HOW WE MET: BRIOHNY SMYTH AND DICE IIDA-KLEIN

 

Yoga teachers Briohny Smyth and Dice Iida-Klein approach their marriage in the same way they do their practice, mindfully. Despite their busy lives taking care of two children and three dogs, teaching, shooting video classes, and holding workshops around the world, they prioritize their relationship and put a premium on genuine communication. “If your union isn’t strong the rest of the family is going to fall apart,” says Iida-Klein. “You made these kids because you cherish each other, right?” Their intense connection is palpable on their popular acro-yoga videos that blend superhero-like athleticism with melting sensuality—and a whole lot of trust.

Love& managed to catch up with the yogis on a typical hectic Monday morning getting 10-year-old daughter, Taylor, ready for school and passing chatty baby boy Sydney back and forth while they each took turns on the phone. The couple got married in the backyard of their Culver City home on December 12, 2012. (“12-12-12,” says Smyth. “The last day in our lifetimes all the numbers would coincide.”) Since meeting five years ago, Iida-Klein says he could count the days they have spent apart “on two hands.” Even so, both emphasize that making space for focused alone time is crucial, “Without the grandparents, the kids, and the dogs.”

Love&: Where did you first meet?
Smyth: We first met in December 2009 in a yoga class. We were both teaching in Santa Monica and had heard of each other—so many students would ask us if we knew each other. Our teaching styles are similar and maybe [she laughs] they thought we looked alike because we’re both Asian. A few months later we went on our first date.

Love&: What’s the first thing you were attracted to?
Smyth: He was just wearing a pair of shorts and no shirt—it was an instant attraction.
Iida-Klein: I was blown away. Being blunt, she’s beautiful and that was first thing I noticed. I was drawn toward her—I knew of Briohny, but initially I didn’t realize that it was her at the class.

Love&: What’s something you didn’t notice then but that you adore now?
Smyth: He likes to do laundry, that’s a plus. And he really enjoys giving me foot massages. Most importantly, he’s humble and compassionate and the list goes on and on.
Iida-Klein: With time, you really peel back the layers of who someone is. I already knew she was a great mother [their older daughter is from a previous relationship] and she’s also an amazing entrepreneur. I’m surprised daily by how strong she is and how much she handles to keep this family moving forward.

Love&: Where was your first official date?
Smyth: One of our friends was trying to play cupid and sent Dice to my class before Valentine’s Day. He didn’t ask me out but handed me a business card, instead! My friend gave him a call and nudged him. He texted, “Want to hang out sometime?” and I texted back, “pick a date and ask me out.” We went to a yoga class and sushi. Dice’s old girlfriend was in the class staring us down. We still try to laugh things off and avoid drama as much as possible.
Iida-Klein: We had a great evening—our first date hasn’t ended for five years, but the process of getting there was funny. I’m not exactly the most confident person to this day, but I was more outgoing and flirtatious with other girlfriends. Just to get to that date, I was like a shy five-year-old realizing that he likes girls for the first time. We went to a power yoga class taught by Jerome Mercier. My ex flipped me off in the middle of class!

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Love&: How long did it take you know the other was “the one”?
Smyth: It was so easy to be together and we just fit.
Iida-Klein: Not long. With Bri, it happened after the first month. It was the right time, right place. Our paths could have easily crossed before but it didn’t happen until that moment.

Love&: How do you keep your marriage interesting and fun?
Smyth: We’re together 24/7 and juggle a crazy schedule between our children and traveling. One day we’re on a plane and the next we’re at our daughter’s volleyball game, but we still keep focusing on our relationship. The most important part is being able to be compassionate and see what the other person needs even it’s just a smile or a laugh.
Iida-Klein: We love yoga and practice together and if we can, we run with the kids. But it’s important to have time alone. You can also create a gratitude list for your partner, why you love and appreciate them.

Love&: What does being a good partner mean to you?
Smyth: Recently, I realized that I’ve blamed him for some of my stresses, but you need to see your responsibility in everything. I try to pay attention to my own self-care—that might mean waking up 10 minutes earlier to meditate. You have to be accountable for yourself and your own feelings. That allows you to be loving and compassionate toward your partner.
Iida-Klein: Always try to see your partner as who they really are. You didn’t get into a relationship because you wanted to change someone. You also need to be able to call them out on their stuff without pointing a finger. Sometimes, though, its kosher to support things that you might not want if its something that makes them really happy.

Love&: If you had 24 hours together with no other obligations, what would you do?
Smyth: We’re both really into physical health, so we’d go do a run on the beach and then a crazy long Pilates class and then a crazy long two hour yoga class and have a healthy meal with some green juice. Then we’d use our Jacuzzi and sit out on the deck. At night, we’d veg out to “House of Cards.”
Iida-Klein: We both love the beach and food, so we’d be in the Caribbean or Tahiti—somewhere that doesn’t necessarily feel like home. Good food, good drinks, surfing.

Love&: What’s the most important thing you have learned from your husband/wife?
Smyth: He reminds me to be grateful for the opportunities we’ve had. He’s such a gentleman as well—opening doors and standing up when people leave the table —that’s so lost today. He also gives me structure—I grew up very unstructured, and maybe being an Aquarian too, I love freedom. But when we meet in the middle, its great, and great for our children.
Iida-Klein: Self-awareness. Introspection comes from deep within you, but most people don’t succeed without the help of others.

You can see more of Briohny Smyth and Dice Iida-Klein on their website, Bryceyoga.com or popular Instagram.