Today the global wellness industry is a $3.7 trillion market. It’s no surprise now, more than ever, people are looking to better take care of themselves and find inner peace in our hectic, quickly moving world. Alyssa Snow, Founder and Owner of Mind Body Soul Yoga, aims to provide just that.
Before MBSY opened its doors in 2009, she worked in corporate finance and operations for over 12 years. After finding her true calling as a teacher, she runs a studio with 19 teachers, healing services, teacher training programs, and even a boutique. MBSY is thriving, profitable, and growing but how does she do it while taking care of herself and practicing what she teaches? As a wife, Mom of three, an author, a teacher, and a spiritual business coach, it is surely no easy feat.
Her Agenda spoke with Alyssa who shared the opportunities that allowed her to open her own yoga studio, what brings her a successful day, and when she realized putting her own wellness first was the only way her life and business would blossom.
Her Agenda: What inspired you to create Mind Body Soul Yoga and where were you in your life when you decided to first open?
Alyssa Snow: The inspiration for the studio, the business itself, came way before. The seed of intention started back in 2003 when I was practicing yoga on the Upper East Side. I was learning to become a yoga teacher and I was encountering many healers and teachers, and it didn’t seem like there was a place for them to work. I envisioned a healing center that was a place where teachers and healers could offer their services to a community that was centered around yoga. I had this vision in my heart and said, “I’m going to do this,” but I didn’t know what it looked like or what it would be.
Life happened. I was single at the time, I got married, moved up to Washington Heights, New York and there was no yoga studio. I had quit my job after being in the corporate world for many years, to manage a yoga studio. Then my acupuncturist told me they were moving and that they needed someone to lease their place and if I knocked down one of the walls I could make it into a yoga studio. My whole body just went, ‘Yeah!’ I thought, I can do that, I can pay rent. Literally three weeks later we opened the doors and on March 16th, 2009 we had our first class.
Her Agenda: You were going through so many transitions at the time, do you think it benefited you that you had to just deal with the uncomfortableness that’s often aligned with starting a new business?
Alyssa Snow: There is something about starting your own business that requires a fair amount of courage and insane amount of optimism. To me it didn’t feel like a transition, it felt like this is starting to be my vision manifesting. Often times what happens is we set an intention and then we have to wait for opportunities to show up.
Her Agenda: In addition to being a writer, teacher, entrepreneur, and business owner, you are also the leader of the teacher training’s. How does that add on to the benefit of being the business owner of the studio?
Alyssa Snow: First and foremost I’m a teacher, so if I were to think about myself and what my heart wants to offer the world – I’m a teacher and a healer. I happen to be really good at business and I think it’s fun, but that’s not the heart of it. When I opened the studio and as it grew, I found it was really hard to grow the business, to take care of myself, and to stay in integrity of the teachings of yoga. Once I started to land back into myself, I realized I liked teaching yoga classes, but creating a teacher training is a much deeper level of study. It creates more community and creates opportunities for teachers.
Her Agenda: There are many obvious ways owning a business centered around wellness and healing can be much different from other businesses in the sense of practicing what you are doing. How have you learned to navigate these challenges over time?
Alyssa Snow: Trial and error? I think that overtime, I learned what it looked like when I didn’t take care of myself. In terms of running businesses I was in the corporate world for 12 years. I had managed teams and people, so there was a certain level of skill I had with communicating and dealing with people. What I didn’t have was the experience of the pressure. The pressure of cash flow, the pressure of staffing – there is a lot of pressure sometimes. I didn’t like myself very much when I didn’t take care of myself.
So here I was, I was living my dream quite literally. I had an amazing husband, I had a new child, and this new studio – so on the outside, I had everything I asked for and yet I was unhappy. I was in a state of doing, a constant state of anxiety, a constant state of pressure, so there was a disconnect in terms of the integrity. Once I saw that, I put myself first in terms of my self care, in terms of my yoga and meditation practice, my diet, my time for myself.
Once I started to take care of myself, things changed dramatically, because I saw things differently. I saw my anxiety for what it was. I saw mediating was the most important thing I could possibly be doing with my day. Once I started to really marry the teachings that I’m teaching people, that’s when the business itself literally exploded. Everything got so much better. I don’t care what industry your business is in, if you don’t take care of yourself you will not thrive.