How a retreat helped me identify my true calling.
A few years ago, I hit a critical crossroad. I was unhappy at my job and had decided to resign, but felt stuck about what to pursue next. On one hand, I had an idea for a new business—a yoga management company. Many of my friends were amazingly talented yoga teachers, but they struggled to manage the business side of their ventures. Because of my background in marketing and PR, I was often asked to help, and I sensed a need for the type of managerial and consulting skills I could offer. My second option was to pursue what I went to university for—intercultural communications—and get a job at the State Department.
Both options were tempting. Should I be an ambassador, traveling the world, or did I want to take a leap of faith and launch a company that would help spread the practice of yoga? I felt paralyzed with indecision. Flipping through the Kripalu catalog, I realized I needed to get out of town and clear my head. I’d been living in New York City for a year without once leaving the urban jungle. Perhaps a trip would help me find the clarity I needed.
It was the middle of March when I arrived at Kripalu for an R&R retreat. Growing up in Texas, I had never seen frozen water before. As I looked at the lake, the leaves and twigs suspended in ice, I was overcome with a sensation of utter peace. The city drifted away. I was reminded how quickly, and how powerfully, the reset button can take effect.
Over the next few days, I gave myself time and space to reflect inward. I did yoga and hung out in my room, took naps, and let myself be still. I didn’t expect to get an answer. But I got one. By the time I left, I was 100 percent clear that I wanted to dedicate my life to spreading the practice of yoga. I wanted to help people feel as healed and whole as I did, sitting on the bus on the way back to the city.
Two months later, I launched YAMA Talent, the first-ever management company for yoga teachers. When I look back now, two years later, it seems a little destined. At that time, I couldn’t see what was in front of me. Kripalu helped me realize that the answer was already inside of me, waiting to be released. I just needed to be still to find it.
—Ava T., New York, New York