When I attempted my first downward-facing dog at a yoga studio, I was trembling with fear. Looking upside down at what I perceived to be Lululemon models behind me, that little voice inside my head that sometimes tells me to give up got louder and louder.
We’ve all been in this pitiful place when trying something new. Doubt creeps in, and it’s got one heck of an opinion. “You can’t do this,” it says. But here’s the thing: You can. You might not be able to stick that headstand any time soon, but that’s not the point. Today and tomorrow and the next day, all you’ve got to do is try. Take a deep breath and tackle that big challenge. You never know; you may just find some true bliss where you least expect it.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 72 Percent
If you didn’t balk at my story of struggling with downward-facing dog, you probably won’t be too shocked at today’s statistic. Some 72 percent of Americans who practice yoga are women. Men are slowly creeping into the activity, though, with 10 million guys now practicing, compared with only four million in 2012.
Those who practice yoga will shell out about $5.8 billion for classes in 2016, which is $3 billion more than yogis spent in 2012. Getting your “om” on might not be cheap, but it sure is worth it!
WOMAN TO WATCH: Erin Motz, Yoga Teacher and Co-founder of Bad Yogi
Chances are you have a certain view of what a yogi should be: uber flexible, healthy and full of Zen. The thing is many women practice yoga and watch reality TV while drinking cheap rosé. And today’s Woman to Watch, Erin Motz, is totally cool with that.
Erin accepts that women aren’t one-dimensional. Some of us like to wear our high-school soccer T-shirts while practicing yoga in our living rooms and then eat an entire cheeseboard afterward. That’s why Erin started the lifestyle brand called Bad Yogi.
Erin, a self-described wellness entrepreneur, has been practicing yoga since she was 17 years old, and even taught the practice for many years. But like a lot of us, she didn’t know what the heck she wanted to do with her life after college. Having studied economics, Erin got a job at an investment firm. She was happy for the income and stability, but had some major Sunday night blues, and dreaded going to work Monday morning.
During her second year in the unfulfilling position, she learned that one of her young co-workers was killed in a car wreck on the way to work. As can be the case when we are on the sidelines of such a tragedy, the event caused Erin to really evaluate how she was spending her time.
Regardless of her mood or the day’s events, the thing that kept Erin going was teaching yoga. So, Erin set her sights on building Bad Yogi, and she hasn’t looked back since. The Bad Yogi website has loads of cool offerings, from online yoga classes, to an inspirational and compelling blog, and hip apparel, like the must-have No Haters tank top. Bad Yogi is all about accepting you as you are, no matter your size, experience or income. You don’t need to be the perfectly sculpted, green-juice-guzzling yogi to find positivity in the practice.
When Erin wrote an article for The Huffington Post about the proliferation of snobbishness in yoga culture, it resonated with many who felt like outsiders. Now, with more than 100,000 Bad Yogi members and 3 million Bad Yogi video views, Erin is reaching a global audience.
Erin is a shining example of how letting go of fear and taking a good, hard look at your life can enable you to rise to meet your true purpose. Namaste!
QUITE THE QUOTE
Still intimidated by yoga? Give it a try. Heed this quote by Indian spiritual master Amit Ray, who said:
“Exercises are like prose, whereas yoga is the poetry of movements. Once you understand the grammar of yoga, you can write your poetry of movements.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us!