I think it’s always been in the making you know? Creating something I could call “my own”, I just needed experience, and that takes time. The thing is… living paycheck to paycheck in your 20s isn’t glamorous and I didn’t really have a choice on the matter. The way I saw it, I had two options – keep building someone else’s dream or start building my own.
I had just recently ended things with a pretty serious boyfriend and re-located to the Boulder area for work. To this day, I still remember moving into the empty one-bedroom apartment. Sitting on the living room floor and panicking a little about how I was going to make rent, let alone buy some furniture for this “place”. Unpacking the last few boxes, I felt warm tears rolling down my cheeks....
Fast-forward several years, I learned those necessary life skills. I learned how to run a yoga studio like it was my very own – payroll, scheduling, maintenance, training, customer service, product education... and the list goes on (there's no “holidays” in yoga, in fact people want to be at the studio on the holiday and that’s where you would find me).
Every round of yoga teacher training I helped facilitate, I grew more into my own voice and I started to take note of what people were missing consistently in the classroom (no matter what age) – body awareness, alignment, a feeling of “personal instruction”. I was seeing injury, frustration, and feelings of defeat.
Not everyone can afford the luxury of time or the flex of finances to complete a 200-hour teacher training (I had completed over 30 of them!) Therefore, I asked the question – How could I help?
My initial gut feeling told me to step back from the administrative tasks of running the yoga studio and get back into the classroom. I wanted to teach more classes and get down to the root of the misalignment issues within the classroom – was the issue teacher miscommunication, lack of student personal awareness, or a product opportunity that needed to evolve? Field research takes womanpower and at the time… I was unstoppable. However, when you’re burning the candle from both ends – something has to “give” -- and it did.
I can distinctly remember coming home exhausted. I was teaching 18+ classes a week – both public and private. In addition, I was co-leading various Yoga Alliance teacher trainings, working a retail gig that required some weekly commutes between Denver and Boulder, and still completing veterinary technician work in Fort Collins a couple days a week.
Between the hours of 8am and 10pm, Monday through Sunday, I was hustling. During the hours of 10pm – 1am, I started to create my own website and brainstorm ways I could enhance the products I used on a daily basis in the yoga classroom.
Amongst the snores of Tula, my Golden Retriever, at the foot of my bed -- TVLA YOGA (Too-LAH aka Tula aka Tuladandasana) was about to be more than just a late-night computer screen glow.