Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in yoga, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chelsea Noelle Daniel, the founder of Chickadee Yoga, a yoga teacher in the US.
Tell us all about your business...
Chickadee Yoga focuses on creating an accessible and sustainable yoga practice for people in various different stages of life. Chickadee Yoga strives to create supportive environments based on the individual for beginners, people who are pregnant, people who have recently given birth, babies, and young children (ages 3-6) to explore movement as a healing modality in their own unique and ever changing bodies.
I believe that every body can use yoga poses to intentionally embody our bodies and to become more aware of what is happening on an internal level, rather than focusing on what the yoga poses look like externally. This type of deep internal awareness that yoga gifts us, is an essential life tool that when introduced at any age, especially during early childhood, can help us to self-regulate the nervous system and find a sense of steadiness and ease (sthira and sukham) within our lives.
What's your background and motivation to grow as a business owner?
Yoga started simply as a physical practice for me in 2012 as another means to stay physically fit. As I began to develop a consistent physical asana yoga practice, my mindset shifted away from the physical and into creating a moving meditation that allowed me to de-stress from the ebbs and flows of life. Thus the drive to dive deeper into yogic knowledge began.
In 2016 I completed the Yoga Alliance registered 200-hour yoga teacher training at the Vinyasa Yoga School in Rishikesh, India- the “birthplace of yoga.” After returning home, practicing and teaching yoga at studios in Manhattan while still having a full time job as a lead Montessori teacher, I began to feel a pull to learn more about prenatal yoga and children's yoga. I completed my 85-hour registered prenatal yoga training in January 2020, right before the pandemic, and completed my 95-hour registered children's yoga training in September 2021.
Being a Montessori teacher for children ages 3-6 has certainly informed my practice of teaching yoga with young children as well. Like many folks, the pandemic put my life into perspective and I decided that it was time to quit my full time Montessori teaching job to invest my time fully into Chickadee Yoga. Since then I have been offering mostly online live-streamed yoga classes for prenatal, postnatal, and children's yoga over the past year in order to serve those who do not have access to outside space, yet need to move and breathe and hold space for themselves.
Being able to carve out even an hour of time for people of all different ages to return to & reclaim their breath and their bodies in an intentional way is what keeps me motivated everyday to plan thoughtfully and show up in my best, most authentic self.
As an entrepreneur, what does success ultimately mean to you?
I tend to focus on the clients that I do have and place everything I can mentally, physically, and emotionally into planning and tweaking classes for those individuals. Most of my classes are small, maybe 2 people, or private classes and I prefer it that way. I can really get to know what the client wants in their practice, how their body is feeling and their history, and tailor the class specifically for them - whether it is a prenatal class, postnatal or a children's class.
That's kind of a long way of saying that I feel my biggest accomplishment is having even just one client that I can get to know and serve to the best of my abilities. I'm so thankful that I've had many clients this past year who trust me to hold space for them - especially during such turbulent times; that to me is a huge accomplishment.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being an entrepreneur?
In my experience, marketing has been the hardest thing for me as a business owner. I am an introvert and posting/advertising myself has never felt natural for me. I try to focus on making it fun every time I create something for marketing purposes by tapping into my creative and artistic side. I still struggle with it, but I'm working on my self-worth through the lens of marketing every day. I ask for a lot of help from friends and family who know more about marketing via instagram and websites than I do, but it has taken me some time to get there. Just know, you are worthy of help.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run or grow a small business today?
1. Don't be afraid to ask questions in your community of like-minded people.
2. Seek out like-minded business owners, or people working within the same type of business as you to create a community of sharing.
3. The most important tip: Remember to go at your own pace, try not to compare yourself to others, and trust your process no matter what happens - Rome wasn't built in a day... and remember the Roman Empire also collapsed. Practice humility, seek out a sense of detachment to the results of your work (whether "successful" or "unsuccessful") and focus on serving others in a mood of devotion. Tip 3 is a daily practice - remind yourself of this everyday. In my experience, this has made the business process much more enjoyable.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Remember that helping or serving even one person within your business is a success. We each have a unique "something" to offer someone in this world - that something won't be for everyone and that's okay. Focus on what's right in front of you. Breathe. Stay in the present.
I also want to add that even though I am physically located in Brooklyn, NY, I have served and taught folks in Miami, Colombia, San Francisco, and Maryland, to name a few places - through Zoom. Don't hesitate to reach out even if you live far from me and are interested in connecting - we can always work something out.
Where can people find you online?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as an entrepreneur or business coach that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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