What's Your Story
Write a remarkable bio and tell your story to showcase how great your yoga business is and how far you have come. By Ava Taylor
Reading time: 4 minutes
As the sun rises on another year of being a yoga business owner, my thoughts often turn to what being a yoga business owner has meant to me all these years and to the pivotal moments that have shaped who I am, my story.
My yoga business has been the great journey of my life. It has given me purpose and has been my north star leading me to friendships, to life partners and on some of the greatest adventures around the world that I could ever have imagined.
My yoga business has motivated me every single day, to wake and give my best, to wake and give my all; it has given me the freedom to pursue my dreams and to push my own limits of creativity and excellence — the heights of which only I know I am capable of.
My yoga business has formed my professional character and given me knowledge as a business owner that has allowed me to develop a set of skills that is now transferable into any industry; priceless know-how that no business degree could provide. My yoga business has allowed me to contribute to the world.
It has provided me with the most exciting and exhilarating highs and the most humbling and gut-wrenching of lows. After all, as with all great stories, the most important learnings and the most powerful awakenings did not happen in smooth waters, they happened in times of trial and error, in times of innovation and iteration; they happened in times like the pandemic when all our best-laid plans went by the wayside and we surrendered.
What’s your yoga story?
I find it affirming to think back on all I've endured, accomplished and developed. This is my yoga story — and telling my story well is relevant to the success of my yoga business.
Telling your story is important to your career as a yoga professional because it provides the opportunity for you to be clearly understood and seen in context. Your story is an account of your unique life experiences. For our purposes, the story you want to tell is of your life as it relates to your career as a yoga professional. It is an account of your choices, your actions, what happened, how you felt and what you learned. It’s an account of your hopes, dreams, fears and motivations. It’s your journey used purposefully.
Telling your story is inspiring because it is a human experience, full of progress, setbacks, and learnings. A story that illustrates to your followers that you are leading them, skilfully on the same path that you have travelled. Your clients respond well to knowing more about who you are, and where you come from. As a teacher, and as a leader, who is out front, inspiring others to live their best lives, what more powerful an act could you perform, than to share the remarkable truth of your own, beginning, progress, and past. One of my favourite exercises that I use to tell my story is: Write a remarkable bio.
Write a remarkable bio
Let’s do a quick refresher of what a basic bio is before we discuss what makes a bio remarkable. (For those of you already saying to yourself that you aren’t remarkable, let me remind you that everyone is remarkable!) Simply put, a bio is a short story about a person’s life. For our purposes, your bio is a short story of your life as it relates to your career as a yoga teacher.
A bio is not to be confused with a resume, although most yoga teacher bios are resumes, with great focus placed on what they’ve done, how many years of training they have and with whom, and a laundry list of credentials— all without details regarding why they took those actions or the amazing lessons they learned along the way.
A remarkable bio combines your resume and your lifeline. A lifeline is a timeline of pivotal moments — those that led you to teach, those that illustrate the impact yoga has had on your life, those that speak to your greatest successes and failures. A remarkable bio is one that tells your true story, not the edited version you think a yoga teacher should tell. Your true story allows your audience to feel that you have shared life experiences that form a powerful and lasting bond, something that is vital to success in an intimate servicebased business such as teaching yoga. A remarkable bio is important to your yoga business because it allows you to connect with your audience and to establish trust and credibility.
As you prepare to write your remarkable bio, beware of a common yoga pitfall. Many yogis have a hard time writing their bio because they are afraid of disappointing their students or peers. The potential for disappointment comes from them having not been transparent about who they are or where they came from in the first place. If you are busy being the kind of yoga teacher you think you’re supposed to be rather than the one you really are, writing a remarkable bio can be tricky.
It’s like taking off your costume. Your transition to truthfulness may cause some client turnover in the beginning, but the overall result will be a loyal community and a sense of freedom for you as teacher and business owner to let your practice and business be yours. There’s a big difference between sharing the truth about the progress you have made in your life and what my granny called “airing your dirty laundry.” You can tell your story powerfully but leave out the gory details.
Speaking of progress, sometimes as teachers — who have come such a long way and done so much work — we forget the value in the story of our own progress, the things we have learned along the way, the moments that have shaped us, our battle scars, and our battle cries. Do not doubt that your growth and your achievements are important to others who are around you.
Ava Taylor is an avid yogi, entrepreneur, author and consultant and the go-to strategist for yoga business owners looking to get their businesses to the next level. Her new book, Your Yoga Business: Tools And Techniques For Success, is out now. Visit: yamatalent.com or connect on IG @avantaylor
Your Yoga Business Homework
To begin writing your remarkable bio, start by crafting a lifeline — a timeline of important events in your life that have shaped who you are and the things you are passionate about. Your lifeline will include the pivotal moments that have led you to become a yoga teacher, that have built your family and that have shaped your why. Write or record your pivotal moments and also what you thought and what lessons you learned at each of those pivotal moments.
For example, some pivotal moments of my story include taking my first yoga class in Hollywood, California, in 2002, my grandmother passing away in 2007, and my starting YAMA Talent in 2009. When I take those same pivotal moments and address them as part of a lifeline, they develop into this:
- I took my first yoga class in Hollywood, California, in 2002 even though I thought yoga was weird.
- My grandmother passed away in 2007, and I made a choice for myself to use yoga for healing my grief rather than numbing myself with substances. I made the decision to commit myself to sharing the practices of yoga with the world.
- I started YAMA Talent in 2009 and took the insane plunge into entrepreneurship. Did I know what I was doing? No, but did I believe I could figure it out along the way? Yes!
As you can see, the details added in the lifeline give depth, insight, and understanding of my experience by including useful and colourful details that enhance my story. With this new, remarkable material, write or rewrite your bio to include more of your story. Be honest, vulnerable and transparent and have fun! This is where the true power of your remarkability lies. Your remarkable bio once edited should total approximately 300 words. I also find it useful to create shorter edits of 200 and 100 words each.