For the last few years, I’ve been putting together my year in review to sum up all the amazing events that transpired over the course of the previous 365 days. I missed 2016 because that was a tremendously difficult year for me, but it also ended up ultimately bringing me to a really great place. Looking back on 2018, it has been nothing short of amazing. You all know I love utilizing the law of attraction to clearly visualize and realize my goals and I’m proud to say that those goals I outlined at the end of 2017 were realized and then some! YBC® grew exponentially in terms of opportunities, events, and even the team itself. In putting together this post, I’m filled with gratitude at all amazing experiences I was fortunate enough to take part in and though this year did have some bumps, I tried to take each one in stride and turn it into a learning opportunity to grow and evolve.
Even more sweet, I was able to meet and connect with more of you - the YBC® community. Whether it was through social media, workshops, or trainings, I was so grateful that I was able to make a stronger and closer connection to you. And so, I’d love to know - what was your favorite part of YBC® this year and what were some big events in your lives? Comment below and let me know!
January: Buckles and I made a scouting trip down to Tennessee to find a US-based location for our Namaslay® Yoga Teacher Training intensive. I found this great family farm and it ended up being a great spot for our first US-based intensive yoga teacher training. It was so good, in fact, that we just might be heading back in 2019…stay tuned!
February: I went to Panama on a scouting trip. I talked a bit about scouting trips in a recent Facebook video, but essentially, I have a rule that I don’t host retreats at places I’ve never been. It just saves me major headaches. However, this means I have to scout locations, which isn’t the worst job in the world! I’m generally looking to ensure the venue is on brand with YBC®, the place is easy to get to since I have a lot of first time international solo travelers that often join us. And, of course, it has to be a great vibe. Panama was nice, but the venue I scouted was too far off the beaten path (I literally had to take a plane, car, and a boat to get there). No worries though, because I was able to shoot content for our YouTube channel and the blog.
I feel like I wore these sweats to death this year but they were literally one of my top purchases. Of course they’re sold out now but here are a few others I am loving below:
March: A super busy month for me! In March I went to LA and San Francisco as part of our spring tour. I experimented with marketing a “one day retreat” type event in San Fran. I think it was a six hour workshop but it was a lot of fun. We included lunch and had a fun Q&A and did a bunch of arm balance stuff along with a guided journaling for manifesting what you want - it was super cool!
March, cont.: After that I flew back across the entire world to LA, where I literally had just held a workshop a week prior. I was psyched to be in town to partner with Revlon for our biggest collaboration to date. We had a three day shoot, and it was my first time getting film experience. I learned SO much and did a podcast about all the lessons.
April: From LA, I flew to Hawaii, where I scouted options for retreats in Kauai. Once again, it was too far off the beaten path, food was extremely expensive, and ultimately I couldn’t find a venue I loved for a retreat (although plenty for a great vacation). But all wasn’t lost, because once again, I filmed a bunch for the YouTube channel and shot content for the blog.
April, cont: From there, I went to Italy, which is one of my favorite places to hold a yoga retreat. We were in Bolzano, Italy - the northern part of the country - and it was a gorgeous week of yoga, and good food and lots of laughs.
From Italy, Lauren and I headed to Germany, where I taught at a small studio in Munich. People came from the Czech Republic and beyond and it was SO humbling to meet everyone. I was so moved.
Upon my return home, I came home to a spread of YBC® in Yoga Life Middle East! It was a surreal moment!
May: I went out to Nashville for the first time ever to lead a yoga workshop and that was a blast! I got to catch up with an old friend named Dana, and I loved exploring the city, and of course meeting all my YBCers from the south!
June: In June, I partnered up with Hotel Marlowe in Boston to lead a series of classes for International Yoga Day. One such class was on the water - it was my first time teaching SUP, and it was a really cool experience!
Thailand! I spent the first week partnering up with Ritz-Carlton in Koh Samui, where I filmed content, and taught classes for their guests. It was such an incredible experience. From there, I went up north to Chiang Mai, where I was set to host our very first Namaslay® Yoga Teacher Training program at the very same venue where I did my own 200hr training.
My team and I worked tirelessly and proudly graduated our very first Namaslay® YTT group! Twenty-five incredible individuals came, saw and conquered. I am so beyond proud of that. It was definitely one of the highlights of my year.
July, cont.: From there, I went to Muscat, Oman, where I partnered up with Shangri-La Hotels to film and shoot content. I’ve been to the Middle East a handful of times, but each time had only ever visited Dubai. This was a really beautiful experience and I learned so much about Islam at the Grand Mosque. I spent the majority of a day speaking with our taxi driver and this one female volunteer at the Grand Mosque. This caption pretty much sums it up - that day was another stand-out highlight of my year.
August: In August, I went from Muscat, Oman to Santorini, Greece, where I held a week-long yoga retreat. Santorini is just gorgeous, and I absolutely love the people who run the venue where we hold our events. They are completely sold out for 2019 but we managed to book time in April for our first ever Europe-based Namaslay® Yoga Teacher Training!
August, cont.: I landed home and hit the ground running, literally. I nailed a deal with Champion to help promote their line of sports bras. What was initially meant to be just two projects together, turned into four, which turned into six, and I’ll continue working with them for two other projects in 2019. They have been a joy to work with, and I love their brand! Buckles was a great model, too. :)
September: In September, it was time to go down to Tennessee to host our US-based Namaslay® training. It was a much smaller group, but an equally beautiful experience. Buckles was a special guest for the duration, and as you can see below, he got lots of love.
October: The new season meant a new workshop tour! We hit Washington DC, Chicago, Dallas, and Vancouver. I’d never been to Vancouver, and it was absolutely gorgeous. I need to go back because we were literally there for less than 24 hours, but I guess that’s how these things go…
October, cont.: I also started my own 300hr yoga teacher training, which I will talk about more in-depth once I graduate in June of 2019. What started as, admittedly, a business move (I’d like to lead 300hr trainings), ended up being something that has personally jumpstarted my love for yoga once again. I feel embarrassed to admit this, but I guess honesty is the best policy - when yoga is your job, it can start to feel like, well, a job. Meaning, it wasn’t the first thing I wanted to do in my free time. Actually, it was the last thing I wanted to do in my free time. But going to the modules for my 300hr training has brought me back to being a student, being inquisitive, and has reignited my love for learning and this beautiful practice. So far I’ve done a restorative yoga teacher training module, and a meditation and neuroscience module. I have ten more or so, I think, and then I’ll be done…and probably ready to start writing my 300hr curriculum.
November: In November, I was invited to a Creator event at YouTube in Los Angeles, where I got way out of my comfort zone and networked like a madwoman. I also “won” a friendly pitch competition and my “prize” was the pitch the entire dang group of, like 100 people. I felt sick to my stomach but I powered through!
December: Earlier in the year, LG pitched an idea to hold a business retreat in Scottsdale. I okay’d it, thinking that if no one wanted in on it, we could just cancel but lo and behold, it nearly sold out and it was a truly empowering long weekend for all. One of the biggest things new yoga teachers complain about is not having the know-how to market themselves and get their business off the ground. I feel that through the years of doing YBC®, I’ve learned so much and I wanted to share that with fellow entrepreneurial yoga teachers. It was a smashing success and I’m looking forward to doing more in 2019.
What’s ahead: The YBC® app will be launching officially on January 1, after literal months of hard work. I am nervous - it isn’t like the last one, which was more of a template that pulled in my yoga videos. This one is more like an extension of the blog (but the videos are all there in one place if you’re there for the yoga and yoga only). I’m excited about the launch, but with every new thing I do, there’s always a bit of fear there.
In other news, Buckles and I are moving in with my boyfriend! My relationship is something I have chosen to keep mostly private because with so much of my life documented and public, it’s really nice to have one thing that’s just mine. Despite his expression, I can tell you Buckles is looking forward to not living in an apartment, and I am excited for so many reasons, but one of them is that it means YBC® will be expanding to a commercial space and I will no longer working out of my home. I’ve been looking at new properties each week and think I finally have a match - fingers crossed all goes well! My boyfriend has been an absolute saint and offered to do some renovations to make it “perfect” (swoon, how did I get so lucky?!) - so I have been having so much fun working with him to create a homey space we love.
I feel so, so beyond happy with how this past year has gone. I am exhausted, yes - the travel has absolutely crushed me - but I am so proud. In 2016, I was really going through such a tough time, not sure how I would make it, and here I am, making it. It just goes to show you that whatever you are going through, stay persistent and keep trudging ahead. Beautiful things await.
Thank you so much for being a part of my journey, being a part of the YBC® Community, and all the support and love along the way. I am beyond grateful for you.