Yoga instructor Simone Market entwines compassion, consciousness and physical health for a holistic life.
- Written bySuzanna Cullen Hamilton
- Photographed byLauren Pressey
Most of us try to lead a fairly balanced life, but we zip through it much like the ill-packed bundle atop the Grinch’s sleigh. By comparison, Simone Market leads a holistic life that intricately weaves her professional and personal lives with good health while she radiates compassion, grace and joy.
Born and raised in Hawthorne, Simone is a Redondo Beach resident who has witnessed exponential growth in the South Bay. However, her life with her husband, Chuck Gardener, revolves in a calm sphere that incorporates home, work and a positive outlook on life.
Now 60, Simone has been teaching yoga for 17 years. “My philosophy is that there is a yoga practice for everyone, so find the one that works for you to align your body and your mind,” she says.
Simone holds numerous certifications including those from Cloud Nine Yoga as well as a two-year certification from Loyola Marymount that includes teachings in Western and Eastern medicine. “I want people to feel safe in their yoga, so I give a lot of individual instruction so that people can get back into their bodies,” she says.
Simone is toned, fit, strong and exudes serenity. “I believe in aging gracefully, and I feel younger now than I did before I started incorporating yoga into my life,” she says. She teaches classes at Harmony Yoga in Hermosa Beach, as well as workshops and individual training throughout the South Bay.
Simone’s workshops last several hours and typically focus on specific areas such as hip openers that loosen tight hips and alleviate pain while increasing range of motion and circulation. “Knees, hips, glutes, quads all relate to lower back pain, but we spend too much time treating the symptom; I focus on treating the problem,” she says.
Additionally, she works with many surfers in the South Bay to increase core and hip strength while also stabilizing balance. “It’s important to work on breath, balance and range of motion as we get back into our bodies.”
That psychology has led to a further component of Simone’s yoga teaching: She works with people on an individual level who have very specific needs including physical therapy and palliative care. Simone is eminently qualified for these physically and emotionally challenging tasks because she is also a certified Reiki instructor and has attained the master levels of l, 2 and 3. As versed as she is in yoga techniques, Simone is equally trained in the chanting, meditation and healing techniques of Reiki.
Simone trains people in their homes or in her bamboo Zen garden as they work through various modalities while transitioning through their therapies or life changes. Although her shift into this realm of work may have been subtle, the results have been monumental. After noticing that several psychologists were taking her classes or sending their clients to her classes, Simone recognized the need for restorative care.
“It’s important to heal the body and the mind together, and it’s critical for the healer to heal,” says Simone. She is a partner of the Moonstone Center–a holistic treatment center that addresses all aspects of the mind and body in restorative care.
Simone speaks from experience when she addresses the importance of helping the body and the mind in conjunction as we move through life changes. When she went through menopause, she gained 35 pounds and experienced many physical, emotional and psychological changes.
“Instead of running from this experience, I grabbed my yoga, embraced this time in my life and I didn’t hide it,” she says. She moved through the time without the aid of hormones and ultimately lost all of the weight. “Now I want to rally around other women.”
Simone leads a life that pays things forward. “Yoga is a gift that keeps on giving, and my reward is knowing one more person and having helped one more person,” she says.
In addition to teaching her classes and workshops, Simone teaches teachers. Throughout the community and in various capacities that include churches and the YMCA, she gives retired teachers the gift of yoga.
From her physical yoga and healing Reiki practices to her peaceful and positive psychological outlook on life, Simone engages in all aspects of a holistic life. “I have two mantras that guide me: One is that practice makes perfect, so be careful what you practice. The other is that if you think you can, then you will, but if you think you can’t, then you won’t. So choose what you want.”
Those are simple but powerful statements that guide Simone through every day, yet they are as straightforward and uncomplicated as the dynamic and forceful woman who speaks them.
Simone’s Year in Health
Favorite way to relieve stress and relax:
“My husband and I love hiking and being in nature. We take time to get away from the city and connect with the natural world.”
“Practice makes perfect. Be careful what you practice.”
Best part of my job:
“The people and the peace. I love all of the different people that I meet, and I love knowing that I’ve helped them in some way. I help them achieve peace, and in doing so I receive peace.