Meet the soulful and beautiful Faye McGarry. I’ve had the pleasure of being a regular student of hers at Yoga Oceanside. The first time I heard her sing a mantra during class I knew I had to capture her voice and her spirit with my camera. In this video you’ll hear Faye singing the “student teacher mantra” in Sanskrit.

I photographed Faye at the Rosicrucian temple in Oceanside, CA. The Rosicrucians are Christian mystics who believe that “truth, honesty, and justice are fundamental qualities of the Divinity within”  and they encourage “time to meditate and pray, endeavoring to lift themselves on the wings of love and aspiration”. This mindset embodies the elements of yoga  — so I knew this would be the perfect place for us to take photos.

Faye McGarry yoga

Faye McGarry yoga

I have had a consistent Yoga practice in my life for many years, but it wasn’t until I found Yoga Oceanside that I became aware of all the layers of Yoga. This studio has become a second home to my boyfriend, Rick, and me. And I must say, we are the biggest fans of this studio and their teachers. Yoga Oceanside teaches Yoga from a deeply spiritual perspective.

Faye explains it perfectly: “In my classes I love weaving in elements of nature, exploring the chakra system and using mantra and mudra to deepen our spiritual connection to our practice. I believe that Yoga Asana can be a form of creative expression — powerful yet graceful, a moving meditation and a path to healing, self-love and self-realization. I encourage my students to move with intention and grace while at the same time not taking themselves too seriously, bringing laughter, joy and compassion to the practice of Yoga!

Yoga has been a part of Faye’s life for more than 15 years. In 2003, she and her husband moved to the wild, lush Southern Pacific Costa Rica. It was there that she had the opportunity to develop relationships with yoga teachers and she began to broaden her understanding of the Asanas and started to glimpse the true meaning of Yoga.

In Costa Rica, Faye also deepened her spiritual connection by participating in weekly meditation and healing groups and received extensive Reiki training. She originally turned to Reiki as a tool to heal herself and over time she was able to share the gift of Reiki with others.

After spending several years in the spectacular natural setting of the beaches and jungles where she had a chance to practice daily, Faye was inspired to further her studies and become a Yoga teacher.

When she moved back to her hometown of Oceanside, CA in December 2011 Faye joined the work/study program at Yoga Oceanside which led her to her teacher Danielle Fowler and the True Nature School of Yoga. This is where Faye completed over 500 hours of Yoga Teacher Training.

Every time I participate in one of Faye’s classes, I am rewarded with a sense of calmness, grace and joy. It’s these elements that I aimed to capture in her portraits.

Yoga Portait with Faye

Faye McGarry yoga

yoga portrait

I’ve been a delighted recipient of Faye’s Reiki healing. During Yoga Oceanside’s Yin Yoga and Reiki classes, participants are given Reiki as we hold yin postures. It feels like wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you – I instantly feel myself relax and receive the power of a healing touch.

Rick and I look forward to Saturday mornings when we get to receive the healing touch at Yin Yoga and Reiki!

Many of Faye’s classes include Yoga Nidra (guided relaxation), which is a profound yet simple practice with amazing results for stress reduction and healing. She often plays the crystal singing bowls during the savasana portion of class. The gorgeous spirit-invoking sound from these bowls can be used to heal on deeper levels of being.

yoga portrait

If you’d like to experience a class with Faye at Yoga Oceanside, you need to do so quickly, because this fall she and her husband are moving to his homeland of Ireland… along with their cat and dog! Of course I’m deeply saddened that this wonderful teacher and spiritual guide will be leaving – but I am excited for her upcoming journey.

She envisions sharing her gifts in Ireland, possibly opening a studio space to focus on her love of Yoga and healing, as well as facilitating other teachers to do so in their own unique way! Her ultimate goal is to host retreats in Ireland that consist of yoga, art and cultural experiences with a huge dose of fun and connection the natural beauty of Ireland…weather permitting, of course. I mean, Ireland is no San Diego!! But I know that Faye will bring the sunshine and light with her wherever she goes.

To keep up with Faye, you can follow her on Instagram and Facebook