A student recently asked me why I decided to open BYLKN, and a few years later, launch HOT26+ Teacher Training.
I’ve been reticent to tell the “whole” story, for fear of not being accepted or understood by our students or the yoga community. It shrouded my ability to be candid about what got me here.
In class, we talk about MINDSET as the first step in any journey in life. Thankfully, I now view this as an opportunity I have to share my story, unabridged.
Here is my story:
I left the corporate world three years ago, following what most people would agree was a very successful business career. I brokered business deals throughout the US and abroad in the area of commercial development and real estate. I was one of few women enjoying success in this male-dominated field. By today’s standards, I had a prestigious career and the paycheck to match.
Spending several thousand dollars for the “perfect” clothing that would make me look great in meetings and presentations was commonplace. I remember the day I paid cash for a car that cost more than some people’s homes. I convinced myself that working 80-hour weeks was necessary to keep me happy and competitive.
The truth was that the further I climbed the corporate ladder, the less satisfied I became with my life. I was working all the time, didn’t have quality time with my family and chronic health conditions started to prevail. Outside of my long-term commitment to my Bikram practice and my faith in God, I was beginning to not like the person I had become.
A bright spot in my career was my training through Duke University as a business coach. It gave me the skills to help many talented people get better at managing their life and work.
I began to see that my faith, yoga journey and business coach training together were providing me with a new way of living and loving life! My path became clear. I finally understood what I was called to do with my life.
So, I left the safe confines of a consistent paycheck, and used my savings to become a certified Bikram Yoga instructor, with the dream of opening a studio and helping others heal their bodies and discover their truest potential. I was ready to help others witness how a balanced body, mind and spirit are so much more rewarding than prestige, power or a big paycheck!
The journey has been long and hard, and quite honestly, there are days when I have questioned this decision. However, I’ve learned that when we are following our true calling, the journey will not let us off the path. The journey will chase us down even if we keep looking for the exit sign!
I rejoice in this! Why? My calling is what gets me up everyday, despite how tired or worried I may feel, to open the doors of the studio and share Bikram Yoga with all of our students.
My greatest joy comes when a student shares how their practice has impacted their life.
Recently, a student said to me, “You have changed my life”. I responded, “I didn’t change your life; I just offered you the means and the journey so you can change your own life.”
Now, when someone asks why I opened Bikram Lake Norman, my response is simple and immediate. “We are more than a fitness and exercise facility. After living a life of plenty and power, yet losing my body and soul in the process, I am passionate about leading students on a yoga journey that will help them heal body, mind and spirit, and in the process, discover their truest potential.”
The only requirement for admission is an open heart. Experience and flexibility are optional!
For many of you, this may not be a surprising story. We’d love to hear how you decided to start on your yoga journey. We encourage you to share your story in the comments section below!