Five Decades of Sharing with Eve Grzybowski

Eve Gryzbowski in 1988.

The name Eve Grzybowski is one that is affectionately revered by many yoga students and teachers. She has been described as an ‘Australian yoga pioneer’. Many have Eve’s book ‘Teach Yourself Yoga’ proudly on their bookshelf. Her book was first released in Australia in 1997 and became an immediate bestseller. Eve’s yoga has touched many lives and her passion for creating a community around yoga is why she’ll leave a legacy that will remain in the hearts of yogis worldwide! 

Eve, in her ageing years, says she still feels as if she is just taking one step at a time. She recognises that she is now picking up the mantle of being an elder in her community. This means she feels as if she wants to be out there offering something from her life experience. Yoga has infused all she has done in life since her younger years and she is still contributing as a yoga teacher and mentor.  

Eve also brings a yogic lens to her drive for caring for our planet. A wish she has is that yogis would raise awareness for the things that are important. She feels we can take a stand and take initiative to bring these messages across into our classes. That we can evolve our communication to be clear, loving and well received. 

Yoga put Eve on a path that has shaped her for over 52 years. She says yoga has given her a channel to live in, which has narrowed as she has gone along and gotten older – yet has given her the freedom to be more of herself. Yoga has guided her to be more of what she would want to be as a person.  

“I was all about accomplishment, and this was a huge teacher for me.” Humbly, she feels as if she is still developing and evolving herself.   

Living in a beautiful regional part of NSW, Eve is enjoying life and says that at this stage in her life she really feels that she is ‘spinning from her own wheel.’ The need to be a perfect teacher has gone and she shares yoga because she simply loves it and knows it well. It took her time to find her own voice as a teacher.  

She’d love aspiring or new teachers to know that part of the journey is that you grow into expressing yourself through your own experiences. As you embody the wisdom of yoga this knowledge will begin to flow freely from you. But who knows how long that will take! It’s an organic process.  Eve absolutely loves witnessing others learn to spin from their own wheel. 

Currently Eve is drawn to inversions in her personal practice. She also does free weights and enjoys long walks with her husband and friends. She loves singing and even spontaneously brings song into her yoga classes. Her voice is magical. Lucky them! 

“May you have a beautiful moment. May you breathe it in and out again.” 

Her appreciation for yoga as a spiritual practice is preeminent. Over the years she has learnt to be discerning of who she looks to for inspiration and would advise us to do the same. She says to appreciate what our experiences light within us. To know that what you think is missing is not really missing, that it is finding a way to express itself. She says that she has learnt lessons from the ‘presents’ that she was given that she didn’t necessarily want at the time! 

Her older years have brought a collection of conditions that present in different ways. This has reinforced her intention to elegantly offer variations to her students, to be inclusive and to intend that ‘we can all do yoga together!’ It’s not all about the postures! 

Eve believes that pranayama, meditation, and self-study, are the tools to foster when developing your own practice, and should be encouraged in your students.  She feels that had she found these tools at an earlier stage she would have bounced around less and found her channel sooner.   

As she has grown older her practice has changed. Eve is mindful of different tools for different stages of life. Knowing what is and isn’t a useful tool, or teacher, for you now is a something to be aware of.  

Now Eve is less inclined to have a ready answer to every question and instead responds from her lived experience. She says, “Ultimately yoga is about developing loving kindness and that manifests in so many different ways.” Eve inspires self-inquiry in her students. She encourages us to refer to ourselves, to adapt the tools of yoga where we need to, and to consider how we are developing our own self-care and nurturing. 

By Rebel Tucker
Australian Week of Yoga