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February 1, 2021: The Start of Heart & Soul

Updated: Feb 1

I always had a dream to run my own business. Sixteen years ago, I took a “Starting Your Own Business” class at Camden County College. My ideas for a business changed many times going from a gift store, to home furnishings, to interior design. There are so many areas that you need to learn and juggle in order to launch a business, plus you need financing, which I was lacking. I put my dream on hold. Flash forward to 2019...I had been teaching yoga for six years and I started thinking about owning a studio. I had so many ideas but was lacking the courage to take the big step forward! Someone close to me said “turn your passion for yoga into a business” and encouraged me to take the big step. The seed was planted and on August 15, 2019, I set the wheels in motion. Over the next year, the pieces of the puzzle started to fall in place. I wanted to specialize in an area of yoga. To honor my mother, who lost her life to Parkinson’s, I earned my certification in Yoga for Parkinson’s. On two occasions, I looked at properties to open a studio. My gut kept saying to hold off something is not quite right. One month later, the pandemic started and by April 2020, I was furloughed from my full-time job. I would have lost everything if I purchased that property. Everything happens for a reason. ALWAYS listen to your gut!!!


Being furloughed, I had the opportunity to research and develop my business plan. I wanted my business to be more than yoga. Being rooted in community and sharing wellness topics on healthy eating, sleep, and stress is important to me. After having heart surgery, my yoga community rallied around me bringing dinners, checking in, and making me laugh. All of this helped me get through some tough times. So many yogis shared medical information and wellness tips, which helped me get healthy and strong. This is why I named the business Heart & Soul Yoga • Wellness • Community. Practicing yoga, promoting wellness, and having a strong community to support you are essential to a healthy lifestyle.


One year after I took that big step, and with the help of my fellow yogi friends Danielle Burnham and Patti Davis, I was ready to launch my yoga business. Danielle designed my logo and Patti developed my website and found a graphic artist to create my logo. On September 3, 2020, the business went live! I am so excited to share my passion of yoga with my students! New beginnings...launching a virtual yoga business during a pandemic has been so rewarding! We all need yoga...even more when we are so stressed and feeling anxious these days.


This is not your ordinary yoga business. We practice from home via Zoom. Our kids and pets join us on the mat. My cat Piper is constantly talking to me and my students during class. We laugh, we sing, we share information. My music is eclectic so you never know who is going to show up on the playlist. Open your heart and feel your soul’s vibrations.


There is so much more in store for 2021. We introduced Mindfulness Monday last year, sharing our favorite quotes. We have just added Wellness Wednesday, Pose of the Week, and Benefits of Yoga this month. Down the road, look out for new classes, retreats, healthy cooking with Danielle and Melissa, and so much more!


Namaste,

Melissa


Photo: @henriknellman

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