Celebrating Our Colleagues
Meet Miraval Arizona’s Yoga Instructor, MaryGrace Naughton
Read about her 17-year journey at Miraval Arizona and her ability to teach from the knowledge and wisdom she has gained over the years.
Tell us about your journey at Miraval Resorts.
I have been a part of the Miraval Arizona family for over 17 years and have had the honor to watch us grow as a brand. I appreciate that through many shifts and changes, the thread of mindfulness and helping others grow has remained consistent. Recently, I connected with two guests that have been coming to Miraval Arizona as long as I have been employed. We joked about our kids growing up and even having grandchildren now, which reminded me of the joy of long-term connections.
What do you enjoy most about being a Miraval Resorts colleague?
What I enjoy most is the ability to teach from my own knowledge and wisdom. We have the freedom to teach from our expertise while continuing to learn from others.
What brought you to Miraval Arizona, and what keeps you here?
I was referred to Miraval Arizona by a former employee named Lhasha. We met on a six-day meditation retreat in which I offered yoga practice as my service to the group. I continue to stay because I get to teach skills and practices that have absolutely improved my life and enhanced my wellbeing. Knowing that I support and help others means a lot to me. I also stay because of the positive benefits, including financial support to further my education.
What have you learned from your time at Miraval Arizona?
I have learned that I am blessed to have a stunning view of the Santa Catalina Mountains when I teach. I have learned that transitions are difficult but possible when I treat myself as a friend. I learned that often the most difficult people are the ones in the most pain and who are often suffering and that everyone needs more kindness and compassion, including myself.
What is the best part of your day?
Consistently, the best part of my day is teaching the morning meditation. The mindfulness practice of opening to the moment while doing our best to let go of judgment and interpreting the moment can be profound and powerful. Many guests have come back to tell me Miraval Arizona is where they began their meditation journey, and I love that so much! The two other best parts of my day are teaching Mindful Stress Mastery because we go into depth about skillful ways to change our relationship with stress. The world seems a bit more challenging these days, and being able to find calm, have acceptance, and practice with others is extremely beneficial. Finally, teaching aerial yoga is simply joyful for me. My body loves the practice, and I enjoy watching guests overcome fear and allow their more playful side to come out.
How does Miraval Arizona help you create a work-life balance?
Through changes Miraval Resorts has made in the number of hours required to maintain health insurance benefits. In the past few years, I had quite a few personal challenges and losses. I used to hold the role of yoga supervisor, but being able to step back to focus on myself and drop down to three days a week, knowing I maintained health insurance, has been a true gift. I have more ease in offering classes with less pressure on me. I also think the education reimbursement is a wonderful way to help with balance in affording to continue learning and growing.
What do you do outside of work to create balance?
I maintain a daily meditation practice, use my elliptical on my days off, and do a short yoga practice afterward. I make sure I have quality time with my family and play with the grandbabies to remember the joy of children. When the weather is nice, we go for walks or hikes. I also take trips to our home in San Carlos, Mexico, to play and restore.
What is your Miraval Resorts “i am” and why did you choose that word?
i am Grace
I chose that word because Grace is part of my name. Grace is what I open to when I am suffering and need support. Grace is that part of the mystery that helps guide me.
Is there a story you would like to share that people at work may not know about you?
My husband gifted me scuba diving lessons in my mid-forties. At first, I thought it was a joke because I had never considered diving and was a little terrified. The lessons were in a pool and a lot of fun and then I graduated to the ocean! Once I overcame my fear of being deep in the sea this was an incredibly peaceful experience.
Would you like to share something about your ancestry, family, culture, or background?
I come from an Irish Catholic family on my dad’s side, and my mom is Italian and Scottish. A family tradition I hope my girls continue with their children is making potato bread on St. Patrick’s Day and Christmas. My father would make it with us when we were little. It is a simple recipe that is messy, fun, and tasty. I have a framed recipe with my dad’s words at the end that say, “Potato bread, made with love and shared with love, creates more love.” I look forward to making it with my grandsons in the near future!
Celebrating our Colleague “i am” Series
Stay tuned and keep checking back in this space for an ongoing celebration of our Miraval Resorts colleagues. We are excited to shine a light on our colleagues’ “i am” statements in the upcoming months as we share the stories of their unique talents, passions, and personalities. Learn more about how their word informs and balances their work and personal journeys.