December 28 | The Lifestyle | The Practice |
It’s crazy to think about how the decisions you’ll make today – December 28th, 2017 – will wildly impact the day-to-day experiences of your life on December 28th, 2023.
For instance, Beth Belkin, Carlsbad Studio Manager, had no idea that her decision to start a daily yoga practice in 2011 would lead her to her dream job of managing a yoga studio in Southern California. At that point in time, Beth did not even dream of managing a yoga studio.
In 2011, Beth was an event planner in New York City. In her words, “I was living in the heart of Manhattan, close to my family. In many aspects, I had my dream job, planning some of the most challenging, high-end events in New York and across the country.”
When I asked her to tell me about her life before yoga, she said, “it required about 10 more coffees a day than I currently drink and I got a lot less sleep…I constantly had bag under my eyes, my skin was awful, my digestion sucked, and my emotions and moods were all over the place.”
Beth first tried yoga in 2004, so she was familiar with the benefits of the practice. Then, in 2011, “[she] took [her] shoes off one afternoon and walked down the hall barefoot to one of the most beautiful oasis in NYC, Yogamaya.”
Beth’s office was on the same floor as Yogamaya and everyday she would step into an elevator full of students leaving class – those people were calm and relaxed – she wasn’t. Desperate to find something to help calm her anxiety, she decided to join them and that decision forever changed her future’s trajectory.
She said, “I felt so spacious – I could not remember a time I felt more connected to my body and a state of relaxation…. [there were] panels from India and skylights – which are super rare in Manhattan… I felt calm.”
After practicing everyday for a year, Beth decided to enroll in Yoga Teacher Training. She was inspired to enroll because her practice had supported her through one of the more challenging years of her life. In 2010, she experienced “a break-up, the death of her grandfather, and the death of her beloved dog.”She processed those painful experiences on her yoga mat and in her words, “I hit a little bit of what I thought was a rock bottom and I knew I needed something to refocus my attention.”
She applied to Yogamaya’s Yoga Teacher Training in NYC in 2013. Beth said, “they made it a big deal to put your application together, so I made mine really creative and poured my heart into and all the reasons it was my right time to do my YTT.” Applying and being accepted to Yogamaya’s Yoga Teacher Training was a big deal for Beth – “it was intense [for her] to tell [her] company [she] was doing it… most of the training times were on the weekend and that’s when the events were.”
Beth made it work.
She “woke up at 5AM to do yoga homework then worked from 10AM until 11PM…every second of everyday was scheduled, but [she] absolutely loved what [she] was learning.” Beth said it was “a big deal to carve that time out and set that boundary…”
Her hard work paid-off.
In spite of being the first person in her training to declare that they “did not” want to teach, Beth was the first graduate from her training program to teach a public yoga class at Yogamaya. She said teaching there was a “dream come true.”
Participating in Yoga Teacher Training and teaching yoga changed Beth. In 2014, she resigned from her job, packed up her apartment, moved her belongings into storage, and bought a round-the-world plane ticket. She needed some time “to get to the bottom of what was not working in [her] life.”
Throughout her travels, Beth’s personal yoga practice became “super sacred” to her. She eventually planted roots in Melbourne, Australia and began teaching yoga and nanying full-time there. In Australia, Beth’s life transformed. She slowed down enough to optimize her health and she met her future husband, Nick.
Nick and Beth decided to move back to the United States in 2016 – initially, they lived on her parents couch in New York. Immediately upon returning, Beth yearned for “a place that felt aligned to [their] lifestyle – healthy and outdoors.” So, they “took a leap, with no plan… and, packed [their] car and moved to San Diego. For the first couple of weeks, [they] slept on air mattress [at Beth’s Grandma’s house].”
At first, Beth “taught [yoga] around town with no idea of what the future had in store.” Then, a friend suggested she apply for the Studio Manager position at YogaSix Carlsbad. She said, “the job opened at a time that I felt completely lost on my career path and my next step. I had this sense that being in a leadership role was my next move…being in a company that was health and wellness was a high priority.”
When Beth received the phone call that the job was hers, she “didn’t really believe nor expect it… it took all of the skills that [she] cultivated as an event producer and what [she] had learned when [she] traveled around the world and put it into one position.”
In 2011, Beth never imagined that walking down the hall to a yoga class would lead her to this moment – six years later – living a life with “so many nuggets of joy, satisfaction, and connection.”
When I asked Beth what she wants people to take away from her story, she said, “to trust the universal timing of how things unfold – bizarrely perfect.” And, most importantly, “remember you have no idea where you’re going, so show up today wholeheartedly.”
Live Alive – That is Beth Belkin’s story.