Real People, Real Yoga Stories

At Yoga Trade, we like to feature real people and real yoga stories. Yoga is for everyone, and how nice it is to get real and different perspectives from around the world. Here we catch up with the ultra inspiring Lesley Lotto. Lesley is currently thriving in Montana where she works as a broadcast journalist (Remote News Service), and is also a yoga teacher on the yogic path. Here she shares a bit of her story and the beauty and benefits of bringing yoga into daily life. Thank you Lesley for this community share!

How did you find yoga, what’s your story?

I started doing yoga about 22 years ago after I had my first baby. This was more about exercise for me (and some mind calming). It was in a gym, but the teacher was amazing.  Looking back I believe it was a lot of Hatha mixed with some Kundalini. I lesley2don’t remember it that well, but the tiny Russian teacher left an impression on me for sure. I practiced with her twice a week for a while. Then sort of moved away from it, probably when I needed it most in my life. I found it again later with other teachers. But not until I moved away from California did I REALLY find my yoga groove.

How do you “live” yoga?

I don’t miss a day on my mat. Even if I just hop on to meditate or do one or two Asanas for balance. My job as a news reporter is pretty hectic so I try to use what I’ve learned in my various trainings, breath, no ego and stay calm no matter the circumstance.  That has kept me sound in high stress, breaking news situations.

Have you participated in any type of yoga trade or work exchange and how was it beneficial?

I currently teach at a local temple for donations to the temple, not me. It’s gratifying to continue my heritage and share my new “religion”, the practice of yoga.  I also trade guitar lessons with a local singer/songwriter. We have so much fun!  I love learning from her. I get some free lessons and she gets free yoga chill sessions.

What are some creative ways people and businesses can offer yoga trade opportunities?

I think this is a highly untapped arena. I do know some studios that trade services, but what about promotions?  I feel like there’s an obvious need for some teachers and studios to trade with ad agencies or PR firms!

Do you have any predictions for the future of the yoga industry?

I think it will get EVEN more popular as soon as those who are still out there thinking about it, but are afraid they’re not “flexible” enough or after they complete such and such task first, then they will dive in. If only they knew what they were missing! When they do, there will be a massive surge.


Lesley Lotto began practicing yoga more than 20 years ago in Los Angeles. But it wasn’t until she moved to Montana that she began a regular personal practice. First starting in the world of Hot Yoga, then a sincere appreciation for all forms of yoga followed. Then, without ever thinking of becoming a teacher before, one of Lesley’s favorite local teachers brought a 200 hour certification training to a local yoga studio. It was nearly one year of study including the history and philosophy of Ashtanga and Vinyasa Yoga practice and sequencing. Lesley’s “real” job is as a broadcast journalist and brings yoga business teaching to friends, teachers and studios alike with her business Yoga Yay. Lesley is currently studying Yoga Therapy w/breath and Mantra work from the Kundalini lineage.  

Connect with Lesley here:


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