15 years ago, dreams of a barefoot life came true.
15 years ago, Bikram Yoga was perfect.
15 years ago, the Bikram Method was an opportunity to change your life.
Juice Box Yoga has evolved from that foundation, from the Bikram Yoga Method, a method that’s true to my heart.
For so many years [the Bikram Method] was so perfect for me; I didn’t feel like I needed more.
Then as I grew and I started to change, started to get older, I started to have different needs.
I wanted to evolve myself.
I wanted to grow.
It became incredibly important to me that I start to seek more knowledge and more opportunities for our community.
Things I could truly believe in.
That’s a big thing I’ve held my ground on over the last 15 years.
I like to limit the amount of “stuff” we put out there, that we offer.
If we sell [an] item it’s because we really believe in it.
Whether it be a drink [in the cooler], a towel on the shelf or a class on the schedule.
I wanted to make sure these [new] “things” really resonated with my heart.
With our standards.
Balance is so important in life and in yoga; I learned that [while] doing Bikram.
I learned I needed to create more balance in my life.
I learned it was important to have an open mind.
I learned to let go of the control I felt I needed to have all the time, over every little situation.
[I learned] to open my mind.
Universe, what else do you have for us?
Life is abundance.
We’re abundant in so many ways, why should we limit ourselves to one practice when there’s an opportunity for us to grow from that practice?
I wouldn’t expect somebody who did Bikram Yoga to never golf or play tennis or swim or go paddle boarding or you know, watch a movie.
It’s not the only thing.
[Bikram] has been an amazing door opener to my yoga practice and fitness.
The evolution has been amazing.
It’s directly impacted our diversity at the studio.
We have attracted a younger community with Hot Pilates which is amazing.
The youth is our future.
We have attracted the community that’s looking for something less intense with the yin classes which is a great opportunity for us to connect to those people in the community, to help them heal.
With the power yoga, [we have] an opportunity for people that are looking for more upper body strength and technical postures in a more playful, fun environment without the discipline and structure of the Bikram Method classes.
And finally, Hot 60 is for people [who] love the Bikram Method, those 26 postures and 2 breathing [exercises], but have less time for their yoga.
I think what’s next is really the question.
A Household Word
[Bikram] was perfect.
[But] the whole entire yoga world has changed.
We’ve seen our business go from having a 14% male population to having a 44% male population.
We’ve seen yoga become a household word.
We’ve seen our students evolve through their practices.
We [now] have a community that starts at the age of 5 and goes into its 70’s.
It’s very diverse.
Frankly [it’s] the way I had always hoped it would be: welcoming to EVERY BODY.
The progression of hot yoga has been fascinating.
When you come onto your mat and you focus on yourself and you’re connected to your body, you’re breathing and you’re doing your yoga regardless of the fact that the person next to you is doing something incorrectly…
Or the person in front of you is lying down.
Or doing something that is distracting to you.
Or maybe the room is too hot.
Or the room is too cold.
Or the door was open too many times.
Or the door wasn’t open enough times.
That’s not being present for your yoga practice.
When you can spend your time just focusing on that connection to your body, to your mind, [to your] breath, you start to learn how to let all that little shit go.
That’s when you’re no longer just making shapes.
Or trying to figure out how you’re going to sweat off enough weight to feel more comfortable in your tight jeans.
It’s those moments where you finally start to see yourself and you make that connection.
That’s when it becomes yoga.
That’s when it becomes more than the outfit you’re wearing that day.
R E S P E C T
This word goes a long way.
You are respected because you are a true, freaking yogi.
You are loved because you are worthy of it.
You are an amazing person.
It doesn’t matter whether you are purple or have green hair or are a man or a woman.
You have one of the biggest hearts that anybody has or could ever possess.
We all benefit from having you in our life.
You work hard at everything you do; you have a strong ethic.
You are somebody who we want to look up to.
That’s really what it’s all about at Juice Box Yoga.
Every time you leave the mat you have an opportunity to become a better version of yourself.
You have the opportunity to radiate respect and acceptance of yourself and others.
I hope we have never been in a situation where we judged anyone for their weight.
You have to start somewhere.
I’ve certainly had my own journey with weight loss.
I will always be grateful for [Bikram].
It’s the roots of my yoga; it’s where I started.
It’s where I got the courage to come to the mat even though I needed to lose a bunch of weight and I needed to learn how to connect to myself.
All of our teachers have their own personal connection to weight loss.
We’re super supportive of every body and every size.
I don’t believe that yoga teachers or fitness teachers come in one size.
Everybody has their journey.
Everybody has their story.
Everybody has to start somewhere.
We’ve seen some amazing journeys within our staff throughout the years.
We have engineers.
We have a boxer.
We’ve got a veteran.
We have a skater.
We’ve got these girls who had never worked out before and they’re being shown that working out can be fun, like Lexi and Lizzy.
We have a huge amount of diversity on our team.
That helps to paint the picture of what we stand for.
Maybe it’s just the intention.
We make it impossible for it to be any other way.
It’s very obvious that this is what we stand for.
We reach out and have reached out to all different types of nonprofit organizations over the last 15 years.
That’s probably helped to show we are a community of open minded, open hearted and open doored.
Thousands of Followers
Having a voice in our community has become important to us.
[We’ve realized] we have the ability to have a voice in this community, this year specifically, [as we have ramped] up social media and marketing.
Choosing where our voice goes and how we want it to be portrayed has become incredibly important to us.
We’re starting to realize people are actually interested in what we are doing as a community.
Once people step off their mats a better version of themselves, they’re starting to become interested in [things like] 52 Meatless Mondays.
People come up to me and ask me questions, they say, “Hey, can I ask you a question?”
I’m like, “For sure,” [ready] for a yoga question, but then they’re like, “So on your recipe on Monday…”
We have an opportunity to speak to, if nothing more than, the ecological global impact taking one day off from meat products [has].
We have realized that our voice, at least to some, is important and interesting.
Just as important to us as what we’re doing on the mat, is what we’re able to do when we step off the mat.
15 years ago, social media wasn’t a thing.
We didn’t have this opportunity.
Now we have thousands of followers and over 12,000 people on our mailing list.
It really [can’t] be ignored.
We have an opportunity to touch enough people that it’s worth it for us to try.
Teamwork Makes The Dream Work
I’m really proud of our team.
I’m really proud of the way our team has evolved.
I’m really proud of each and every person on our team.
I think our community has become an expansion of our team.
That’s incredibly rewarding [and] it gives me hope for the future of Juice Box.
It helps me to feel like I created something sustainable.
Watching us go from having 2 employees to 30 employees over the last 15 years has been rewarding. The growth that we’ve seen is so relative to the desire for growth from our community.
People DO want to come to the mat.
Even though they might start out by making shapes, the reward is when they walk off their mat and they look at me and they say, “I just had the most amazing class EVER,” and you know it’s because you gave them an opportunity to leave their mat a better version of themselves.
The Art of Making Tea
When I was in teacher training, everyone would ice their water.
They would stick it in the freezer.
They would wrap it in towels.
They would try to keep it as freezing cold as possible so [they] could pour the cold water on [themselves] during class.
Drink the cold water.
Feel something cool.
[There were] 300 people in this hot, hot, HOT room, [and] classes lasted well over the 90 minutes, especially if Bikram was teaching.
At some point I decided: I’m going to let [the heat] go.
I put a tea bag in my water.
I’d bring in water, I’d drop it down underneath the heating vent and by the end of class I’d have tea.
I have a quote in my office and it says, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade and when life gives you hot water, make tea.”
Ultimately, YOU decide to let go.
That’s when the magic happens.
It’s about letting go of control.
Coming from a control freak, this is something!
It took me 7 weeks of torture and focusing on that freezing cold water to finally just be like, it’s not about the freaking water.
It’s not about the water.
It’s about the yoga.
Just do your yoga.
Stop worrying about it.