The Traveling Yogis by Tai Tipton (with excerpt blog by Christopher Grice)

Posted by on Jan 22, 2018 in General | 1 comment

As I began teaching Yoga in 2016 I wasn’t prepared for what my heart would feel after meeting new students and connecting with them.  This is something I feel that can’t be taught but only felt.  Nothing prepared me for the friendships and the support I feel teaching too.  Honestly, I have never felt so “held” in all my life until entering the Indra’s Grace community.  It’s not only the students that I see all of the time that fill my heart but I have met traveling yogi’s that pop into the studio because they’ve either heard or seen online that Indra’s Grace is somewhere special to practice which leads me to think of this couple whom touched my heart.  I remember the day that I met two travelers, Christopher and Brianna.

I could tell that they have been practicing Yoga regularly and the pair of them had a presence about them.  It was a busier 4:30pm Sunday Hatha Flow class so the energy was great and I remember the practice had so hip opening flows and meditation for “planting our seeds”.  As we came into Savasana (final resting pose) I remember admiring the pair holding hands while lying there and thought to myself, “Newlyweds!” There was definitely a “closeness” between the couple.  Little did I know…

They stayed after class because Brianna was drawn to one of the bracelets that Sandra makes out in the lobby.  She said she loved it so much because it had the Tree of Life on it.  I asked, “What draws you to the Tree of Life?”  And they shared this story with me.  It was about their journey on having children.  Brianna was told that she had a very low chance of having children.  She shared with me all the trials and all of the things they did to be pregnant.  She finally gave all of it up with the doctors and she took up Yoga.

Here is a part of their story I asked them to write up for me.  After meeting them, I knew I wanted to share their story, they needed to be seen and heard!  It’s humans like them who give me hope and help me understand the meaning of being a true Warrior and to never give up.

Here is their story:

Yoga as a Tool for a Better Life: The Calm in the Midst of the Storm 

by Christopher Grice

(this story is both a sad and happy story please keep in mind it is a very detailed experience of the last 6 years of our life)

I would like to start by introducing myself. My name is Chris Grice and I am married to the most amazing wife ever Brianna Grice. Our journey started in 2011 after we Wed, we immediately working towards our goal of starting a family. A few years went by and nothing so we decided to see a specialist, Brianna was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). The Doctors decided that medication was the only chance a becoming pregnant. We tried several rounds of Clomid without success. Brianna was then referred to a IVF specialist in Dallas.

Fast forward to 1 week before our scheduled IVF appointment we are now pregnant with our First baby, we were so excited, tears of joy came at will and without provocation. In just a few short months short months we were to find out what our little bundle of joy was to be!

Sadly, two weeks before our appointment Brianna started to bleed.  We rushed to the hospital two hours from home. As we got to the hospital things happened so fast and before we knew it we were delivering our first baby (a girl Leslie Michelle) at 18 weeks 6 days’ gestation March 4, 2014, the doctor was uncertain whether it was Incompetent Cervix (IC) or Preterm Labor.

As if it wasn’t hard enough to lose the little miracle we longed for so much I also lost my best friend, and mentor I called him Dad to that c word (Cancer) in addition to some loved aunts and uncles all of this occurring in less than a 6-month timeframe.

After being released from the doctor we again started trying to get pregnant again with the hopes of doing intervention (such as a Cerclage) after becoming pregnant. Well a few months after more medications and more treatments we fell pregnant again. We were overjoyed but still so sad at the loss of our beautiful daughter Leslie Michelle.  so here we sit 11 weeks’ gestation back at the doctor for a procedure known as a rescue cerclage (Stitch) with hopes of saving our second baby.

Six weeks passed without too many scares, until we reached August 18th, 2014, another date we will never forget. This day we lost our son Brayden Earl Grice at 17 weeks 4 days. The other half of our hearts were ripped out, we weren’t sure if we were going to continue trying, if god wanted us to have a child, or even if we were meant to be parents.

We buried our son several days later and once again began the grieving process, or did we? I was so focused on taking care of Brianna that I was neglecting to process or even acknowledge my feeling and emotions. My body decided it had enough being ignored and neglected. This is where my severe anxiety came into the picture I was hospitalized many times with anxiety attacks. We did our best each day to get up, go to work and put on a smile. But deep down we were hurting, and deep down we still wanted a family here on earth. We prayed continually for these things.

Over the course of the next year we and after much research we started saving and raising money for a surgery Transabdominal Cerclage (TAC). Brianna had surgery September 19th, 2015

Brianna and I are now 9 months post-surgery and still haven’t had any success with getting pregnant again. Here is where things begin to change, we were talking with a friend about a yoga class. I wasn’t super excited about it but reluctantly agreed to attend yoga with my wife. I went in with no expectations or goals, I just went.

We met Amber our yoga teacher, she led us through the “poses” which to me felt like torture initially because of all the stress stored in my body. Brianna loved it and we continued to attend yoga twice a week without fail. I began to feel less stressed, less anxious more like myself than I had felt like in an extremely long time. I fell in love with yoga and it was/is something I look forward to on a daily basis.

Amber helped us to find the confidence that was within us, Brianna due to her pcos never had a normal cycle but less than a month of attending yoga she had a normal cycle for the first time in her life. We thank God every day for the circumstances that led us to our first yoga class and what would later be a new beginning to the rest of our lives. We now have our beautiful daughter Madison Hope Grice, she is currently a little over 6-months old

How Yoga Changed Our Lives: 

My anxiety began shortly after the loss of our daughter so I fought with it for many years, it caused me to be stressed, and to have a very short fuse. My yoga practice However, has taught me to love myself so that I can love others, how to be patient, and accept situations we can’t change. I have learned that yoga isn’t what many think it is, it’s not something you do it is something you live. There is so much more to yoga than a class., Don’t get me wrong yoga class is an awesome thing and it in and of itself will make you happier, healthier, and stronger, But, if you take your practice further you will find that the missing piece to your happiness and even the happiness of others is YOU!

My wife and I did a lot of research on ways to cope with the loss of a child, on statistic we found was that roughly 70% (this varies depending on the study you read) of married couples that lose a child end up divorced, but we are closer together than we ever have been, we have met some Amazing friends in our yoga practice.

I hope that me opening and sharing our story will help someone, I hope that if you haven’t you will give yoga a shot if for no other reason than to lose weight or get in shape or for a cardio workout, to reduce stress, to become more flexible, whatever your reason. For me yoga is something I will continue for the remainder of my life. If you need help finding a yoga class please let us know we can help you locate a class near you.

Thank you for taking time to read our story, if you ever need to talk or want some help with anything please feel free to contact me or my wife we can both be found on facebook.

Chris & Brianna Grice”

With upmost love, respect and gratitude toward this couple, I hope you all felt what I felt the day I met them.  Something shook me, I actually shed a tear or two and gave them gigantic hugs.  I wish this couple well and I am reminded over and over from their story how Yoga changes lives and how the people I so gratefully get to meet change me forever.  Thank you for coming to class, Brianna & Chris and sharing your hearts with me.

With Love, Light & Gratitude,

Tai Tipton

One Comment

  1. it was such a blessing to have met you and had the opportunity to attend your class. thank you for letting us tell our story. miss Madison is will be a year old on the 25th of this month, shes a happy hyper beautiful perfect miracle… our story has just begun, this little girl teaches us so much every day.