Beth Mansfield-Griswold

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Age: 51

What do you do when you're off the mat? 

I'm very family-oriented.  My three daughters and husband keep me busy.  Plus I'm very close to my mom and enjoy spending time with her.  When time allows, I like to read, travel, jog, bike ride, watch movies, and see friends.  In my professional life, I work part-time as an Organization Development Consultant.


What brought you to BY for the first time?

Our family had just moved to this area right as BY was opening.  I was searching for a studio, and I was thrilled to find BY.


What's your favorite thing about the studio?

This studio has a very welcoming atmosphere.  Both the teachers and students are so caring and supportive. 


What's your advice for someone coming to yoga for the very first time?

Recognize that practicing yoga is a process.  It's not a competitive process, so don't focus on how you look compared to others.  Be kind to yourself, and don't give up.  Experiment with a variety of classes taught by different teachers.


What has your yoga practice given you?

I have tight hamstrings, and I'm not a natural athlete.  In a physical sense, yoga has given me more strength and flexibility.  Emotionally, I feel less stressed and more peaceful after yoga.  At BY, I feel like I have a social community too.  So yoga has benefitted me in many ways!  


What's your favorite pose?

I like the relaxation in child's pose and savasana.  


What's your least favorite pose?

I really struggle with forward folds.


Tell us something unusual about yourself.

I don't know if this is unusual or not, but I'm a mix of East Coast and West Coast.  I spent my early childhood years in California, including kindergarten in Palo Alto where I did some weaving, gardening and sang "Kumbaya."  I've spent most of my life in PA, and I like the excitement, culture, and cities on the East Coast.  As cities go, I probably like Chicago most of all, so I suppose I have a little midwestern in me, too!  


What three words would your best friend use to describe you?

Kind, Curious, and Social


What's your guilty (or not so guilty) pleasure?

I love chocolate!


Have you made any big changes in your life since starting your yoga practice?
I'm not sure if I've made big changes as a result of yoga, but I think I may have changed other people's lives.  I've recommended yoga in general and BY specifically to friends and family.  

If you were having a dinner party and could invite anyone you wanted, who would you invite?

I'd invite Oprah, Michelle Obama, Malala Yousafzai, Meryl Streep, my favorite high school teacher, a few close friends, and possibly several family members.  That would be an interesting mix of people!