Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska
Power Moves: Yoga
I intend to love! Energetic vibrations of fun run deep in my veins. I marry the mystic and the modern to create an experience that touches the center of your being. Inside your soul, a spark alights revealing the radical nature of your being. I own Lotus House of Yoga, vinyasa studios in the heartland. The classes I lead are fun, challenging and filled with love. My godfather is ashtanga and my sister is rock and roll. Gracefully tip toe along the fierce edge of your practice, expect sweat, love, and OM. www.maryclaresweet.com / @mcsweetyogi
What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Scan my body for the subtle energy of how I feel. How does my body feel? Am I thirsty? How is my heart? I practice the simple mantra of, I am Grateful for the wisdom of my heart. Then, every day I drink a glass of warm water with fresh squeezed lemon juice. No matter where in the world I am, I must start my day like that!
How would you describe your personal style?
I come from a long line of stylish women who taught me to always dress and live attuned to my spirit. My style is eclectic but rooted in classic silhouettes and bold fashion statements. I do not shy away from trends and I love to stand out. My wardrobe and my livelihood is inspired by the colors of Marrakech, the spirit of Santa Fe, the technicality of New York and the sophistication of Paris.
Where is your favorite place to go to connect with nature and why?
I absolutely love the Colorado rockies. I have been traveling to the mountains in Estes Park since i was a small child. There I feel rooted in my family lineage, my grandparents love the earth there too. The magnitude of the peaks inspires awe and wonder, dissolving self imposed limitations. When I am there I feel a deep sense of remembrance; that we come from the earth and to the earth we will return.
What activity stirs your creativity most?
Listening stirs me up. Weather I am listening to music, a wise teacher, or to the whispers of my heart, my creativity ignites when I stop talking and soften. The universe has so much to tell us. Its message is woven into the notes of my favorite songs, I hear it in the words of great speeches, and most powerfully in the desires of my soul.
What makes you feel the most connected with people?
Connecting to people happens when I remember that we can heal each other. When I approach people with softness and unconditional love, I am connected.
How do you stay healthy?
I have a deep obsession with plants. All. Plants. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, leafy greens, root veggies, nuts, seeds, seaweeds… the works. I have been plant based since 2003 and it really works for me. It keeps my skin glowing, my tummy happy, and my immune system stellar. I do not watch TV and no screen time from 10 pm to 6 am. I drink lemon water every morning and juice ginger and turmeric as often as possible. A Qi Gong teacher told me that the very best way to strengthen your immune system is a positive attitude. I believe that, above everything else, keeps me flowing.
What does success mean to you?
My best friend Chaeli taught me that success is measured by how much fun you are having. That rings perfectly true. I work with my family and my best friends, so when things get really tough, we are there to make each other laugh and smile. I have a lot of fun traveling, teaching yoga, and coaching people. When I am doing those things, I am success.
What is the last thing you do before you go to bed?
It is tough for me to fall asleep at night. So I do everything I can to give myself the most soothing drift into slumber. First, I say, “the kitchen is closed”. This is something my grandmother used to tell us grandkids when she wanted us to stop raiding the fridge and cabinets. It meant the dishes were done and the cleaning was finished. This means that my brain is not meant to take in any more information. We are DONE for the day. When “to do” thoughts creep in, I remind myself, the kitchen is closed. Then I practice a visualization my friend and teacher David McConaghay shared with me. I imagine pink fountains of light ascending my spine, moving through the top of my skull and raining down either side of my body. I imagine this over and over again until I feel my auric field is cleansed. Finally I do a 4, 7, 8 breath. 4 counts to inhale, hold the breath for 7, exhale slowly for 8. This I do until I fall asleep!
What is your must-have Stelari item?
My must-have item is the Agate Kimono. When I wear it, I feel totally magical. The art of wearing a Kimono is called Swanning. I am a professional Swan. I love the colors of the Agate Kimono because they are bold but also neutral. So it goes with nearly everything in my wardrobe. Wearing yoga pants every day can get mundane (I am not complaining!) SO throwing on the mystical threads of the Stelari Kimonos makes it feel more special. I have worn that kimono with a dress, jeans, to sleep, when I travel, as a swim cover up, and of course to teach at Lotus house of yoga!
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