We had the good fortune of connecting with Joan Hyman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joan, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
For years I wanted to create a school of yoga that was rooted in tradition and authenticity. It was one of those things I talked about and visualized for many years but kept waiting for the right time to put action behind my thoughts. Then the pandemic hit and we were all stuck at home. All of us pivoted to an online platform, and then my vision began to turn into reality with the help of devoted students and me finding the confidence to ask my own inspiring teachers to join. A month before the world shut down, I had just finished a three hundred hour teacher training in Manila, Philippines with the help of Cristina Holopainen, who ran a school called Urban Ashram. She helped me put together this training called SOY – The School of Yoga. I had wanted to create a program for continuing education and for students who wanted to deepen their yoga practice and eventually teach yoga. I had envisioned a school team taught by teachers who were highly skilled in their craft and students having the flexibility to work at their own rate. Now that we were all stuck at home, these amazing teachers, who were always traveling the globe became more accessible from their zoom rooms. I asked Annie Carpenter (Creator of Smart Flow), Marla Apt (Senior Iyengar Teacher), and Jeanne Heilemen (founder of Tantra Flow) to co-teach with me on my platform hosted by myself and Cristina. We called it The School of Yoga and once we got the team of teachers together things flowed pretty easily and students from around the world enrolled. Today, we have an international student base have been running modules on zoom and are starting to run live trainings this year. We have our first LIVE training in Vienna, Austria, which has gotten an amazing response. Our school is contuning to grow and I have asked some more world renowned teachers to come onboard and the expansion feels great! I am very grateful for the opportunities this school has provided me with such as connecting to an international student base and studying with amazing teachers.
I spent years visualizing this and gaining experience through teaching, studying, and building my own name and craft. It was one of those moments in time, that when the doors opened up, I had the confidence and support to say I am ready for this and went for it. It’s hard work starting your own business and I am grateful for the support of the teachers onboard and my partner Cristina who balances my own skill set. To build a successful business, one needs a network and a solid team. We all have skills and when you pull the right people together at the right time, magic does happen!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have been teaching since I was a teenager and have always been dedicated to what I lights me up. I was introduced to yoga in my young twenties and that changed the direction of my life. I am extremely committed to my daily yoga practice and this has been a powerful transformative tool. Authenticity is important to me and I believe we need to walk our talk. I have been teaching for over twenty years and there have been many ups and downs in my career. Something I’ve learned is to not take any of it personally. Learn from everything and let go of what is weighing you down. We all have our time to shine in the spotlight and sometimes we need to dip down to recreate ourselves and transform into a better variation of what we offer. Teach from the heart and be of service has always been my mantras and intentions I try to align myself with.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am a nature lover and live in Silver Lake so would take them for a hike to Griffith Park and enjoy the view of Los Angeles. We would probably go to Cafe Gratitude for lunch, mainly because I am a vegan and love it eating clean. Yoga is a big deal for me and I would take them to my favorite yoga studio in LA called The Center for Yoga and we would take a class to wind down the day. The next day we would make a trip to the west side and check out Venice Beach which is always interesting. Maybe ride bikes along the promenade and catch a stellar sunset while catching a meal at True Food in Santa Monica. The last day we would hang in Silver Lake, walk around the reservoir and have dinner at my favorite LA Vegan Restaraunt called CrossRoads in West Hollywood. Did I mention, that we would catch another beautiful sunset?
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Thanks to Cristina Holopainen for your everlasting encouragement and belief in me! Thanks to these amazing yoga teachers I respect and admire: Annie Carpenter, Marla Apt, Lisa Walford, Jeanne Heilemen, and Simon Park!
Thanks to my superb students for their marketing and social media skills: Phlux, Jenn Huang, Tina Schmelzer, and Jolo!
I couldn’t be here without all of you!
Linkedin: Joan Hyman
Twitter: Joan Hyman
Other: Joan Hyman on Demand – Online Videos: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/joanhyman