In celebration of our newest addition to the KiraGrace Inspiration Team, the lovely Briohny Smyth, we would love to present to you the second and final part of our interview with this extraordinary woman:
Kira: What drives you? What do you consider your calling?
Briohny: I think it has stayed pretty much the same since I started teaching â just to help people. Iâm always a student first and a teacher second. Through helping people I am constantly learning things about myself and about others. I think that whether I show up at a session and we talk the entire time, or I teach a weekend work shop just so that a student can come to me and say, "Iâm really inspired by your past. You know, I had bulimia or anorexia..." It's the small things where I get to connect with people... thatâs what drives me. I came from the entertainment industry and the music industry when I was a teenager and I liked it, but I always felt disconnected from people who felt inspired by what I did because thereâs that aspect of âyouâre the star, and Iâm the follower.â I think traveling and teaching have allowed us these days to connect with people and thatâs what Iâm driven by - connecting - I love it.
Kira: Can you share with us a moment when you felt most satisfied or at peace?
Briohny: Yes, I remember actually being able to think those words, peace, satisfaction, and gratitude, the moment that I gave birth to my son. I was really young when [I had] my daughter and just kind of a deer in the headlights, so when she was born I donât feel like I was that present. [After] the delivery process, of course I remember holding her in my arms, but with my son it was twenty-five hours of pain and hell. It was a home birth, and I was sitting in the birthing tub thinking, âI donât know if I can do this," as the sun set and it rose again. Then when he was born, I remember that whole feeling. You read those stories about women feeling euphoria during birth and I kind of get it. I mean, it's totally painful and crazy, but there is that sensation of euphoria. I remember the midwife put him on my chest, and I was like, âWow this is crazy!"
Kira: You and your husband Bryce have teamed up in more ways than one â as partners and as instructors, and are literally one of our favorite power couples out there! What has the experience been like working together?
Briohny: Wow, well you know how they say it takes a life time to get to know someone? Working together definitely speeds it up. This is a bad analogy, but you know shutting the door and turning on the water when you have to go poop? ...[Similarly] you can hide an aspect of your personality from someone for years, right? But working together just brings it all out because you got everything - the happiness, the success - but youâve also got the stress and the failure. And you experience all of that together.
It really helps you learn who one another is... Do I really want to be with this person?
Can I be with this person for the rest of my life? Do I even like this person once the lovey dovey stuff is [on the back burner]? And I do really like him. As a friend, as a person... his humanness, who he is, his pitfalls, because they are far better than mine. He is still a much better person than I am. Weâre opposites; he is the most humble person I know, sometimes to a fault, so we just balance each other out so well. He keeps me inspired, too. I love yoga and Iâve been doing it a long time, but in the past two years with the kids and activities after school and traveling and work, sometimes I have felt like I donât have time to practice yoga. But he does it day in and day out. Before he goes to bed he practices yoga for two hours, and when he wakes up it's yoga, yoga, yoga. It's great because, then Iâm [motivated to say], âYoga! Yoga! Lets do yoga, when we get up! Lets do it before we go to bed!" And I feel better. Itâs challenging and wonderful. Itâs just like marriage!
Kira: Where do you see yourself and Bryce Yoga in a year? In five years?
Briohny: In five years our son is going to be in school, which means we can't just take him around the world anymore. We love to travel because we get to meet so many great people! But we are hoping that... from a business perspective, it does allow us to build our brand and [to build] people's excitement about coming to see us in LA. Now we have just bought a studio in LA, and itâs actually a studio that has so much history with us. It's called Black Dot Studio in Shermann Oaks. Itâs where Bryce and I started our careers, and we got engaged there. He proposed to me on New Years Day with a class of 3 people and I had no idea, so it's part of our family. We are looking forward to being a little more grounded and spending more time at our studio here and building our teacher training. Thatâs our true calling - to help people deepen their practice and maybe even go onto a path of teaching yoga as well and still travel, but travel less. Itâs a balance.
Kira: What is your favorite KiraGrace item?
Briohny: I mean how sexy are the Warrior Tough Cut Tights?! Those cut outs are so sexy, I really love that! The top as well! But then there's the Flirt Vintage Rose... I think I like that the most because I like the story behind it. I was in Vietnam teaching when I got my whole KiraGrace package. Iâd just been in teacher training for 30 days on an island in Thailand, and I just hated my clothes. I had worn them to death and they smelled! And then I get this wonderful package. The first time I put them on was around 5 am because we were doing a sunrise photo shoot. I put them on with the Flirt Bra and met Robert in the lobby and he said, âI love that!â When we got to this one place that he had spotted the night before where we were going to shoot, it was high tide. We were in this cab with Ashika and Bryce, and we were going back and forth over this bridge, literally asking this cab to U-turn like 5 times and go in a big circle. We couldnât find the place, but we ended up on this beach that was just crazy - there were plastic bottles and dead animals in the water! Robert was bummed out, but I said, âRobert look, its still beautiful!âAnd he said, âYouâre not going to get in that water!â
And I said, âFuck it! Iâm getting in the water!â I got in and splashed around and it was wonderful, and everything came out beautiful.
Missed Part 1 of this interview? No worries! You can check it out here: Introducing Briohny Smyth (Part 1)
If you enjoyed this blog, check out our others like: "The Feminine Intuition: Interview With Candace McKim," "Empowering Women Series: Octavia Raheem," “Empowering Women Series: Christina Sell", and "The Art of Aging Gracefully: Issue 2."