Kayla Isaaks is newly venturing into the business of being an entrepreneur. After finishing her degree in post-secondary, Isaaks’ took a leap of faith and travelled to Costa Rica to become a certified yoga instructor. Now opening her own business, Nomadic Yoga, she has her own spin on having a yoga studio. Nomadic Yoga, true to its name, goes where you go. The studio, normally in Isaaks’ home, can go to your house or a different space if needed. Here is how Kayla Isaaks started with yoga and opening her own business.
How did you get started with yoga?
My sister initially introduced me to yoga. After being a dancer for 13 years, I was entering post-secondary and was looking for a different outlet of physical activity. As much as I wanted to love going to the gym, gyms and I never really clicked. I couldn’t get on well with contracts and all the strange equipment. My first yoga class was one I look back on and have to laugh about. I had no clue what I was doing, probably acted a fool but left leaving amazing. I never would have guessed that trying yoga on a whim would have lead me here.
Can you tell us about your trip to Costa Rica?
Of course. The purpose of the trip was a three-week yoga teacher training intensive, lead by Frog Lotus Yoga International. I arrived 12 days early though and did some travel down the Caribbean coastline, getting as far south as Panama. It was wild. My alarm clock was howling monkeys. My coffee was harvested an acre away. People greeted ‘Pura Vida’ meaning pure life in Spanish, instead of ‘hello’.
In terms of training itself, I’m almost speechless because it will be forever be one of my most treasured experiences. I learnt so much, connected with strangers turned lifelong friends, laughed, and cried tears I didn’t even know I had. I was incredibly powerful. I came out alive and as a certified Vinyasa/Hatha yoga instructor.
What were you doing before your trip?
Prior to my trip, I had finished university and was working a few seasonal jobs in some of B.C.’s most picturesque locations. During the winter I was living in a snow globe at a helicopter skiing resort in Blue River. In the summer I was living by the sea at a fishing resort in Haida Gwaii. I figure I might as well work where people vacation. Two birds with one stone type of thing, you know?
How did you get started with the idea of starting your own business?
I’ve always felt huge gratification in situations where I can share an experience, teach someone something, or convey different ways of doing things. Creating my own business was never something I had on my radar, to be honest. It was simply a passion that tumbled into this extreme longing to share with others. I use aspects of yoga in my everyday life. My body and mind are stronger because of it. I’m not perfect, but it was a aha moment when I realized that so many people aren’t living to their full potential. If I can help people reduce stress, decrease fatigue, and improve their overall wellness, the world gets a little happier.
Can you tell us a little bit about your business?
One of the missions for Nomadic Yoga is to provide inspiring yoga classes for people to live their most fearless life. I strongly believe that the more important an activity is to your souls evolution, the more fear and resistance you will have towards it.
With Nomadic Yoga, I aim to help people discover the power they have over their own mind and body, and teach them how yoga can be a hugely transformational practice, both mentally and physically. Nomadic Yoga offers the most affordable rates, and top quality training in a super fun, inclusive and genuine environment. Classes are uniquely infused with cultural music and other offerings, leaving students inspired to ‘live wildly’ with a truly out of this world experience.
What does it mean to ‘live wildly’?
It’s the core of what makes Nomadic Yoga unique. Most, if not all, of my best experiences have been a direct result of what it means for me to live wildly. This means going completely out of my comfort zone, taking risks, and having faith those things will work out in the end. It’s about learning to let go and living without fear of judgement. It’s a lifestyle I’ve grown into, where I purposefully put my ego aside, in order to make room for everything bigger than myself. Going to Costa Rica was a wild lesson in itself, but nature and travel in general always show me reminders to release negativity and self-doubt.
If students can ‘live wildly’, they would be more inspired to live a life that is unique and true to them. Of course, everyone will have his or her own version of what it means to ‘live wildly’, so it’s completely open to interpretation.
What are your plans with the business in the future?
Usually I never plan or predict too far ahead since my plans make their own better plans. But definitely introducing more like-minded people to yoga, and hopefully offering a fresh perception on what a lot of people think yoga is about. Nomadic Yoga is designed to travel and be as adaptable as we all are, so I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes.
Where is your favourite outdoor place to do yoga in Maple Ridge?
If I had to pick some top spots for warmer weather, Alouette Lake, the dykes overlooking the cranberry fields or Memorial Peace Park.
Where is your favourite natural place in Vancouver?
Put me on a mountain or in a forest with huge trees and I’m happy. Vancouver has so many unreal natural beauties, but a few of my favourites are Lynn Canyon, Stanley Park or the charm of Granville Island.
What else do you want our audience to know about you and Nomadic Yoga?
I welcome complete beginners of yoga to those who have been practicing for years. I really feel that everyone benefits from yoga in so many ways, and contrary to popular belief, being flexible is not a prerequisite. Anyone can practice yoga, regardless of age, flexibility and physical challenges. In classes, I’ll always offer modifications and variations and I’ll often say to ‘choose your own adventure’, depending on whether students want to go for more or less of a challenge.
If you are experienced in yoga, or want to try it out, make sure to check out Nomadic Yoga on Facebook for class schedule, rates and more information.
Interview by Megan Renaud