WAYLAND SQUARE POWER YOGA *Interview with Owner Sharon Marie*

As I shared in a previous post, I have been getting back into my yoga practice and it’s been awesome rediscovering my love for yoga as well as the studios here in Providence.

Today, I have the pleasure of bringing you an interview with the Owner of Wayland Square Power Yoga, Sharon Marie. One very, very early Sunday morning I arrived at Sharon’s beautiful lofty studio in the heart of Wayland Square. She welcomed me into her studio, as if it were her home, with so much grace. We talked about yoga, Providence, our pets, it made me feel as though we had been friends for a long time. When you meet her, Sharon welcomes you with a big smile looks you right in the eyes and makes you feel present. It was quite beautiful being in her yoga studio getting to know her, the business, and what she’s learned over the years.

I hope that you are able to walk away from today’s interview feeling inspired and ready to take on another challenge in your life whatever that may be.

Ladies and gentlemen, without further adieu…. Sharon Marie.

 photo 2b88c69e-9cac-4b8f-a527-51cb1aecf0af.jpg

where are you from and where do you live now? 

“I was born and raised right here in Rhode Island. I speak the native tongue.”

describe Providence in a few words. 

“Providence is a smart, eclectic, charming, and amazing little-big city. It has EVERYTHING a fit, foodie, spa-shopaholic, nature lover could want.”

 photo 6a29f2c5-8631-4d4e-bffa-8f7f73ea0dd4.jpg

when do you feel the most creative? 

“All the time.”

what is one thing you can’t leave your house without? 

“My books.”

when do you feel your best? 

“After my morning coffee.”

what is the best place you’ve ever traveled to? 

“Maui”

what kind of yoga do you practice? 

“I practice Ashtanga and Hot Power Vinyasa Yoga”

 photo 21191ee6-2578-440a-9a4d-6579b9b80f15.jpg

when did you realize you loved yoga? 

“2008, I introduced myself to Baptiste Power Vinyasa. It was love at first breath.”

 photo 7671ff23-9ad3-45b1-9ab9-ff0850bf89af.jpg

 photo 522cfd44-49c6-4695-a411-76c81d2779e1.jpg

what inspired you to have a yoga studio? 

“My entrepreneurial spirit! I wanted to create a simple space, a sanctuary for yoga practice, for yoga teachers, a space for transformation and healing for myself and the community.”

 photo 6a2748a9-6a08-402e-b069-5f387785ced8.jpg

why did you decide to open a studio in Providence?

“I almost didn’t! I was prepared to sign another lease elsewhere, but something didn’t feel right about it. My mentor, Joan Dwyer, was the one who pointed me to the East Side. The space we thought that was available was already taken by Alex and Ani! So, my husband and I were walking around, had lunch at L’Artisian, saw that a space was available right across the street, called Ken Dulgarian, and things just happened really fast from there! It felt like a perfect fit.”

 photo 46bd9fd4-6cbd-4694-ba08-118733864c89.jpg

where in Providence are you located?

“We are in the heart of Wayland Square on the East Side at 13 S. Angel St, Providence, RI 02906.”

 photo 75679e91-d898-4ad1-b9ce-2eda84623196.jpg

what would you say is your big vision for WSPY?

“My vision for WSPY is to grow our teaching staff, which begins this September with our RYT 200 hour training program, expand services to students and clients with my reflexology practice, create life changing opportunities for students and teachers, create some exciting yoga retreats, and be in service to our community always.”

 photo b8232026-7337-4a83-bd0b-0f52ab0f2fee.jpg

what would you say is the best business advice you’ve received?

“Delegate. Delegate. Delegate.”

 photo f6ac369e-bf5b-421f-8d3e-f03b017aa100.jpg

what have you learned from having a business?

“The failures are the lessons. There isn’t any room for fear. There isn’t any other way to be but kind. Trust your gut, always.”

 photo 9e35f6e1-132c-46ee-9806-d6577c20a4ac.jpg

besides practicing yoga, what else do you enjoy on your time off?

“I enjoy spending time with my family, my friends, and just as much, I love my solitude. I love to read anything that will expand my mind, to write, and to ride my Harley any chance I get. I love being outdoors.”

 photo f1441c81-c093-4f1d-b25e-255d6a3435b3.jpg

Favorite quote.

Love came first. ~ Michael Eigen, Kabbalah and Psychoanalysis”

 photo 503f5224-ade6-4884-b294-23a14ad127fe.jpg

 photo 1ee1e0ad-a2d9-4fa0-9225-6c7d172b7799.jpg

Us gals here at winter moon live our lives by inspiration; tell us, who or what inspires you?

“Wow, how to answer that? It’s limitless for me. Yoga, my practice, inspires me every day. Spiritual studies inspires me. My husband, Bob, my daughters, Katie and Christy, my rescued fur children (Rudy, the dachshund, Rebel, the shepherd-husky, and Skipper, the cat-lion. They are the truest yogis, living in the day and in the moment). My friends, teachers, mentors inspire me. I love them all dearly. I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am today without them. Teaching yoga, helping others find serenity in their lives inspires me. Positive, successful people inspire me.  If I had to sum it up, Life inspires me!”

 photo ba868598-3b65-40c7-a33b-34f4372397ec.jpg

any words of advice would you give to our readers wanting to start a yoga studio or wanting to become a yoga instructor—or even start yoga?!

1. Follow your heart.
2. Practice yoga.
3. Fall in love with the practice.
4. Share the practice with others, become a teacher.
5. Hold space for others, open a studio, maybe.
6. Do your homework.
7. Ask for help.
8. Make mistakes.
9. Practice yoga.
10. Be kind to yourself.

 photo efd581c2-4117-4cd1-9515-105cc09ebdf4.jpg

****

You can follow Sharon’s journey and Wayland Square Power Yoga on instagram, Facebook, and twitter!

****

Thank you Sharon for being so honest and transparent with us about your life and journey of owning a business in Providence. I wish you so much success!

XO,

Olivia

// photography & interview by Olivia //

MY JOURNEY WITH PRACTICING YOGA

I spent middle and high school years in Upstate New York where, if you don’t know, are many artists, nature lovers, and yoga studios. The first time I practiced yoga was when I was 15 and lived in upstate new york. It was my friend Casey who asked me to join her.

I have spurts where I practice yoga consistently and I can tell you it is when I feel the best and most like myself. I fall out of it because of the cost or because I make excuses about not having enough time.

yoga_ olivia

The other day I decided to start my yoga practice again because I love it and because it gives me a clear mind.

I’ve lived in a lot of places since my time in Upstate New York. Every new place I live I find a yoga studio and people I can practice with. It is something so beautiful about having a place you can connect with yourself, others, and the universe with one practice. I find that I feel the closest to home when I practice yoga. I feel that no matter where I go, I can find a really cool group of people that get together for the sake of feeling alive, in the moment, and connected. Connected to each other. Connected to nature. Connected to the present moment.

A friend once told me, “you don’t do yoga.” And you know what? I think she’s right.

purple yoga mat

olivia_ yoga mat
I feel lucky to live in Providence where we have an abundance of yoga studios. Join me in this journey and in my yoga practice.
Olivia

Hawaii Life: Casey Voigtlaender *an interview*

Hi guys, Olivia here! I have the absolute pleasure of bringing you an interview with a longtime friend and one of my favorite people on this planet, Casey.

Casey and I met when we were only 15 and freshmen in high school. I still remember how I would skip my math class so we could go to her house for a long lunch. We would eat peanut-butter and-jelly sandwiches and talk about our big ideas, the future, and about leaving the small town we were in. I have always seen Casey as my lifeline, I can tell her anything and we can joke around about nothing for hours!

Even though we don’t live close to each other, she still manages to inspire me on a daily basis for just being herself. I know you will totally fall in love with Casey with this interview!

Without further adieu, ladies and gentlemen, Casey Voigtlaender.

Age:

27

Where are originally from?

I’m originally from Kingston, NY and lived in Boston, MA for several years before moving to Hawaii.

 photo 6aa5e7a2-ca11-4664-addd-f2f4a73f6f93.png

How did you end up in Hawaii?

“In 2012, I left my job as a marketing analyst, packed up my Boston apartment and bought a one-way ticket to the Big Island. Eric, my husband, and I were looking to purchase a coffee business and wanted to learn more about the farming and processing side of coffee which brought us to Kona, Hawaii a place known worldwide for its amazing coffee.

We lived and worked on coffee farms for months and met a lot of people from the industry, including a couple of folks that were planning to open a startup coffee company right here in Kona. I never thought I would actually live in Hawaii but we both fell in love with the island and decided to officially move here and help open Daylight Mind Coffee Company, a brand new restaurant and café. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I absolutely love it here!”

 photo ScreenShot2014-04-20at55243PM.png

What are some things you love about living in Hawaii?

“This could turn into a really long list but I’ll list my top three:

I love that I feel at home on a small island in the middle of the ocean, so far away from the rest of the world..it’s a unique experience. I love being a part of a small community where you bump into people you know everywhere you go. Maybe it’s because we’re on a small island so you kind of have to get along but people seem to genuinely care and aren’t trying to keep up with or compete with the next guy. I love being surrounded by all the natural beauty. The ocean, the sun, the mountains, the native plants, the lava—everyday I have an opportunity to surf the ocean, practice yoga on the beach, go hike the mountains, and to just be awed by this beautiful environment.”

What advice would you give to our readers wanting to venture out to live in a new place or even Hawaii?!

“1.Visit first and get a ‘locals’ feel for the place. I think anywhere you go, you have to scratch the surface and get a feel for what it’s really about not just what you saw when you were on vacation. 2. Have a plan but be open-minded. 3. DO IT! You just never know where it will take you.”

 photo 553b76e8-7bcb-4031-9b9f-abb11a8773d4.png

You are currently training to be a certified yoga instructor, tell us about that?! What type of yoga are you doing and who are you training under?

“I have been practicing yoga since I was 16 so this feels like a really natural step for me. I have tried a lot of different styles of yoga but am mostly drawn to vinyasa (flow series) and restorative styles like Yin. I’ll be completing an intensive teacher training with Shambahva School of Yoga this summer. ”

 photo ScreenShot2014-04-20at55339PM.png

I have never been to Hawaii– but intend to visit you soon! What is it like to live in Hawaii?

“Let me know when you book your tickets! Everyday I feel so grateful to be here on the Big Island because I feel so at home. I feel like I have found a place that allows me to live the life I want to live. Everyone has a different experience but for me, things are mellower, time doesn’t seem to be flashing by before me, and I am able to live more simply. I moved here with 2 boxes of belongings and have made living with less work for me. There is something powerful about being so connected to your environment. Every day people are out playing in the ocean or exploring parts of the island and every night people crowd around the shorelines to watch the sunset, it is a magical place.”

 photo ed3618aa-ce79-4809-ade4-0aa7b3522920.png

You’re married to a really cool guy! Tell us about your husband.

“I have known Eric for over ten years now and we’ve been married for just about two years. It has been really special to be able to experience so much together and to kind of see each other grow as individuals. Eric is the most positive and optimistic person I know and I really admire his ability to take chances and to be open-minded about the world around us, I couldn’t imagine making such a big move without him. We make a really great team and I feel like together we can do anything.”

 photo ScreenShot2014-04-20at55028PM.png

You live in paradise, so this may be a tough question, but what is your favorite travel destination?!

“These days I think my favorite travel destination is back East to New York to see my family. Moving so far away is a trade-off when it comes to time with family and friends.”

 photo 943940cc-234d-4106-aac6-02436bda2bc2.png

What was the last place you traveled to? How was it?

“I went on a ski trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Going from ‘tropical paradise’ to a ‘winter wonderland’ actually felt really good! The best part of the trip was Eric teaching me how to ski and being able to ski these crazy trails together. I picked up skiing a lot faster than surfing.”

 photo 30253c46-a1f5-4762-9d57-74104991cc73.png

I am constantly wondering what inspires the people around me, so I wonder, who or what inspires you?

“I get a lot of inspiration from the people around me. There are so many entrepreneurs on the island that have made their passion into their jobs. That lifestyle seems the most natural and what I strive toward.”

Who would you say you admire?

“I admire anyone who has created his or her own way of living by creating opportunities for themselves and not depending on others for their own success or happiness.”

 photo c3573ac1-eff0-4365-99de-7764bce9e6b8.png

You have some incredible photos of you surfing! Tell us about your journey in surfing.

“Another thing I love about living in Hawaii! Learning to surf is pretty humbling. I have never had such an appreciation for the ocean and how powerful it is until I started to surf. In the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing but would get in the water every chance I got. I would watch the local surfers and get tips from them and eventually figured it out. For me, it’s all about having fun with it but I am working on letting some of my fear go so I can start taking bigger waves.”

 photo ScreenShot2014-04-20at55443PM.png

 photo ScreenShot2014-04-20at55216PM.png

 photo ScreenShot2014-04-20at55015PM.png

What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

“I actually think the support that I have received is better than any advice I’ve ever gotten. I have made some big decisions that not everyone agrees with or understands but I have gotten so much support from my family, friends and even people I hardly know that really has made me confident in my choices and pushes me to keep going. Having the support of people I care about makes me want to do more, live more, and accomplish more because I feel like I’m not only doing it for myself but for those that get to experience things vicariously through me.”

 photo f2e618d4-5ac3-4a94-82aa-3b82c20a355a.png

When do you feel your best?

“I feel my best when I am thinking about the present moment. Years of yoga has conditioned me to come back to the present especially when thoughts about the past or future are filling your head. There is always something to be grateful for in the present moment.”

 photo ScreenShot2014-04-20at55147PM.png

What is one thing you want the world to know about you?

“One of my good friends told me she sometimes shares my story when people are trying to make big life decisions. I want people to know that everyone has the ability to make a change- it doesn’t have to be drastic like leaving your career to move to an island 5,000 miles away. If you are unhappy, feel stuck, or have a passion don’t be afraid to create a life that is more aligned with what makes you happy. Even if it doesn’t work out, it beats the alternative!”

 photo c930e8bf-3f5e-4911-a55e-9863ce754cee.png

You are out-of-this-world inspiring, tell us what’s next for you Casey? 

“The one thing I have learned is to embrace the moment, enjoy the ride. At the moment, I am enjoying being happy, spending time with my husband, and pursuing my yoga teacher certification. What’s next is hard to know but that’s the exciting part!

*****

It’s so beautiful to see Casey pursue her dreams and act on what we would talk about at such a young age.  I encourage you to follow her journey through her instagram.

XO,

Olivia

writing and editing // by Olivia

photography // by Casey Voigtlaender