are doing it, and you will absolutely feel a difference. Everyone starts at a different point and every single body is different from the next. So you might not ever get those side splits (even I’m not doing them yet!) and that is totally ok. Again, be kind to yourself. It is so so so important.
Marielle Ebersol is available for private yoga sessions in LA and can be contacted at Brighteyes41187@gmail.com. If you happen to be in Los Angeles, you can take her yoga class Sunday mornings at 9 and Wednesday nights at 9 at CrossFit Santa Monica. To follow her practice on instagram, head to Brighteyesyogini or find her yoga page on Facebook, Marielle Ebersol Yoga.