Searching for answers on the web sometime around 2am, in typical fashion, I stumbled across Live.Breathe.Grow.’s Happy Buddha tee complete with [you guessed it!] a fat, happy Buddha on the front and a back that reads “I am Peace. I am Love. I am Happiness. I am Me.” [I had to have it].
My purchase sparked an email, a note, a Facebook exchange and, [poof!] somehow, I was blessed with discovering the pair of truly inspirational and beautiful women behind LBG’s operation. I am honored to share their story in this Getting to Know You series.
Nancy and Terra met at teacher training in 2009 and although they didn’t know it yet, they were on the verge of something really beautiful: Live.Breathe.Grow. A company that’s mission embodies its name entirely, LBG offers yoga and wellness sessions ranging from self-indulgent Valentine’s day treats to pre-natal workshops. LBG encourages women to embrace their inner light and “nourish their roots” not only through its hands-on classes but also through its inspirational apparel that just so happens to be 100% organic [and adorable to boot!].
These thoughtful ladies were kind enough to indulge in a little Q & A, VY style. Read on:
VY: Tell us about a “day in the life” as a yoga teacher and clothing designer?
NANCY: “Clothing Designer,” hmmm… I’m not sure we’ve completely come to the place of ownership of that term yet but this question really made me realize that we are, in fact, clothing designers – hah! What I can tell you is that there is no typical “day in the life.” Because our company is still just a baby, every day is predictably unpredictable, although Terra and I definitely arrange our schedules each day around what yoga class we know we want to take for our personal practice. We generally go over the to-do list the night before and hit the ground running the next day. Our first task most mornings is to check in with Facebook, Twitter, e-mails, etc. If orders were placed the day before we make sure to send them out that morning. We often spend time selling t-shirts out of our car trunks because, without fail, after taking a yoga class, people ask us about the shirts we’re wearing and where they can get them. Then we get together and start working on the agenda of the day, which can be anything from developing/designing our line, answering emails, coming up with specials, updating our social media sites, answering emails, blogging, research on new potential products, writing a lot of copy for our ever-evolving website, talking to interested studio owners about booking trunk shows, workshops or going over wholesale information. We’ve also been developing our affiliate program – The Kavaiyla Warriors. In the evenings, one of us is usually teaching classes (Terra teaches adults and pre – and post-natal and I teach kids). We recently acquired an official LBG office space (which is something we’re presently celebrating!) which will help build some sort of daily schedule.
VY: Since difficulties must arise even in a dream job, what motivates you every day? What gets you out of bed in the morning?
TERRA: After 6 years of practicing corporate law, getting out of bed in the morning for anything else is a dream! I think that when you do something that you’re passionate about, even the biggest headaches seem minor. There’s nothing I love more about my “job” than watching someone fall in love with yoga and seeing from an outside perspective how much joy and peace it brings to their life.
NANCY: What gets me out of bed in the morning is every woman I know and don’t know who feel good about wearing a t-shirt that I have lovingly created with the intention of supporting them in their life’s journey. Does this sound corny? Well, I don’t really care! It’s the truth. Every time a woman feels good about putting on one of our t-shirts and literally feels stronger, happier, lighter, more grounded by embodying the message it carries – I feel filled with love and gratitude and unending energy to move forward.
VY: 10 years ago, did you envision yourselves involved in something like LBG?
TERRA: Ten years ago teaching yoga was my day-dream, something I wanted to do so very badly, but never thought I could. Owning an inspirational apparel company wasn’t even on my radar!
NANCY: Absolutely not. 10 years ago I was on track to becoming a Clinical Psychologist. One year ago today I did not even envision something like this. Last year when I began to write/blog and realized there were a lot of people around me who were truly connected to what I was writing I began to wonder where I should go with it. Many friends kept urging me to write a book and this seemed like a fabulous idea…until I started to try to write a book. I just wasn’t being moved to do it. An Inspirational T-shirt Company was the result of that journey.
VY: And without divulging too many company secrets, where do you see LBG in 10 years?
There are so many pathways that have yet to be illuminated on our journey and, because of that, what we can imagine for the future is hopefully only a little sliver of what will come to be. That little sliver though…will possibly include the establishment of a non-profit organization called The Odonata Project that we have been working on quietly for the past year, a world filled with Kavailya Warriors (see our website for more details) and hopefully a successful clothing line that continues to inspire and light up the daily lives of people who wear our clothing. We are definitely looking to expand, not only to kids and men’s wear but we also have some very interesting things planned over the next couple of years that we can’t quite reveal yet…stay tuned!
VY: Who is the first teacher in the public eye you’d like to see wearing LBG?
So tough! There are many of course. But I think we both agree that we’d love to see Jersey native, Seane Corn in LBG.
VY: Tell us your favorite yoga poses and why.
TERRA: I am astounded that I am going to say this, but Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, one-legged king pigeon. This asana was my arch nemesis during my first training. I think I feared it because of all the excess emotional junk I was carrying around. One of my first teachers, Daniel Orlansky, taught me the asanas we fear are most often the ones we need the most. I took his teachings to heart and practiced pigeon every day. It always felt strained and uncomfortable, but I was determined to do the posture with ease. Almost a year later, in Meridian Yoga training given by Daniel we settled into the pigeon for what seemed like hours, half way through I felt an emotional pop. I breathed through the tears pouring down my face, my body released and I sank deeper into the pose than I ever had and pigeon actually felt good. Now I have a deep appreciation for pigeon and find myself settling into it in my personal practice whenever I feel the need to release and let go.
[I had the same experience with pigeon!]
NANCY: Today it is HANDSTAND because I was able to do a free-standing handstand for a split second last Saturday in my Soul Sweat class and it was so unbelievably exciting. A pose that I had thought for years was out of reach – yet my teacher, Wendy Pinto, has kept me motivated to continue practicing and to understand that with enough repetition – what you once believed to be impossible is just a challenge and eventually is not a challenge anymore. I have been consistently practicing for a year and a half to do handstand and for one second I DID IT!
VY: Any advice for aspiring teachers and/or designers?
Teachers: We genuinely are always teachers and students in our lives at all times. Doing a million teacher trainings and workshops does not make you a great teacher – although it is very important to have the knowledge to keep your students bodies and minds safe in the 75-90 minutes they spend with you – if you bring your spirit to your classes and let it shine, if you understand that there will always be more to learn and if you approach your opportunity to teach with gratitude and love then your “students” will be rewarded with a great teacher.
Designers: When you bring your love and passion and your heart to your designs you cannot go wrong – because it will reach out and touch the love and passion and heart of others.
VY has not received any compensation, gratuity, or kick-backs (other than great karmajuju!) from Live.Breathe.Grow. or any of its affiliates for this interview and publicity. VY just thinks they are awesome. Thank you to Nancy and Terra for taking the time to honestly and considerately answer our questions! To find out more about Live.Breathe.Grow.’s services and products, visit them here.