"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.