Trainer Diaries: Tracey Coretta
By Takia McClendon
We had the chance to catch up with Tracey Coretta, a Philly-based yoga instructor, to discuss her tips for meditation, yoga, wellness routines, and more. If you're considering becoming a yoga instructor or would just like a few self care tips, this post is for you. Check out our Q&A to learn more about Tracey and find out how to stay connected with her at the end of this interview!
City Fit Girls (CFG): What kind of health & fitness work do you do? How did you get involved in it?
Tracey: I teach vinyasa yoga. I started teaching when I was a graduate student at Clark Atlanta University. I worked with the school’s wellness center to offer a few gentle yoga classes. It was a great way to encourage students to try new activities that promoted health and wellness. I also created classes as part of a community service project for my Womanism course.
CFG: Yoga/meditation seems to play an important role in your life, can you describe your relationship with it and how it's helped you?
Tracey: Doing the physical postures helps strengthen and tone my body, lubricate my joints, and increases my circulation. More importantly, yoga has positively affected the way I think. I’ve become more self aware and sensitive to my thoughts. Observing my thoughts allows me to consciously control my actions.
Yoga conditions your mind to be less reactive to outside stimuli and more centered on healthy thoughts and behaviors. It also forces me to develop discipline and order in my space which flows over into other areas of my life. When I don’t practice consistently it shows. Yoga has definitely helped me to become a better and more empathetic person.
CFG: What inspired you to take your yoga practice to the next level and get certified as an instructor? What was the experience like?
Tracey: I knew I wanted to teach yoga because it has so many benefits. It’s the ultimate life hack! I also wanted to deepen my own personal practice. When you enter into a yoga program you’re going to come out changed. I also wanted to get certified because I wanted to teach in underserved areas. Often times vulnerable populations, the people who would benefit the most from yoga, don’t have access. I wanted to change that.
CFG: What do you do for self-care? Do you have any recommendations for the other women in our community?
Tracey: My self care looks different depending on what my particular needs are at that time. For example, sometimes my self care means being intentional about carving out alone time to sit with myself, check in, and see how I’m doing emotionally.
Sometimes my self care looks like a pint of cashew ice cream or a tall glass of spinach and apple green juice. Sometimes it’s means going out with my sister and dancing or a chatty phone call. The one thing that holds true is making sure that health, wellness, balance, and joy become the corner stones of my self care practice.
As women we are expected to do a tremendous amount of emotional labor for others. We are socially scripted as the nurturers and caretakers of the world. There’s nothing wrong with fulfilling that role. However, we have to be very careful about doing it to the detriment of our own health. It’s not always easy, particularly for women as strong, goal oriented, and driven as the City Fit Girls community.
Nonetheless, we have to be gentle with ourselves and allow ourselves to be human. That means being extremely intentional about cultivating various practices that add to our health and wellness instead of constantly taking from us.
CFG: What inspired you to create your own line of wellness products? What are their primary uses and where can people find them?
Tracey: Honestly, I love making my products almost as much as I love using them. It’s such a creative and rewarding activity. I enjoy thinking about the skin problems or needs that most people have and coming up with solutions that are natural and healthy.
I also wanted to create a natural skin care line that was affordable. If you look at the prices of most organic and natural products on the market today they’re ridiculously expensive. I wanted to introduce people to natural products that encouraged them to indulge in luxurious self care without breaking the bank.
CFG: What would you say to women who are feeling a sense of hopelessness in today's political climate?
Tracey: I would say to acknowledge that feeling as a valid initial response. You don’t have to pretend like everything is okay because it’s not. I would also say that you do need to find activities that you can commit a portion of your time to doing. These should be things that actively create the kind of society you want to live in. Everyone’s not able to pick up a sign and protest in the streets. However, I believe that there is something that fits the unique skills and personality of every concerned citizen. Something that they can make a long term commitment to doing. Passing political memes along on Facebook just isn’t enough. That hopelessness will only subside if you’re channeling a powerful belief in your ability to create the world you want to live in into concrete actions.
Want to learn more about Tracey's work? Follow up with her using the links below!
Want more training tips delivered to your inbox? Click here to sign up for City Fit Girls' weekly newsletter and get training tips delivered every Monday morning.