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Job title and company: Teacher and co-owner, with Susan Alena Esquivel, of River Valley Yoga Center, 30 North Maple St., Florence
Your duties: Management, curriculum research and development, and teaching.
How did you land your job? My passion for yoga began as a teenager while competing as a nationally ranked horseback rider. Using yoga as a therapeutic tool to recover from an injury, I experienced the results of a therapeutic yoga practice. After completing trainings in alignment-based styles, including the Iyengar method, and teaching yoga around the Valley, I realized this therapeutic approach was not offered by local yoga studios. I wanted to create a supportive environment where people could experience the holistic healing power of yoga at their own pace regardless of their age or physical condition. For some, yoga feels impossible, but when practiced therapeutically with specific programs, a yoga practice relieves pain, builds structural strength, flexibility and an overall feeling of good health. Sharing this vision, I joined forces with my friend and business partner, Susan Elena Esquivel, and founded River Valley Yoga Center.
What’s most challenging about your work? Getting students to slow down and trust the process. Once they do, and feel the difference in their bodies as a result of regular practice, it is often life-changing and rewarding for both of us.
What do you like about your job? I love tailoring each pose with therapeutic techniques to meet individual needs and witnessing the effects of yoga: people reconnecting with their bodies, finding ease and relieving pain.
What is your key to success? First, listening. I take the time to hear questions, fears and concerns, allowing people to be open with me and be themselves.
Secondly, yoga works. I believe in what I do, because I experience it in my own body. I am someone who fiercely believes in the power of studentship, continuously learning and then sharing what I learn with others.
How do you feel the Valley economy will fare this year? People in the Valley are committed to the community and to supporting local businesses.
Why did you choose to do business in the Valley? As residents of the Valley, we wanted to give back to and serve our community.
Who has helped mentor you professionally? I have worked with many senior teachers locally and around the country, in addition to having an amazing business partner in Susan Elena.
Name a few of your goals for the coming year: Offering prenatal and postnatal classes, a current need I see in the community, and to build the studio’s therapeutic workshop series and specialty classes in order to reach a wider range of students.
Tell us a little-known fact about you: I wanted to be a marine biologist and worked with the Center for Coastal Studies counting plankton and researching the North Atlantic right whale and humpback whale.
What is your advice for others seeking business success? Have a solid business plan. Believe in what you’re doing.