Your Detroit Paganism Examiner had a chance to reach all the way out to the lands of Virginia this February 27 through Metro Detroit contacts, to discover a remarkable woman you may have never heard about but would be enriched by knowing. Constance Talley, Yoga instructor, mother, guide, and master of the change on the petal’s edge of the lotus, she is all these things and more. With her sights set on opening not only her own business but people’s minds and hearts, she has set a course for her life that promises to be a light for some who are caught in those dim spaces in between home and harbor.
“The aim of yoga is to eliminate the control that material nature exerts over the human spirit, to rediscover through introspective practice what the poet T.S. Eliot called ‘the still point of the turning world.’ ~Barbara Stoler Miller”
So exit the material cares of your worlds for a moment. Be at peace and engage in her journey thus far. We enter a place now where flexibility is a state of grace.
So, who is Constance Talley, homeschool mom, Yoga instructor, Mistress of the Universe, or a combination of all plus more?
Who is Constance Talley? Well, I’m not sure I have ever really sat and thought about it in any great detail. Perhaps, that is why I am so many “people” all rolled into one. How very Meredith Brooks of me. I am definitely all of the the things mentioned in the question but I think more than anything I am a woman who is just trying to live and leave some kind of mark while leaving a wonderful child to the world. I am constantly changing, evolving and learning, so I guess Constance is isn’t finished at this time.
Where did you begin your journey? Where were you born?
I was born in Virginia and lived here until I was 16, at which time I moved to Key West with $68 in my pocket. I stayed there for some time and them moved to Tampa, and later, to Miami. Upon finding out I was pregnant with my son, I decided it was time to put away put the crazy days behind me and do what I was called to do, and that was, be a mother. So, I moved back to Virginia.
What was it like for you growing up?
Growing up was challenging. I come from a home that was, well, a wreck. There was not a lot of love and I learned quickly how to fend for myself. I was kind of shy and a bit the “oddball’, so I didn’t have any real friends until high school. That didn’t last long as I dropped out and moved to the southern most point of the US. It was as far away as I could get with $68 and no passport. LOL.
Did you know that you would be walking all the paths you did so far? Was there any clue?
My paths have been many, most due to the need to survive, and as of late to try and make lemonade out of lemons. I don’t regret any of them as they all, still, play a huge role in who I am. Some have been more difficult than other but at the end of the day they were all necessary.
We often hear about rags to riches. But in your case, the story is kind of like jewels to quartz, on its way to becoming something precious. What kind of a ride has it been for you?
In regards to rags to riches, well, it has been more of an adaption than a desire. Several of the paths I had to take in life provided me a great lifestyle with ridiculous amounts of money, and having to go from that lifestyle to one that, in my mind, was more appropriate for my son has left me working hard and making do.
Again, I don’t regret it and as I said it has been more of an adaption. I don’t mind living a more simple, less lavish lifestyle to ensure that my child is happy, safe and his mother is around to raise him.
How do you think your world view changed along the way?
Oh, man. My view has changed in so many ways. For one when you are 16 living the lifestyles that I did, you are not too terribly concerned with worldly events or things that plague our society. I find myself very much invested in these things now as I see it my duty. I have a child that has to live here. I have to live here.
As I mentioned previously, my life has changed substantially in many regards. I once thought money and jewels and fancy cars and 10 bedroom houses were the only way to live and if I wasn’t living like that, I wasn’t living. Now I am happy with what I have and while I constantly try to “improve” our life in regards to these things, I am content, right now, with now.
What have you found out about your self that surprised you, what inner strength caught you off guard?
WOW. So many things have surfaced as I have faced my trails and tribulations that I didn’t know I possessed. I always knew I was a tough girl but I had no idea what a strong woman I was.
You are a mother who is homeschooling. How does this affect your view of the world as you teach?
Homeschooling has been a challenge. I think being solely responsible for your child’s education/educational future is a huge weight to bear. It can be stressful, but it is super fun, and my son absolutely enjoys it. Being able to learn outside of the “traditional” box of the cookie cutter PSS curriculum has taught us both so many things, not only about ourselves, but about the world and the realities of the world that he would not get in the typical school setting. Many of the home school curriculum’s are based in the Christian faith, which is something we do not practice or believe in, so we had to do some extra research and find other means to use. We also practice a lot of unschooling which is more real world, real life, stuff.
You are a beautiful woman, some would even say striking. How has this affected the way your business skills developed?
And, I’m blushing. Thank you for the compliment but I would like to think that my business is going to thrive based off of my business skills and the way I deal with the people who trust me to help guide them on their journey.
What doors has this opened, and which ones has it closed?
My business has opened doors in many ways, from meeting new people, to boosting my confidence which allows me to be a better business woman, to branching out. It is only going up from here and I look forward to seeing the progress of said business.
As far as doors shutting, I have had some people doubt me and some companies turn down my proposals but that is just the nature of the beast. It happens and it will happen throughout my journey.
Your intelligent observations often come rapidly and with great wit. Are people often shocked because there is a mind inside the beauty?
I kind of pride myself on knowing what I am talking about before I talk about it, so I guess the rapid responses stem from having the knowledge needed to respond. I have always been very quick witted. Some people have another name for it, but we’ll go with that. Lol.
I think the people who know me personally are not shocked that I am an intelligent person. But it may come as a surprise to those who do not know me. Also, just so it is known, I do not think one should be equated with the other.
What assumptions do people make about your teaching?
I’m not really sure anyone has assumptions of my teachings. Perhaps, those unfamiliar with the yogic lifestyle may find it “weird”, “eccentric” or a slew of other adjectives, but I’m okay with that. Different strokes, you know…I think it is important for people to realize that there are a million different lifestyles out there and as long as no one is being harmed the focus should remain on the positive.
My mission is to guide people mentally, physically, and spiritually, and those who trust me enough to do so make it worth all the judgments.
What do you wish they would focus on first?
Yoga has been around for thousand of years, and I practice, and study. And the beautiful thing about yoga is that it is a never ending journey. We are all technically students. I just have the pleasure of guiding others on the same journey.
How long have you been an instructor? When did you know this is what you wanted to make your path?
I had dabbled in the yogic lifestyle for sometime and it was probably about two years ago that I knew I wanted to share this passion with others and bring them to this amazing practice. I had, and still have, a lot of self healing to do and yoga has helped me in tremendous ways. I want to be able to say that because I didn’t give up, and I shared my journey, others had healed as well.
Last year, your plan was put back a bit by an injury. Can you share a little about what that was like?
UGH. About eight/nine months ago I was doing an inversion, known as pincha, which is essentially a forearm handstand and I kicked out landing all my weight on my grand toe on my left foot. It completely shattered and I had to have surgery and about six months recovery time during which I could not practice the physical part of yoga.
It was most difficult, and for the longest time I had a hard time getting back on my mat. It was quite like starting all over and I felt defeated every time I got on my mat as I was nowhere near where I was in my practice before my injury.
However, ego is a killer and one thing you will learn in yoga is to set aside all ego. This was hard for me as I went from advanced ashtanga asanas (poses) to very basic asanas. I had to retrain my my mind to accommodate my body and release that ego. I am now happy to say that I am back on the make, ego in check and enjoying the new journey before me.
You came through it and healed. Your mind and body and spirit are all very strong. What keeps you going?
I have a son, plans, goals and at the end of the day these are the things that keep me going. I have never been a “lay down and die” kinda gal and I don’t plan on it. Just not my style.
What would you say is the most important thing for people to remember when they decide to take command of their lives and not be passive passengers?
Oooph, the most important thing to remember when taking command of your life would be, and I know it’s terribly cliche, but don’t give up. It’s really the ONLY way. I can’t count how many times I have had to start over or find a new route. But again, laying down is not an option.
How goes your business now?
Business is good. I have a lot of plans for the future but right now I am focused on branding, expanding and taking care of myself. If I am not 100% am of no use to those who seek my guidance.
Where can a person who is in your town find you?
I do currently reside in the Hampton Roads area and I hold private and group sessions. Namastate-Of-Mind will soon be launching a full website and until then I can be reached via FB.
Will there one day be a series of video lessons?
Yes! I would love to, eventually, have a series of videos. Instagram is a wonderful place to explore your yoga journey as well. There is a great and supportive community dedicated to each other and everyone’s personal journey.
Now, every action hero has theme music. And to me, you are on the heroine’s journey in your life story. What is your theme music?
Theme song? Heroine? Well, I don’t know…Something from the 90′ with a dope beat. I can see it now. Walking through my clients doors with back ground music. Too funny.
Is there anything we have not covered in this interview that you would like to say?
I think your questions were stellar and I have really enjoyed answering them. I think if I could l leave one thing, that would hopefully resonate with everyone reading this it would be that, we each have a journey and none of them are wrong and we each grow from said journey and the peaks and valleys. I would wish everyone to embrace their journey and utilize it to be the best them possible. I would like to thank you for thinking of me and I hope I have given your readers something to take with them, in their hearts and minds.