On wounded warriors, learning to trust her gut, and overcoming childhood betrayal.

THE MANTRA SERIES

Interview: Ava Taylor

Ava Taylor: How do you stay grounded?

Gwen Lawrence: I stay grounded by working out and doing yoga regularly and, lately, by working with wounded warriors, our service men and women. It takes one minute with these brave men and women to realize how blessed you are to live in the world they fight for.

AT: What are your biggest passions?

GL: My biggest passions are working with my athletes, finding balance strength, flexibility, focus, mental toughness, and breathing techniques to keep them on the field longer and stronger. As of late, bringing my passion to our wounded warriors has really sparked my passion and drive to better their lives. Giving back to them for their fight. We forget that without them, we would not be able to do what we do, freely. It is so humbling working with them.

AT: What are some important lessons you’ve learned?

GL: I continue to learn from non-attachment. The greatest form of suffering is in attachment, and every time I forget temporarily, the universe reminds me again. In addition, I have learned to trust my gut. I have always been very intuitive, and sometimes I second-guess it; I will never do that again. Trust the gut, trust the gut, trust the gut. It is a higher power.

AT: Do you have a health secret? How do you stay healthy?

GL: Proper sleep is super important to me. I have been a vegetarian since I was ten. Trust your gut, listen to your body; it will always tell you what it needs, and I need to move, work out, yoga every day!

AT: What’s something we probably don’t know about you?

GL: Not many secrets to me; however, you may not know I am with my high school sweetheart. I started dating him when I was fifteen, and thirty-one years later, I am still devoted to him and our life together. I am fiercely loyal!

AT: What’s one of the hardest things you’ve been through? What helped get you through it?

GL: One of the hardest things I have been through is betrayal, as a child. I still struggle today to not let the things that have happened to me as a child define me today. I find strength in knowing that I am a survivor, strong and independent. My husband and three sons are the reason I get through anything and everything in life.

AT: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?

GL: “Be nice, do not lie, and honor those who have been loyal to you.”

Gwen Lawrence, founder of Power Yoga for Sports, teaches pro athletes all over the country. Her writing appears in major magazines, and she makes regular appearances on the Today show, Good Day New York, and The Dr. Oz Show. Her first book, Body Sculpting with Yoga, was released in February 2015.

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PHOTO: STEPHAN RADKE