Eileen Goddard is a New York City based yoga teacher, blogger, and jewelry designer. From studying Emperor’s Long Fist Tai Chi as a teenager to completing her BA in Philosophy & Creative Writing at UNC-Chapel Hill, Eileen has cultivated a lifelong love for movement, philosophy, and self-expression. Since 2011, she has owned, operated, and designed for her jewelry line, Imprint By Eileen. Originally from North Carolina, Eileen discovered yoga more than twelve years ago, and she has used her practice throughout the years as a therapeutic and transformative force. She completed her 200 hour teacher training at Yoga Vida in 2014, and continues to study under the guidance of trusted mentors.
What do you do best?
I think I’m good at connecting with people. I am fascinated by and interested in everyone I meet - who they are, what they care about, and how we can find common ground. Even though I’m an introvert by nature and need my alone time, I’m super friendly. I smile a lot. When I first moved to NYC 10 years ago, I tried for awhile to smile less and be a little less “enthusiastic,” in a misguided attempt to fit in better in the city. But it didn’t last - I had to embrace who I am and just be myself, smiles and all.
What makes you the best?
I don’t know if I’m the “best” at anything, but I do know that I’m good at surrounding myself with wonderful people. Well, I’m also just lucky - to know and to have such kind, interesting, inspiring people in my life. They constantly lift me up and elevate the work that I do. They help me to “level up,” always - because the journey never stops and there is always a next level, new opportunity, and adventure to be found.
What are your aspirations?
I aspire to live fully and happily and well, no matter what comes my way in this lifetime. To write more and to worry less. To keep learning, always. To find joy and peace everywhere. To be kind.
Recovering and healing from anorexia nervosa. I wouldn’t wish that disease on anyone, but my illness as a teenage laid the foundation for the adult I have become. Wanting to help other people struggling with this and other mental health issues is what inspired me to become a yoga teacher. It’s humbling to get sick and it’s humbling to go through the recovery process - to relearn not only how to feed yourself, but how to take care of yourself wholly, body and mind. It’s a process that changed me forever, in powerful and positive ways. It made me realize that I am much more valuable than what I look like or what I weigh. It has made me so passionate about body positivity and self-love. If you ever come to one of my yoga classes, or even just talk to me in person, you might notice that I’m very specific with my language to ensure that it reflects this. Learning to operate from this place of love and acceptance and then share it with others is something that I am extremely proud of and grateful for.
Most Challenging Moment?
There have been many, but the two that stand out are when I lost my full time theater job in the spring of 2011, and when I made the difficult decision to close my NoHo jewelry boutique in late 2012. Both of these things stung, and made me feel like I had “failed.” But looking back now, I can see how pivotal and necessary these two times in my life were. How they sparked important periods of growth, and led to realizations that allowed me to create the life I have now. My online jewelry boutique works better and is so much more sustainable. It enables me to teach yoga full time and also do the writing that I want to do. Without either of these difficult situations, I would still be stuck in jobs that weren’t really working for me. It made me realize that it’s ok to move on - that there’s no honor in holding onto something that you have outgrown, or that has outgrown you. It reminds me that unexpected and unwanted change can sometimes be the greatest gift.
There is an Anaïs Nin quote that I love that ends with the line: “We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.” I think that is what I believe most in this world - that we are all complex, multi-faceted beings, vaster and more powerful than we realize. We are capable of more love than we think is possible. We might get dragged down from time to time, but we are resilient and always capable of resurfacing, always capable of reconnecting with the stars.
Favorite People/Role Models?
My boyfriend of 8 years, Nick. My mother, father, sister, and brother. Those 5 human beings are my heart. Also, I hope to live a life that is half as amazing and inspiring as Maya Angelou’s. She was one of my first role models as a child and she continues to inspire me with her legacy of work.
Plitvice Lakes in Croatia, which is full of waterfalls and magic. Also, Paris. Prague. My parents’ house in North Carolina. Anywhere by the ocean. Anywhere in the woods.
Serenity essential oil blend by DoTerra, Gin-Gins ginger candies, Burt’s Bees lip balm. Also the gemstone malas that I make for my jewelry line, and inevitably end up keeping for myself.
Poetry, mindfulness meditation, journaling, nature walks, alone time.