Spotlights is a space to celebrate some of our favorite boss ladies who inspire us and embody all that we stand for.
Liz Arch is an international yoga teacher, martial artist, author, mom, and the creator of Primal Yoga®, a dynamic fusion of yoga and martial arts focused on empowerment and self-healing. She is also a certified Domestic Violence Counselor Advocate and currently serves as the West Coast director of the nonprofit organization Purple Dot Yoga Project, which uses yoga as a healing tool to help individuals overcome the trauma of domestic violence. She leads transformative teacher trainings, workshops, and retreats around the world.
Liz lives in Los Angeles, California, with her partner, Adam, their son, Skye, and her two rescue dogs, Nalu and Faith
If you wrote a love letter to yourself (or body), what would it say?
Dearest Liz, I am so proud of you for all that you are and all that you are becoming. You have overcome so much in your life and rather than letting your pain harden you, you have allowed it to soften you. And that, my love, is pretty damn heroic. I admire your courage to continue seeking out your blind spots, and your commitment to show up for yourself and do the work to become a better mother, partner, daughter, sister, friend, and human. But please know this: you don’t have to do more, earn more, or be more. You are enough exactly as you are in this moment and have always been enough. As you enter this new phase in your life as a mother, please be kind to yourself above all else. In creating life, your body has undergone a massive transformation and despite what society may tell you, there is nothing to “bounce back” to. You don’t have to love every new curve, wrinkle, or gray hair, because that is simply another unrealistic expectation placed upon women. But you do have to know that you ARE love itself. On days when you’re struggling, allow yourself to feel the full spectrum of your emotions, place your hands on your heart and take a full, deep breath. Always settle back into the truth of your wholeness. Know that you are radiantly beautiful inside and out, you are supported, and you are enough.
When do you feel the most beautiful?
I feel most beautiful when I am breastfeeding my son, Skye or when I am moving slowly and mindfully on my yoga mat. Moving my body feels like poetry in motion.
As a survivor of domestic violence, you are a powerful role model and courageous source of inspiration for many. How has your life journey influenced the direction of your life?
My trauma helped shape me into the woman that I am today and while the journey hasn’t been easy or linear, I am ultimately grateful for the challenges because they helped create my strength and resiliency. For so long, I bought into the myth that I was broken. I was consumed by shame and engaged in self-sabotaging behaviors as a way to keep myself small. Things begin to shift for me when I realized that the way out of my wounds was first recognizing I had been wounded, then doing the healing work to own my story rather than letting my story own me. It is an honor and privilege for me to now be able to share the tools that helped me move through my trauma with others and empower people to know their worth and reclaim their wholeness.
Your gorgeous book, Courage to Rise, was just released. What are you most proud of when you think back on this achievement?
It sounds simplistic, but I’m most proud of the fact that I did it. I had a vision and I followed through. Trauma immobilizes us and there have been so many moments in my life where I froze dead in my tracks like a deer in headlights. I let fear stop me before starting, so the fact that I wrote an entire book about trauma is a pretty monumental achievement. Not to mention the fact that I was pregnant at the same time, which added an entirely new layer of stress into the mix. But having my son’s beating heart inside my belly also gave me ferocious courage and the motivation to push through. It doesn’t matter whether the book sells one copy or one million copies. What matters is that I was brave enough to put it out into the world.
Not only are you an author, but you are also a badass yoga instructor and gifted martial artist amongst many other things. How has movement played an important role in your well-being?
Movement is my medicine. It is one of the most powerful tools I have to combat stress and anxiety and boost my physical and mental health. The past two years, I haven’t been able to exercise as frequently and with the same intensity as I used to, due to various injuries. I also had a fairly traumatic labor/delivery, which left me with pelvic floor dysfunction, so I’ve had to slowly ease my way back into movement. But when I move, my entire state of being shifts for the positive. Even just moving my body for five minutes can have a profound effect.
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would you say to her?
I would tell my younger self that she is enough and has always been enough and that her worth doesn’t hang on anyone else’s opinion or validation. I would tell her that she is the heroine of her own story and no matter what comes her way in life, she gets to write her own ending.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
WANT 10% OFF?
Join the AYAEO newsletter to find out about new product launches, stay up to date with the our latest news, and get 10% off your next order!