"Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail" - Charles F. Kettering

Thursday, March 1, 2018

"Lessons From the First 5 Years in Business"

Happy Anniversary Synergy Yoga Rock Hill!

Today is a momentous day, Synergy Yoga turns 5 years old and I just signed to renew our lease for another 5 years!  This journey is one of the biggest thrill rides of my life.  Woosh! Owning a business has some days where the stress level is at an all-time high, tears, and frustration set it. Then just when I think I’ve seen everything, something new happens. Then there are the good days that outweigh all. These are the days where I have the honor of witnessing amazing moments for our clients and team like pure bliss and joy in someone’s heart blasting wide open after a breakthrough in class, recovery from cancer, new friendships develop, transformations happen, and people leave feeling better than they did when they arrived. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 50% of all new businesses do not make it to the 5 year mark.  So this anniversary is a big deal! I humbly reflect on this journey and share some tips from what I’ve learned about business ownership and life (although there are many more):

Monday – Friday 9 am-5 pm doesn’t exist:
The business is always with me, even on vacation or sick days.  JUST like being a parent. The behind the scenes orchestration and the “to do” list don’t end. So hold on tight.  It’s imperative to sculpt out time for yourself and find a way to “turn off” the lists and chatter in the mind. (I know that’s why you come to yoga, as do I. So when you see me on the mat beside you, it’s for the same reason as you’re there, breathing space.)

Life is preparing you… Thank goodness for a corporate career and life experience:
In the early stages of the studio, I really don’t know what I would’ve done without the background from a former 16 year career in the Human Resources field.  I also believe the experience as a single parent was of huge value.  In both cases these experiences gave me skills, knowledge, courage, strength, and confidence. You’re on your own as the HR person, accountant, maintenance department, marketing team, administrative, etc. Value every life experience that comes your way.

Gather support around you quickly:
Network with other trusted business owners and form a strong team around you for support.  Fast.  Coach your team, give them support.  Be present for your team and trainees as much as you can. Then remember you don’t know everything so finding support is super helpful. 

Be prepared to make really tough decisions that not everyone will like or understand:
This is always brutal for me because it’s yoga and it all should be super easy and flowing, right? Well yoga is also a business. Making some business decisions, especially the big ones are tough, for example when I had to close our Steele Creek studio.  I want everyone to feel happy so it’s difficult to disappoint but some business decisions will disappoint, they just do.  I tend to look at the big picture and try to get resourceful by looking at not only the financial big picture but also the human side to balance out making big decisions.   

Your Heart Always Knows:
Trust your intuition, it will never fail. Sometimes my husband says I take too long to make some decisions. Maybe I do sometimes but honestly I’m one to look at things from all angles and creative options. But in the end I wait to “hear” or “feel” the answers. The answers come, they always do, and sometimes when I least expect like in the shower or on a bike ride. Walk in faith, then follow your heart.

Say Yes:
Say Yes more than No. When you or your team comes forth with new ideas, brainstorms, say yes (as long as it’s legal, ethical, and in line with your values J) and give it a try.  Why not?  The worst thing that can happen is that it doesn’t work and then you just don’t do it again. Foster creativity.

When faced with the decision to renew the lease for another 5 years, it was very clear to stay where we are and continue our good work at the studio and the community.  We have a great team for whom I am very grateful for, we have amazing clients who walk into our doors each day, we continue to grow. Yoga heals the body, mind, and soul, I know this to be true from a personal standpoint from when I first stepped on to the mat 20 years ago.  We are that space to help you heal, transform, challenge, and provide a slice of inspiration for your life. Thank you for being part of our journey at Synergy! Cheers to the future!

Peace and Light,

p.s.  SAVE THE DATE -  MAY 5th! We’re about to undergo a little facelift, fresh paint and d├ęcor over the next 2 months.  SO Save the date Saturday May 5th for our 5 Year Anniversary Open House with FREE classes, sale pricing, local artisan vendors, and more.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Just Breathe

An Introduction to Pranayama – Yoga Breathwork

Ever wonder why you hear your yoga instructor say “breathe” so much or perhaps you’ve heard the person on the mat next to you breathe in a way where they sound a little like Darth Vader?  Well Yoga has a whole other aspect (or Limb) around the breath.  So it’s rather important.  Some yogis say the breath is more important than the asana (physical poses).

Prana means life force or breath sustaining the body; Ayama translates as “to draw out or extend.” Place the two together to mean breath control.

Depending on the tradition, yoga has many types of breathing techniques to offer body and mind wellbeing.  Some breathing practices connect to the parasympathetic nervous system, this is the calming part of the system.  Think about it, when we’re in a state of “fight or flight” with anxiety, anger, etc. the breath is the one thing we can typically control.  So off the mat these breathing techniques can help bring calm on the highway in traffic, in the dentist chair, on the ball field, in the classroom, or through a challenging conversation with the boss.  Other breathing techniques energize the body which can be helpful off the mat with things like depression, get you through that mid-afternoon slump on the job, or on the mat it may help you get off the ground in a challenging arm balance. Other breathwork health benefits may include increasing lung capacity, centering the mind, weight loss, lowering blood pressure, and more.

Join me and Cindy on Thursday February 22nd at 6 pm-7:30pm to explore some of these ancient breathing techniques.  We’ll show you how they can be used in a practical way on and off the mat. Here's the link to sign up and save $5 in advance: https://www.wellnessliving.com/rs/catalog-payment.html?k_id=58342&sid_purchase_item=enrollment 

Until then, take a long slow deep breath in through the nose and exhale it all out.
To your Health,
Sara Cain-da Costa, E-RYT

Monday, January 1, 2018

Beyond Asana 2018

Welcome in 2018 yogi’s! The gift of the New Year can bring on reflection and intention to expand our awareness and commitment to living yoga on and off the mat.  As the last quarter of 2017 rolled in, I started to reflect especially because 2018 is a milestone year; the studio turns 5 years old in the Spring AND it marks a 20 year yoga practice for me.  As you can see, it’s personal.  After some time in reflection, the light bulb went off and I felt it strongly… the direction to take the studio for this milestone yearn"Beyond Asana".  My invitation to you is join us in taking a deeper dive. Explore other aspects yoga to discover what they have to offer on the path towards growth, union of consciousness, and self-enlightenment. In other words an authentic inspired life.

With all of this in mind we’re excited to share several announcements, first is you’ll start to see a refreshed logo over the next few weeks, then some upcoming renovations inside the studio over the next several months.  We hope that you’ll enjoy this new look as we refresh our brand just a little. After all making it 5 years as a small business is a BIG deal.  Then even better is some of our instructors have worked with our Operations Manager, Christine and I to organize a theme for the year called “Beyond Asana”.  Asana means “a comfortable seat” in short, the physical practice of the poses.  We’ll announce a different theme each month with highlighted workshops and events to introduce, educate, and practice many other aspects of Yoga.  You’ll experience theory, life wisdom, inspiration from other practices such as meditation and pranayama (breathwork).  We’ll share with you ways to incorporate these tools into your life off the mat in practical ways and show how they can deepen your practice on the mat.  First up in January is Meditation.  Mark your calendar for two special events; I'll be guiding Deep Peace Breathwork Meditation Sunday January 21st at 5:45 pm and Cindy’s Intro to Meditation workshop on Thursday January 22nd at 6 pm. EVERY one is welcomed, invite your friends, family, neighbors.  Every one CAN meditate, I promise you.  I’m also sure some of our instructors will be incorporating some meditation into their classes as well.

Happy New Year and from my heart thank YOU for being a part of our community at Synergy!
Peace and Light,
Sara Cain-da Costa
Life, Inspired.

p.s. If you have any special requests this year for “Beyond Asana” workshops or events, always feel free to reach out to me directly at Sara@synergyyogawellness.com.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Why Yoga is the Best Stress Buster

Does this picture look familiar? Trying to juggle life and perhaps work harder and faster?

With the pace of most people’s lives these days, no one is immune to the uncomfortable feeling of having too much to do, or having too many problems to solve.  But what if during the day you could be transported to a secluded beach with crystal clear water, gentle breezes and be completely alone as your eyes are drawn to a huge sailboat moving across the horizon?

At that moment, if only for a few seconds, you can “unplug” from the day’s circumstances.  How does that feel?  Calm, peaceful, serene?  This is what you can expect from taking a YOGA class with us.  YOGA allows you to press the re-set button and get back on track, similar to how a GPS recalibrates the directions when you’ve made a wrong turn.

Most would agree that when we are a state of anxiety and stress, working harder and faster, we can’t think very clearly.  We can start to rant about the problems or make rash decisions that don’t serve us well.  Conversely, when our thought is calm, we are receptive to the right steps to take and we notice our surroundings where the solution often appears.

We believe that yoga and meditation are powerful resources and change agents for both individuals and businesses.  Our mission is to grow a culture of well-being in the world.

We are proud of the long term relationships between our clients and instructors and are so excited to see these yogi's lives thrive as a result.

With Gratitude,
Synergy Yoga

p.s.  Try Christin's Long Slow Deep Class on 11/5 at 2:30 pm in Rock Hill experience working smarter not harder in your yoga practice.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Uplifting Words
by Michele Tampa Hoag, E-RYT

Just for one week consider this....

Recently, a friend and mentor of mine posted the following quotation from Jeff Brown – “Words.  So powerful.  They can crush a heart, or heal it.  They can shame a soul, or liberate it.  They can shatter dreams, or energize them.  They can obstruct connection, or invite it.  They can create defenses, or melt them.  We have to use words wisely.”

My Grandmother always told me “you can say almost anything to anyone, however, it is all about HOW you say it”.  What if, for one week – we took this advice to heart?  What if, for one week, we used our words to heal hearts, liberate souls, energize dreams, to connect and melt defenses (and, that includes the “talks” that we have with ourselves)?  What if, for one week, we consciously chose to use our words wisely; to lift up what we love rather than tearing down what we hate?  What if, for one week, we really stopped to think before we react or speak? 

What do you think the results would be?  Here are my thoughts – we would improve the relationships that we have, we would cultivate positive energy and create new relationships, we would spend one week helping to eliminate anger, hostility and mistrust.  For one week, please challenge yourself to ask one simple question before you speak – that question is -- “how would I feel if those thoughts or words were directed to me?” – for one week, before you speak, make certain that the answer to that question is – “I’d feel pretty darn good!”

Use your words wisely for one full week, and see what riches next week might bring. I'd love to hear from you!

Love to all,

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Building the New

Building the New

Change.  One thing in life we can absolutely count on.  After announcing the move of our Steele Creek location to inside a GIANT, Club Fitness, many clients and friends ask WHY?  The short story is, it was either close the studio OR move to Club Fitness.  Now don’t misinterpret that Club Fitness was our last resort. It was a well-considered decision. Now here’s the full story.

The Steele Creek studio 5-year lease is up this month.  For about 6-8 months prior, I researched all the possible options to either close, move, or stay in Steele Creek, Lake Wylie, or even Fort Mill. Financially the business was barely breaking even. So after 5 years in in the same location it was time to close.  In business and in life, there is a balance of discernment between knowing when to let go and when to keep going.  In my heart I felt I would find a solution that would keep my family’s financials safe and continue to serve the Steele Creek area.  After all, I too am a Steele Creek resident of almost 20 years. The wellness of this community is personally & professionally important to me and our Synergy Team.  I couldn't let them down. If there’s one thing to know, I’m very resourceful and won’t let go without a whole hearted try when Spirit is the driving force.

Now, since our area is in high growth mode, commercial real estate has sky-rocketed.  A Commercial Real Estate Broker shared the leasing rates are look like downtown Charlotte rates. We could essentially lease a space in the Bank of America building downtown for about the same price as the Steele Creek area. Yikes! At this mid-life stage, my husband and I look at lower risk investments as you can understand we have 1 son in college and 2 more to enter in the next few years and retirement to think about. In addition, over the years of stumbling, learning, and growing as an entrepreneur I figured out some of the equation about what it takes for our type of business “small box” yoga studio to financially make it (story for another day). It was time to move on.

When the good fortune of being introduced to the owner of Club Fitness arrived, I was all ears.  (I really don’t believe in good fortune, it’s all about when you’re living “on purpose” the right people and opportunities will arrive without struggle.)  He and I were able to agree on a business partnership quickly and easily because we both knew it was the right thing.  We are the one thing his business is missing and they are the one thing we were missing. Perfect. As with any change, we expect growing pains, emotions to swing, loss of some clients, gaining new clients, successes, and failures.  However, at the end of the day when you’re living on purpose, authentic, and guided by both the heart and the mind, good things will come.

As yogi’s we learn that change allows us the opportunity to grow and re-discover the strengths and the goodness within.  Without opportunity we wouldn’t be able to move forward and flourish.

The great Socretes said “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

Let's build the new! Thank you for being part of this journey!  See you on the mat.
Namaste,  Sara

p.s. Join us Saturday September 17th 8 am-1 pm for FREE Open House at Club Fitness Steele Creek ~ 11108 S. Tryon St Charlotte, NC ~  www.synergyyogawellness.com

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Spring Soul Food Series

Soul Food Series

Are you ready to relieve stress, get inspired, and dive deep within to bring forth your true Self? The time is now!  We've been collaborating with several amazing guest presenters to offer you a workshop series called the Soul Food Series. Fuel for your Soul. During a time of heavy competition and performance expectations in the workplace, school, and athletics we're working harder and faster than we've ever had to in our lives. Then add in social media bombarding us with negative, fearful, and confusing information. It's enough to drive one crazy and we wonder why there's so much stress, disease, illness, arguing, and anger in the world.  It's time to initiate change. Claim your power, fix what's within first. It's time to feel good.

Our offerings during this series are for everyone to help you on the path. They're designed to take time for yourself and heal heart and soul so that you can present yourself to the world as a whole healthy grounded person. The world needs us to heal within so that we can Shift our own reactions, communication, thinking to create a more positive environment in our homes, schools, workplaces, and community. When we feel good emotionally and physically our thoughts about our selves are more compassionate, our communication with others becomes calm, objective, inspired, this then radiates out of our being. If we want peace in the world it starts in our hearts, peace within ourselves.  This workshop series is designed for you to be able to slow down and connect within, work towards healing, listening within, and step into your own power.  

Teachings for healing and connecting to your heart and intuition, should not be regarded as the gift of the few - they are the birthright of everyone on Earth. These abilities are latent within us all - intuition, healing, and empowerment development can occur through practices, such as yoga breathing, mediation, music, and mantra. 

Peel away the layers, get inspired, get connected, raise your vibration, and receive the fuel you need to Shine! Anchor the frequency of love for ourselves and the world. 
Join us on the mat!
Sara & The Synergy Yoga Team

Book online www.synergyyogawellness.com under  Workshops
Book 3 classes at once and receive 10% off each (at the studio or over the phone).

Energy Flow with Sara & Denise:
Sara will guide us through a soulful flow class assisted by Jen along with meditation while Denise offers personal intuitive messages from the Divine for each participant.  These messages are positive & inspirational to help guide you on your path. http://denisepeters1.wix.com/denisepeters
March 12th 4 pm-5:45 pm Rock Hill
April 30th 4 pm-5:45 pm Steele Creek
$25 each / $30 day of

Prana Vinyasa Flow Yoga with LIVE Drumming with Carson & Joe:
Carson guides us a Prana Vinyasa Flow, an energetic, creative, full-spectrum approach to embodying the flow of yoga cultivated by Shiva Rea. Students of all levels are empowered to experience Prana - the universal source of breath, life-energy and conscious intelligence - as the navigating source of yoga practice and vital living. Accompannied by LIVE drumming by her husband Joe. www.sahajaspirit.com
April 3rd 2:30 pm-4 pm Rock Hill
$25 / $30 day of

Sound Soak with Beth:
Be prepared to get comfortable on your mat, and soak in the sounds of live blissful Harp music. A Sound Soak offers our bodies nourishing cellular alignment and relaxation, balancing both hemispheres of the brain. Historically, the harp has been a symbol of relief and comfort. No movement, all levels, all people. Feel free to bring your own cushions and blankets if desired. www.theharpwhisperer.com
March 20th 6 pm-7 pm Steele Creek
April 9th 5 pm-6 pm Rock Hill
$15 / $20 day of

Relax & Renew Harp and sound experience with Beth & Sara / Rita:
Our signature Relax & Renew class accompanied by Beth Brown playing live healing instruments such as the Harp, sacred drum, and her voice.  No yoga experience needed. www.theharpwhisperer.com
May 14th 5 pm-6:30 pm with Beth and Sara in Steele Creek
June 18th 5 pm-6:30 pm with Beth and Rita in Rock Hill
$25 / $30 day of