Michelle, Founder of Sandstone Yoga & Pilates, has been offered the exciting opportunity to write every month in 2018 for Om Yoga Magazine. Here is her article below:
“Your success in life does not altogether depend on ability and training. It also depends on your determination to grasp opportunities that are presented to you. Opportunities in life come by creation, not by chance” Paramhansa Yogananda
Big business and yoga might seem like strange companions. But the clarity of purpose and a commitment to ethics and authenticity seen at the heart of authentic yoga studios have driven some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, from the Cadbury family to Steve Jobs. In a sense, we shouldn’t be surprised that the only book on Jobs’ Ipad at the time of his passing was “The Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramhansa Yogananda. It was a book that guided his life from his teenage years onwards and he read it once a year until he died. Today we see businesspeople such as Richard Branson championing philanthropy and a movement towards ‘better business’ as a creator of value, not just wealth. As seminal thinker Simon Sinek says, “profit is a by product of any purpose, not the reason why we get out of bed in the morning”.
The ancient yoga teachings of seeking emotional, physical and spiritual abundance underpin both my own 30 year yoga practice and my more recent journey as a yoga entrepreneur and the launch of the UK’s first Yoga & Pilates studio Franchise, Sandstone. Far from being mutually exclusive, they are a powerful combination and a force for good. Yogic thinking destroys the life-limiting beliefs which can hold so many of us back, whether in our professional or personal lives. And the practice of asana and meditations give us the clarity and focus which made those like Jobs so successful. And they help us navigate the ethical dilemmas which characterise any business which at the end of the day has to make money to survive & to employ others.
In the last 30 plus years yoga has been good to me. Firstly in my own practice and most recently in helping me to set up a successful and ethical yoga company offering retreats, studios, teacher training, and now an accredited national franchise. Like any business we have had our challenges but by sticking to our values and commitment to authentic, welcoming and accessible practice we have always overcome them. That’s why we exist. And even as we adapt and evolve, it is what we will always do. From that we draw unshakable faith and confidence because we know it’s right.
The journey has had many twists and turns and the support of mentors has helped me navigate each new chapter in that journey. I have also now begun to explore mentoring others to share the lessons I have learned & the new insights I gain each day. Our franchise package has a strong mentoring package built in – together we are all stronger.
So for me Yoga as a business has become a dialogue and a place to share and celebrate the fact that so many of us can make a living doing something which we truly love and helps millions of people feel happier and heathier every day.
Please don’t fall into the trap of thinking you cannot be spiritual & financially successful, far from it. Throughout 2018 I will be writing monthly in OM magazine and I look forward to hearing your dilemmas and triumphs as you develop your yoga portfolio. Remember yoga is a healing practice and the more successful you are, the more you will help & heal our world. The time for yoga is now everyone. Rivers of OMmmmmmmmmms Michelle
Feel free to contact Michelle at OM@sandstoneyoga.co.uk with any issues you may have as you develop your yoga career.
Michelle is a Senior Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance Professionals, the Director of the Sandstone Teacher Training Academy and the Founder of Sandstone Yoga & Pilates, a studio franchise model accredited with the British Franchise Association. Sandstoneyoga.co.uk