Meet Beth McGowan - the owner of Be Still Yoga!
Anna Helmin: Tell us about your studio and the energy it brings to the Bangor, Wisconsin community. What is your goal or mission for Be Still Yoga?
Beth McGowan: Be Still Yoga is the first yoga studio and fitness center in our small town of Bangor, WI. The town is experiencing exciting growth and hype as several new businesses are opening, and new homes being built. We believe that everyone should be seen as a person and right where they are. They should feel loved unconditionally and welcome to a space to find community. Not only do we believe that inside our studio but also into our community. We’ve been graciously given tools and resources from our God to build and disciple people to live in a harmony and we are incredibly grateful to do that every day as students walk through our doors. Our studio is unique with smaller classes which allows for more personalized attention and connection with everyone.
Anna Helmin: What expert advice can you give us on opening a yoga studio?
Beth McGowan: Be prepared to not please everyone. It sounds simple to say and to hear but our human minds want us to be able to do it all, listen to all the suggestions, and be the perfect place for everyone. Unfortunately, all those thoughts are unrealistic, so let go of them and save yourself from the stressful moments.
Anna Helmin: How do you attract new students to join your yoga classes?
Beth McGowan: Right now, in our area we are finding that word of mouth is the best way to attract new students. In the beginning, we saw a lot from our Facebook presence with the excitement of opening. Now we are starting to see current students inviting their friends, or in conversation with parents at sporting events, out at the local restaurants, etc. The more present we are in our community, the more we begin to develop relationships with others who then become comfortable to join us at the studio.
Anna Helmin: What kind of yoga classes do you offer at Be Still Yoga?
Beth McGowan: We offer classes for all levels and styles at our studio. From more restorative classes such as yin and gentle yoga to more powerful and heat building classes like vinyasa flow and yoga fusion (fitness-based strength and cardio class). We feel with the variety of classes, our students can find a balance between restorative classes and strength building classes that are not traditional yoga styles.
Anna Helmin: Beth, is there anything else about your journey that you want to share with our readers? Can you share your weekly yoga routines with us?
Beth McGowan: My personal yoga journey started many years ago after an injury that continues to sneak up and cause me some challenges today. The more I want to learn about my own body and understand why it functions the way it does or the causes of flare ups, the more I want others to be able to do the same with their bodies. My current yoga routines are specific to several physical therapy exercises (also yoga poses) to help my body through the number of classes I am teaching. Being the owner and only teacher currently, it’s important for me to find ways besides a physical practice to give my body the rest and attention it needs. This also means ensuring I take time for massages, sauna visits, chiropractic care, and other modalities for my body. I’m also learning through my personal journey to not be offended or get defensive when people try a class and don’t return or simply never try a class. Every day I remind myself that I choose to follow in Jesus’ example of loving others regardless of any favors or fame in return. It’s hard…somedays very hard! It’s why we call it a practice and a journey!