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!
Today, I am showcasing the life of a yoga studio owner. The lovely Amber Stratton of Pure Yoga Ottawa.
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 🙂
I spent the day shadowing Amber between the yoga studio, Pure Kitchen, and at home. Check it out!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!