What is your yoga story?
Tell us about your passion for business…
Over the past 50 years throughout many Western cultures, social status (perceived success) was easily defined by material wealth. Whether it was a home, car, accessories for your home, clothing, jewelry (or all of the above) it was culturally accepted (and expected) to consume more, simply because we could.
(*Of course this mentality was more present in certain countries, and excluded those who rebelled and lived their lives according to their own set of rules.)
Fast forward to 2015, and there has been a drastic shift in values and perspectives. Currently our culture is redefining our relationship to ‘wealth’ and the age of mindless consumption is slowly fading.
The trend of shopping at corporate stores and buying mass manufactured products is dying out. It is now replaced by the urge to support smaller personalized shops that offer local, organic and fair trade products.
Businesses are constantly becoming more innovative, resourceful and eco-conscious with their products, priding themselves on quality over quantity and strong ethics that are aligned with their economic growth.
Along with the change in what we are buying, is the change in how we are buying. Outdoor markets and festivals boasting gourmet foods and live music are replacing air-conditioned malls with fast food courts and parking lots.
And the most interesting progression is quite possibly the transformation in our desires.
This radical revolution from our changing desires supports a culture of business that offers new ways in how we use products.
For example: a bike, which you can rent near your flat, ride across the city, and drop off at your new destination…music, movies and media stored online, available to you on any device with or without internet… experiences working abroad in exchange for accommodation and food…taxi services, cars, sleeping accommodations and land directly rented from one another.
These products are more flexible, offering more availability and affordable prices. They support us to share and network with both our local and global communities. And most important, they protect the environment and work to create a smaller carbon footprint as ultimately, fewer goods are being manufactured.
As mindful consumers, we are becoming more interested in the ‘root of the product’.
What is the true purpose behind its use (is it necessary), and how can it become a tool to enhance our lives?
Can this product become an experience and offer me more value?
Our intentions as a culture are becoming more yogic with a better understating of our yamas and niyamas (ethical guidelines), connecting to what’s truly important – access over ownership, a quality eco product over one that harms our bodies and nature, and community success over individual success.
These Yogic principals encompass multiple aspects of healthy production and consuming, and are at the heart of the evolution of many small entrepreneurs and big corporate businesses alike.
It seems the rise of yoga among the masses has begun to permeate deeper than asana with a rising in consciousness as a culture. And even in a context, which seems so far from ‘yogic’ (such as consuming) the new trends in business are implementing more holistic perspectives to sustainable and healthy options.
As a consumer, the next time you are in the market for a product, stop and think (research) which companies are offering that same product in a more user-friendly, enjoyable and eco-conscious way. Remember that you always have a choice and your support for these products will radiate far beyond buying and using them, as you will be a positive example of a mindful being for your own circle of loved ones.
LAUREN LEE is passionate about holistic health, exploring the world and empowering others to live vibrant and happy lives. Founder of Raise Your Beat, dedicated yogini and sun seeker, she lives for creating connection and enjoying simple pleasures.
When Jenny suggested spending her birthday in Spain, I had no idea how we would afford such a trip, given our financial facts which included my decision to leave the business community and teach yoga for the last several years and Jenny’s continuing education, pursuing her doctorate in education, with an emphasis in Organization Change, our spending was reduced to necessities (what we need, not what we want). We were already living a simplified life with minimal income and expenses. We were not planning a vacation. We wanted a different way of living congruent with our core values.
It occurred to me that we could do volunteer work that might make travel affordable, trading our time for a bed and food. My first and only search was on Yoga Trade: Suryalila Yoga Retreat Centre in Andalucía, Spain. Within a short week or so, we heard back, Skype interview, and we’re in. We spent the most incredible three months doing so much more than we expected. The Suryalila job stated dish washing and clean up with general help in areas we may have experience.
We discovered an interest in sharing the Yoga Retreat Centre experience with the local community – a small town of 6,000 – Prado del Rey. Starting with 2 classes a week, one at the centre and one in town Jenny and I got local town people to translate and negotiate free space for the first community yoga class. Sundays in town and Wednesday evenings at the Centre with sunset and picnic options after. The first class was a huge success with over 30 at the Centre – many new to yoga!
While at Suryalila, we also provided a no cost yoga teacher training, coaching and support to individuals and Jenny provided business support and team leadership coaching to the Centre while helping to evaluate and install a new booking automated booking system.
Our efforts are over, for now, in Spain (90 day visa max) and we are working our way towards the Andaman Islands, India, (Thank you again Yoga Trade) sharing our knowledge of yoga, mindfulness and personal and business coaching with those who may benefit. Today, we are in Morocco teaching yoga at SurfMaroc (a Google search and several emails) and then the Andaman’s beginning November 1st pending work visa applications.
We left our home, our friends and families, to volunteer our time, experience and knowledge with others. We gave our possessions to family and friends who could make use, sold the car, and packed lightly with what was left. Clothing – mostly yoga. Although the days have been long, and the ambiguity of how we can keep this going longer is challenging, the experiences are incredible. Seeing the joy outside the United States that yoga and mindfulness training can bring to others is well beyond our initial beliefs.
Teaching others and teaching others to teach means more people will find moments of peacefulness in their lives – and the friendships we have developed will continue to spread this way of being around the world. We now have global relationships with too many to list, and invitations to keep up our efforts wherever we go including London, Dublin, Barcelona, Seville, Denmark, Washington DC, Italy, Austria and more. Traveling by foot, bus, rides from friends (Thank you* Javi), car loans (*Daniel, Harry, Thea & Gemma), travels to towns (*Emilio & Montse) to learn about local cultures, and by boat to Morocco – we are aware of our spending more than ever as getting from place to place is our major expense. We successfully launched a YouCaring fund raiser and are grateful to the friends that understand.
We have enjoyed the generosity and hospitably of many (*AJ, Lidiya & Paddy, David & Maria, Javi & his parents and many more) in efforts to keep sharing our mission to live a simpler life of service.
The road is our home for now.
Some of the unexpected: Warren did not plan on wearing out a pair of shoes in 3 months; riding the grape picker at sundown in the vineyard (*Mila!) Javi’s dog eating a kilo of the best Granada chorizo – tin foil and all – that we received as a gift (*Angel); Warren almost blowing up the truck teaching *Emma how to drive a manual transmission (*apologies Suryalila), 30 people showing up for the 1st community class from the town of Prado del Rey and then other towns (Villamartin, El Bosque joining in); the generosity of so many (*Spanish people and immigrants); translation from so many including *Anja Dibbert, Academia Pradoventura Language School and her introductions to new yogi’s from around the world!! Jenny dancing like she was meant to . . . and so much more.
Sharing his personal experience with individuals & groups, Warren teaches yoga & meditation. His role with Sersano Wellness delivers Stress Management Programs to businesses promoting a Whole Person Approach: Meet people where they are & begin from there.