Failure doesn’t scare me anymore. When we lose one thing, we make space for something even better still.
In the winter of 2017, I found myself in San Francisco, having just completed the culmination of my life’s work. Teaching Office Yoga was my first book, a training manual designed to help other yoga teachers start their own businesses. My career had shifted, and teaching others how to teach office yoga brought all of us a step closer towards financial independence. Office Yoga Teacher Training came out of what could’ve been considered my biggest life failure.
In the summer of 2016, I was going through a divorce after surviving a major health scare. When I was sick, I couldn’t work, and had to stay in bed. Losing a few clients during the health scare felt like a huge failure. My business was growing quickly, and the teachers I was sending weren’t well trained in how to teach in the office setting. But it made space for what I needed: Devising a training program for office yoga teachers.
Recovered, I decided to make a change. I was 30. My little company, Daisy Yoga, had an opportunity to get into the education space. I’d spent five years as a high school teacher, and designing curriculum focused on differentiated instruction was my expertise. Designing a training program was a natural progression in my career. To be financially independent, I needed to think bigger about my company, including how I thought about teaching office yoga.
Finding partners to grow the office yoga industry with has been exciting. According to the Global Wellness Institute, in 2015 the wellness industry was a $3.7 trillion market and growing steadily at over 10% per year. Office yoga businesses are scalable.
Office yoga teacher training is a huge asset to the yoga community. Many office yoga companies around the country have been experiencing rapid growth, and need a well trained staff. Beyond that, the office yoga industry is ripe with untouched markets. For the right entrepreneur, being first to launch an office yoga business in a city can lead to fast growth. Claudia Pagett, a student from the March 2016 training, started Las Vegas’ first office yoga company, Nomad Corporate Yoga. Watching her business go from an idea to an operation has been exciting.
Failure opens up new opportunities. Making changes in life to become the best versions of ourselves is what makes life fulfilling. Going through suffering and ending chapters in life opens new doors. I’ve found that the more I look at failure this way, the more confident I feel about the direction of my career and business. Helping others on their journey as yoga entrepreneurs keeps me inspired, and I am grateful for every bump along the road that got me to where I am today.
Lauren Coles is the creator of Office Yoga Teacher Training. Founder and Lead Educator at Daisy Yoga, Lauren holds a Master's Degree in Education, and works with specialized population, including office workers, urban adolescents, and people with disabilities. She was first certified to teach yoga in 2007, and spent five years working as a special education and yoga teacher at a public high school in New York City. Previously, she was a work-life balance counselor at a benefits company on Wall Street.