I’m so excited to shine the spotlight on this Christian Yoga Instructor personal brand photo session featuring my friend Aly from Soul of the Song Yoga. Aly and I met for the first time at a coffee shop in Parker, CO. Our conversation was cut short due to the coffee shop closing for the day but truth be told we could have stayed there for hours. Aly and I connected right away and we knew we were meant to be fiends. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to do a personal brand session in Aly’s home. Today I am not only sharing some of the pictures from her session but you will also get to know Aly as she tells her story.
So grab your favorite cup of coffee or tea and stay for while!
I love stories. What’s your story?
My story is First and foremost, I am a child of God’s and I believe that with my whole heart. I am a survivor of a childhood sexual assault, that showed up in my life in my 40’s when I was going through unmanageable burnout. I sought mental health help and that began my healing journey and where I really became fully aware of my PTSD and Anxiety. Up till that moment I had no clue how much this really impacted my adult actions or reactions in life. This is where the Holy Spirit broke me down and began rebuilding me and what he was preparing me to do. He prepared me to really, I mean really show up for the broken and walk the walk right along side of them. He equipped me to teach faith based and secular yoga to the people he leads me to.
Christian Yoga Instructor Personal Brand Photo Session | Lydia Gillis, Denver Brand Photographer
Tell me about your business?
I’m a women owned small business owner. In my current business model I offer an experience commonly know as a service. I am a Christian Yoga instructor, my niche is Restorative and Trauma Sensitive practices. I offer group, semi private and one on one sessions to tailor the clients needs. My philosophy is yoga is for everyBODY. I focus on honoring your body right where you are at, really feeling the poses in your body and perfectionism is not welcome on the mat. Time on the mat is meant to connect your mind, body and the Holy Spirit. I view it as a sacred space between you and Christ, for you to fully connect and bring it all on the mat for his glory.
Why not perfectionism on the mat?
My philosophy is it is your practice and yours alone. I encourage people not to look to your right or left at the other person next to you, as then you are not being fully present with yourself and how it feels in your body. I also, have people not face the mirrors on the wall, as it teaches them to be in tune to what the poses feels in their body verse how it looks in the mirror. It is not about doing the poses perfectly, it’s about your own growth and watching your mind and body transform to your best self. In yoga you will always be improving, therefore perfectionism does not exist.
Why did you become an entrepreneur?
That is a great questions! I fell into it by obeying Christ’s calling he placed on my heart five years ago. I was challenged by a sister in Christ that doing yoga was worshiping other gods. I didn’t feel in my heart that was accurate, so I did what I do best I researched the crap out of it. I found both sides naturally, but the biblical side spoke to my heart stronger. I was looking over YogaFaith website that offers faith based yoga teacher training courses. I clearly heard the Holy Spirit say to me, you will do this! So I bookmarked their website and my heart dropped to my stomach. I didn’t see that path for myself, specially raising five kids, living is Silicon Valley and working in high-tech. But I bookmarked it anyway. Fast forward four years ago, I left my high-tech and we moved to a new state, Colorado and the rest is history!
Who is your ideal client?
My ideal client is a person in their 30’s to 50’s who is in the midst of the grind of life, raising a family, tired and exhausted, mentally taped and burnout. God has called me to the broken, because I was once broken and he restored me so I can serve others. My role is not to fix people, but to offer a sacred safe space where they can start the healing process, however that looks for them.
As an entrepreneur we face a lot of challenges, what has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is I am a DREAMER! I’m not the best at bookkeeping, I have stumbled with a lot of the back end legal stuff…but I put one foot in front of the other and I make progress to learn how to run my business from a CEO/ CFO mindset.
What has been you biggest accomplishment in your business?
Oh, I give all the glory to God! He puts people on my path that I wouldn’t otherwise have met nor practiced with on the mat. I feel I have accomplishing a lot, but my biggest…being asked to lead a weekly zoom Veterans Trauma Sensitive Yoga Class for Saber Six Fountain. Not only is it an honor but a BIG accomplishment as they are allowing a civilian like me lead it.
What’s one thing you’ve learned about yourself as an entrepreneur?
What I have learned about myself is I can be strong for others and soft at the same time. That my heart is bigger than I can expected and how much I truly love people and I enjoy meeting them right where they are at in life.
What did you do before owning your own yoga business?
Great questions, I worked in high-tech for 25 years as an Executive Assistant for startups, Cisco Systems and Facebook. Super long hours which made it really hard for work life balance and tending well to my family and fully being present for myself and them.
Share one fun fact about yourself?
Fun fact about me, I use to as a pre-teen and teen barrel race in the Jr Rodeo circuit and Gymkhana, I have lots of ribbons, trophies and belt buckles with gem stones on them.
What’s your favorite mantra or quote?
Psalm 139:5 reminds us, “You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.” In moments of confusion and busyness, God knows which way we are going and is there to protect us – even when we can’t see Him.
What are your favorite things to do on the weekends?
Get out in nature! I love going hiking, paddle boarding and walks. I am the happiest outside.
How can my readers connect with you?
Any upcoming promotions or special events coming up in your business that you would like our readers to know?
Yes, Thank you for asking! I have a 4 day, 3 night Christian Yoga Retreat coming up October 5-8, 2023 in Breckenridge, Colorado. I actually only have one spot left and them I am sold out, God willing 🙂
I love doing personal brand photo sessions.
Are you looking to book your Personal Brand Photo Session in Colorado? Or ANY location (yes, this girl loves to travel), then send me a message for a freee consultation.
LYDIA GILLIS PHOTOGRAPHY is Denver based Personal Branding Photographer, Wedding and Senior as well as educator. Available to travel worldwide.