Lori Capra – Olympia, Washington
Graduate Interview

LORI CAPRA, OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON

When I became a carpenter at age 18, I also began my personal yoga practice. Thirty years later, I hung up my hammer and trained as a yoga teacher. In September 2015, I went to Barcelona (to the YOGABODY headquarters) for the first Yoga Trapeze Teacher Training course and now, I’m teaching full-time. In October 2017, I opened my own studio—the only Yoga Trapeze studio in my area [Olympia, Washington]. Since supply is low and demand is high, I decided to let my other mat-based classes go and focus solely on the Yoga Trapeze.

When I started down this new path, I didn’t expect to have such a close connection to my students. I thought it would be about teaching yoga, but I’ve found that my students look to me as an example of how to lead a healthy life, as well. It’s my job to inspire folks to use their bodies in new ways and strive for wellness, not only in class, but in everyday activities, too. I have to define guidelines for an overall healthy lifestyle in order to support them inside and outside the classroom.

I’ve had students, who weren’t previously interested in yoga, tell me that they enjoy my Yoga Trapeze classes because they’re so much more joyful than other yoga classes. While Yoga Trapeze classes have moments of reverence and meditation, they also have enough levity that they exude a less serious air, which appeals to people who don’t necessarily consider themselves ‘yogis.’

At the end of my carpentry career, I was working within school communities as the on-site caretaker. It was hard on my body, so it’s quite a change spending my days doing yoga instead. And ever since I completed my original yoga teacher training, followed by the YOGABODY Yoga Trapeze Teacher Training, I’ve felt empowered. I realize there are no limits to your dreams. In turn, my students feel empowered. They see what I’ve been able to do and it makes them freer in their own lives. I’ve had students quit their jobs and change careers. I’ve had students throw away their pain pills because they’ve discovered healthier ways to heal their body. It’s so moving, especially when you consider the sheer quantity of people. I’ve had at least 50 people come up to me after class, even after their first class, and cry. They’ve shattered certain barriers for themselves and they’re so grateful.

My children also get to witness me following my dreams, which is important to me. I have 23-year-old twins, and they both have a very regular yoga practice. I think they need to play around in the business world awhile, but they know they can always rely on yoga. They both imagine they’ll teach in the future.

For me, the most challenging part of teaching yoga and owning my own studio is learning how to pace myself. It’s difficult to say no. There was a time when I went for months and months without a full day off, teaching 20 classes a week. On top of that, I was remodeling my studio, literally digging in the dirt and rebuilding it myself. I simply spread myself too thin, which is something I’m trying not to repeat. That being said, as a yoga teacher, you fall in love with your students and you want to give them all you’ve got. It’s hard to remember to leave something for yourself—and to figure out how to get enough sleep!

Social media is my main outreach tool. I use OutboundEngine to manage all my social media sites in one place. It also sends targeted campaigns to my networks, such as monthly newsletters about health and wellness, which have brought in quite a few clients. I sell classes on Airbnb, TripAdvisor, and Groupon, as well, because they have a huge reach and receptive audience.

In the future, I would like to secure enough regular clientele to hire one or two other yoga teachers. However, besides attracting new students, I’m constantly thinking of different uses for the studio. Currently, I’m renting out part of the space to a juice bar. Occasionally, I rent the studio to local community groups. And hosting the Yoga Trapeze Teacher Training was really successful, so I definitely want to do more of those as time goes on. I never want to lose my connection to the YOGABODY community. It’s a group of people who support each other, who further each other’s knowledge, and who share this unique yoga style. It never feels like we’re competing with each other, it’s really lovely.

No matter which direction a person takes with his or her yoga practice, I recommend that everyone follow their passion and be true to themselves. Don’t try to be a certain type of yoga teacher, just be you. Also, be ready to work hard, but remember to have fun.

If you’re interested in joining a Yoga Trapeze Teacher Training, check our training schedule to find the one closest to you.