- Photographer: Emilie Bers
You have a passion and you’re ready to share it with people. How should you brand yourself? Just telling people how much you love yoga doesn’t automatically communicate why you love it, nor does it distinguish you from other teachers or convince students why they should choose you as their teacher. How can you communicate your passion in your own words? What would it look like to create a business out of your passion? For inspiration and to hear from someone who’s been there and done it, I spoke with established yoga teacher trainer, writer, motivator and brand ambassador, Sarah Ezrin. Sarah articulated her unique story about discovering her passion for yoga, including what it’s like to support yourself doing what you love. It was so inspiring! Here is Sarah in her own words…
Sarah, how did you discover your passion for yoga and what led you on your journey to where you are now?
The first time I discovered it was actually with my college roommate, on VHS tape, ha. Back then, I was struggling with an eating disorder, and seeking stress relief. After college, I got into the film industry. It was a demanding industry with long hours and a pro-alcohol culture. Seeking stress relief again, my sister pushed me back into yoga. During this time, I felt like I had my head down, stuck in the grind when a friend asked me, “In a perfect world, what would you do?”. I responded by saying, “I would go back to school for psychology and teach yoga”, and my friend replied, “Why not?”. That got my attention. Synchronistically, a teacher training started the next week. It happened to be blocks from the Paramount movie lot and at a yoga studio that would quickly become (and still is) my home studio. I knew I had found my place immediately. In the middle of the training, Mum received a terminal diagnosis. I had still been juggling my stressful job and the training, but once I got that call I walked out and committed myself fully to yoga. I also enrolled in Pepperdine University for psychology.
What does yoga mean to you? What’s your unique brand?
For me, Yoga is about cultivating a deeper connection with ourselves and others. It also teaches people to be kinder to themselves. My interest started as exercise, I had high self-expectations and high self judgement. Eventually, yoga taught me how to be more of myself in the moment, to practice self-acceptance instead of self-judgement. It taught me celebrate my body, my resilience, my power and self-commitment.
Eventually, there was a moment when I fell out of a pose and rather than berating myself, as I would often do, I picked myself up and a larger voice of self-acceptance inside of me said, “...it’s OK”. Now, when my own students fall out of a particular pose, I often say, “I would rather you learn how to pick yourself back up than hold some pose. Self-acceptance and self-love is the greatest lesson yoga imparts!
How did this become your business?
Walking out of my film industry job that fateful day was my decision to fully commit to myself and yoga. I found that the Universe was always supporting me in the form of yoga workshops, retreats, classes, teacher trainings and sponsorships. I also started writing for blogs and magazines on yoga and other expanded health and wellness topics. It was hard at first and it took about 5 years before making a full-time living at it but
Best advice you’ve ever gotten?
“Show up and teach good yoga”. - Maty Ezraty
Any final advice for those considering taking the plunge to follow their passions and create a business?
I just want people to follow their heart, get quiet, tune into what they need and go for it. The Universe will support you!
Find out more about Sarah below!