Aug 24, 2017

Life of a Yogi – Part Four

Wedding season is in full swing, which means my life of a yogi project has kind of landed on the back burner for now. When I’m not on my yoga mat, I’m usually hibernating in my office, editing the mass amounts of wedding photos I have sitting on my hard drives! It’s definitely time consuming, but I love it!

If you missed the last three posts, you should definitely have a look at the life of a police officer, yoga teacher and retired yogi.

Today, I am showcasing the life of a yoga studio owner. The lovely Amber Stratton of Pure Yoga Ottawa.

Amber Stratton owner of pure ypga ottawa teaching a yoga class

Amber is one of those people you just want to be around. She’s down to earth, super energetic and has a big heart. When I began my yoga journey, and first went to Pure Yoga, I remember wanting to get to know Amber more. All of the teachers at this studio are unique in their teaching style, and you can tell that Amber (and her business partner, Jen) are dedicated to only having the best of the best teach for them. I’m pretty proud to say I’m now one of the best 🙂

canvas photos of pure yoga teachers

I spent the day shadowing Amber between the yoga studio, Pure Kitchen, and at home. Check it out!

Pure Yoga Ottawa centretown signAmber Stratton sitting at the front of the classroom teaching yoga

How and when did your journey with yoga begin? What brought you to your first yoga class?

My yoga journey began when I was 20…in a hot yoga class. I originally went to stretch out from over training. I was naturally drawn to the spiritual side due to my upbringing, but I was there for the physical just like most people are in the beginning. Eventually I started to notice a huge difference in how I was feeling mentally and I knew then that I was meant to  be there.

Amber Stratton adjusting student in downward dog Amber Stratton doing demonstrating camel pose in yoga class

How has yoga changed your life?

Such a huge question! To make it simple, yoga has taught me balance. That was always a huge struggle for me (and still is at times). There are always learnings showing up for you on your mat… if you are listening.

Amber Stratton meditating with hands at heart centre Amber stratton smiling at students during yoga class Amber Stratton chatting with students after yoga class at the front desk

What made you decide to make yoga your career?

It was a natural fit for me and when I finished my yoga teacher training, I started teaching full time right away at a gym. I taught in gyms and community centers for 4 years and eventually made my way into studios. I also love to work, so teaching a ton of classes a week in my 20’s was no big deal. Teaching is a creative outlet for me, I actually feel more energetic after I teach! When it comes to being a studio owner, I wanted to create something different, something a little more east meets west. After all, we are westerners. I also wanted to create an environment where everyone enjoys going into work. I mean, its work and you gotta get shit done, but lets not be so uptight and have some fun at the same time, right?  I love going into the studio on any given day and chatting with any of the amazing people on our team. These are my people, and we wouldn’t be where we are without them.

Amber Stratton looking at new clothing inventoryAmber Stratton and Jen Dalgleish going over inventory at the yoga studio Amber Stratton and Jen Dalgleish owners of Pure Yoga

When did Pure Yoga open it’s doors and what do you remember from the experience of starting a business?

Oh man, it was a struggle to open 5 years ago, and we learned A LOT. But the excitement of shoes at the door, coats in the change room and people coming into class is something I will always remember. It was crazy, it was fun, it was stressful…but I wouldn’t change a thing.

Amber Stratton and Jen Dalgleish leaving Pure Yoga Westboro Amber Stratton and Jen Dalgleish walking Amber Stratton and Jen Dalgleish walking into Pure Kitchen on Wellington in Ottawa Amber Stratton and Jen Dalgleish having lunch at Pure Kitchen in WestboroAmber Stratton and Jen Dalgleish at Pure Kitchen having lunch Amber Stratton and Jen Dalgleish at Pure Kitchen having lunch Server wearing Pure Kitchen t-shirt "Give peas a chance" Amber Stratton and Jen Dalgleish enjoying lunch at Pure Kitchen in Westboro Amber Stratton eating kale salad at Pure Kitchen

How do you juggle being a business owner, a teacher, a wife, a stepmom, a daughter, a friend, and everything else in between? What self-care practices have you adopted?

I love all of these roles, maybe it’s the Gemini in me. But switching roles and being somewhat busy keeps me going. People often say “you must be so busy!” but I’m not really. I can’t imagine I am more busy than a mom with 2 kids!
To stay balanced, I make sure my yoga practice is a priority, that I have days off, and that I spend quality time with my family and friends. Otherwise, I would go crazy! I am actually pretty good at not taking on more than I can handle, although that has taken practice.

Amber Stratton and Jen Dalgleish walking into Equator Coffee in Westboro Amber Stratton and Jen Dalgleish ordering coffee at Equator Coffee in Westboro Amber Stratton and Jen Dalgleish enjoying coffee at Equator Coffee in Westboro Amber Stratton through the window on the phone at Equator Coffee Jen Dalgleish wearing Brunette jean jacket holding coffee

What do you know now that you wish you could tell yourself 5 years ago when opening Pure?

Well, there are a ton of things I am sure I could have done differently. But leading up to opening Pure, I was traveling, bartending and partying. Anyone that has known me long enough knows that. I did what I needed to do, I wasn’t ready to “grow up” or to have the responsibility I have now. I was always interested in self help books, in figuring myself and my shit out. The crazy stuff I did in my 20’s, and the time I spent trying to figure out my purpose, has made me who I am today. I wouldn’t change a thing about myself or the process. My hope is that I can inspire other women do them same and see just how damn perfect they already are!

Amber Stratton at home with her doodle on the couch Amber Stratton at home with her doodle on the couch Wedding photo of Amber Stratton and Dave Leith hanging at home Amber Stratton emptying her dishwasher at home Amber Stratton with her doodle Kingston Amber Stratton walking her doodle Kingston Amber Stratton with her doodle Kingston at the front door Amber Stratton sitting outside with her doodle Kingston

Thank you to Amber and the amazing people at Pure Yoga Ottawa for their willingness to be part of this photo essay. Do you know someone who has always wanted to try out a yoga class? Amber and the gang at Pure want to treat one lucky yogi to an introductory month! All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post to be entered to win! Contest closes on August 28th!



  1. Melissa

    August 24th, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Great blog post! Really shows that sometimes you have to trust the process, and that things fall into place. Would love to try an Intro month at Pure!

  2. Sierra

    August 24th, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    Love it! I live in Westboro and have been meaning to try Pure for a while now. My favorite photo is the one of the class in the blue room – I could never get enough of that colour!

  3. Steph

    August 24th, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Pure is such an amazing place!

  4. Laura

    August 24th, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    I’ve been on and off with yoga but I’ve always enjoyed how I felt after sticking with it for a while. I would love to incorporate it into my life as a healthy habit that I can keep! Great post!

  5. Natalie

    August 24th, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    I’d love to give an intro month to my friend Jen!

  6. J-N

    August 24th, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Love this story. It’s nice getting know the person behind the business and how real they are. I’ve never had the opportunity to get to know Amber but this post is a start. The photos really captured that.

  7. Clary

    August 24th, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    I such a wonderful showcase of such an inspiring woman! Love you Amber!! Xox

  8. Diane Conroy

    August 24th, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Opening Night I took my daughter Brittany to a packed / Sweaty / HARD “classic Amber” class. I was instantly in love with not only her style of teaching – but the atmosphere they created. Amber, Jen and Jen C became my yoga family – my friends xoxo
    I’m proud to say – 5 years later that same daughter has found her OWN home at PURE as part of the respected

    Congratulations Ashley in capturing beauty in motion ❤️

  9. Emily

    August 24th, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    Best studio ever. It’s my second home and I go there almost everyday. Wonderful story, Jen and Amber are both very genuine, kind and talented ladies. Looking forward to my teacher training with them this Fall.

    Emily 🙂

  10. Anick

    August 25th, 2017 at 1:48 am

    I love how Ashley positioned it: like many others i always wanted to know what Amber was like. I sadly don’t get to as many classes – am one of those busy mom of 2 with many questions about her own career. Thank you for sharing. In its simplest, you reminded me why i go to Pure Yoga….. ❤️

  11. Macha

    August 25th, 2017 at 3:09 am

    Great post! Inspiring to see that bumps in the road really help lead us to our purpose…Pure kitchen and Pure yoga bring me a lot of happiness so thanks for reaching for your goals and sharing the rewards with the community.

  12. Leah Goodman

    August 25th, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    Great post and lwhat a ovely subject to write about! Amber is a true inspiration both as a yogi and as an entrepreneur! I have dabbled in yoga for years but now is the time I’ve decided to truly commit myself. I cant wait to start my journey with yoga!

  13. Caroline Chenail

    August 26th, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    I’m at a stage in my life where I need to find balance: mother of two beautiful kids, recently separated, main provider and juggling career, kids and social life can be stressful. I’d love to start practicing yoga at Pure regularly! Was contemplating registering this week and just saw that post! ✨????????♥️

  14. Surita

    August 26th, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    Relatively new to yoga but am enjoying some Parliament Yoga and some Oceanside yoga when I traveled out East. Finding a good way to balance out my spin classes. An intro month would be great!

  15. Julie Picotte Boniecki

    August 27th, 2017 at 2:28 am

    This was fun to read! I love Pure Yoga, everyone is warm an welcoming! I already have a membership and am excited to be doing the teacher training in the Fall. I would love to give the intro month for my friend Tracey! I know she would love it and she works downtown so she would be able to go to classes at lunch and after work!! 🙂

  16. Kelsey McMahon

    August 27th, 2017 at 3:26 am

    Loved learning about the brains behind Pure – I recently moved to Ottawa and Pure Kitchen was one of the first restaurants I heard about from locals (and soon ate at and loved!)…I’ve heard just as great things about the yoga part of the company and would love to try it out!

  17. Kayla Licari

    August 27th, 2017 at 3:29 am

    Truly and inspirational post, thank you for sharing!!

  18. Suzanne Parker

    August 27th, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    LOVE Pure Kitchen and have been wanting to try Pure Yoga for quite awhile now. My sister loves it!

    Would love to try the intro month!

  19. Ashley Notley

    August 28th, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Thank you so much for your comment, Suzanne! You are the lucky winner of the intro month!! I will send you an email shortly to confirm! xo

  20. Patricia

    August 27th, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    A really great look at the powerhouse behind one of the best studios I’ve been to. It’s comforting to know that she was once a lost 20something like myself and that you really just have to hold your vision and trust the process

  21. Kristin

    August 27th, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Love learning about people’s back stories. Amber and Jen have built what I think is a sweet yoga brand and business. Have not been to Pure but would love to try it out!!!

  22. Kathryn

    August 28th, 2017 at 1:48 am

    Very inspiring story! Especially for those hesitating to start their own business. Thank you for sharing!

  23. Martine Proulx

    August 28th, 2017 at 11:52 am

    I love learning the stories of strong successful women. Thanks for a great piece with amazing pics!

  24. Amber

    August 28th, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    So humbled and grateful for all of you that took the time to post!! I excited to share that you are ALL getting an intro month for yourself or a friend that has never been to use! Can’t wait to meet all of you that will be starting your yoga journey with us!
    Amber & Jen

  25. Julie Picotte Boniecki

    August 31st, 2017 at 12:24 am

    Thank you so much ????

  26. Ti

    September 10th, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    Wow, what an inspirational story Amber. You’ve accomplished so much and you’re such a role model for many of us women. Thanks for sharing your story! Namaste. 🙂


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