Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jennifer McIntee, Owner of Beyond Bending Yoga, located in Polson, MT, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Beyond Bending Yoga is a Yoga and Ayurveda lifestyle studio offering curated content in person and virtually, both in real-time and prerecorded. Students of Beyond Bending Yoga are seasoned to new yogis and everyone in-between. The online studio has over 100 classes featuring several styles and varieties of classes such as vinyasa flow, restorative, wheel yoga, and more. BBYOnline comes with one free live zoom session a month and a curated yoga series inside the studio to take the guesswork out of "how or what to practice today."
In-person private sessions and yoga classes are offered in Western Montana. Zoom sessions are also available for private yoga sessions for students who are not local to Western MT. Beyond Bending Yoga strives to encourage students in their day-to-day life to live and celebrate their bodies through the practices of Yoga and Ayurveda. Retreats have been one way we model what a yoga lifestyle might look like for you. We structure our retreats to experience daily rhythms that support your unique health, wellness, and vitality.
Tell us about yourself
I have always loved movement and working with people to educate and inspire them to feel good in their bodies. I started as a physical education teacher, and as we began our family, I quickly shifted into part-time work teaching yoga. As our family grew, so did my love for yoga and teaching yoga. We moved to Western North Carolina to a small town with no yoga studio, and I saw potential. With our family established and the kids old enough for me to share, take a leap, and open a studio in town. My students have always been my best teachers, and they inspired and encouraged me to continue expanding my skills as a teacher, helping me become a well-practiced generalist with the vinyasa flow style as my first love but adding in Restorative yoga, Yin Yoga, Yoga on Wheels, and Ropeswall yoga.
Retreats came next, working in a space to experience and immerse students in the yoga lifestyle, and with an Ayurveda lifestyle Coaching program weaved into my 500-hour teacher training, it made it possible to blend Yoga and Ayurveda practices into our retreats. The pandemic offered a chance to take everything I had created for my yoga community in Western North Carolina and bring it online. Although I still love working in person, working in the digital space has been a blessing for both my students and me being more accessible and available to the people who resonate with what I have to offer and my style of teaching.
Recently, we have relocated to Western Montana, and I'm happy that the work in the digital space transfers quite easily. I'm excited to continue working with my students from the past digitally and grow the community further as I work in person with classes and retreats in beautiful western Montana.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The community that has formed around my business is far and away from my biggest accomplishment. Connecting students to themselves and each other is something that, as a business, I am proud of. We have a model which builds community and is more than just a transactional encounter with paying customers but instead is relationship-building and transformational for each person as they practice and strive towards understanding their unique being and how to thrive with the practices of yoga and Ayurveda.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Boundaries between work and life are the hardest thing for being a business owner. Thankfully, yoga offers a continual practice of gentle discipline and strong encouragement for forgiveness, and the opportunity to show up fresh every day.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Know your why; this is what will keep you centered and grounded as you grow and develop what it is you offer and how you offer it.
- Be patient; nothing blooms in a day.
- Celebrate your journey with regular seasonal reflection - best if done with colleagues, friends, mentors, and family - because you'll need their support and encouragement.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I am a homesteading, homemaking, homeschooling mom who is also a solopreneur, and I could never have dreamed of such an amazing life. If you need encouragement and inspiration, please reach out and join the community; we'd love to have you with us!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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