Today we’d like to introduce you to Jacqueline Brooker.
Jacqueline, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I began my yoga business “Yoga Jawn” in September of 2017. I wanted a way to bring accessible yoga classes to everyone regardless of money or experience. I grew up as an endurance athlete in the sport of swimming and for me, it was never about being the best, it was always about love of movement and sport. I started my journey to yoga instructor after finding it difficult to fit swim coaching into my corporate office schedule.
What I discovered after completing the teacher certification was that there is an untapped resource in our yoga community. So many people are afraid to walk into a studio for the first time. So many people are turned off by the cost. In an effort to resolve both of those issues I came up with the idea to bring free community yoga to the beach communities. I create every class to be welcoming and ego-free for all who attend. I know it can be hard to step out of a comfort zone but I strive to create space for anyone who wants to give yoga a try.
Since the beginning of this business, I have ventured out to help other entrepreneurs through business advising, extended class offerings to local wine tasting rooms and have even launched my first retreat, all in under one year. Following my passion has opened up doors and ideas I never knew that I had.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Taking Yoga Jawn from an idea into reality was definitely a bumpy road. I had to learn to put myself out there and plan events even when I was unsure if anyone would be interested. Defeating the “impostor syndrome” is one of the biggest struggles that people face when starting a new venture.
I’ve adapted by using the “jump and build your wings on the way down” approach. Some events have flopped and others have taken off with minimal effort. Whats important for me and any other business owner to remember is that all the struggles and hard lessons take you one step closer to the dream vision you have. The failure is a stepping stone.
I also had to learn the ins and outs of business finance, Facebook marketing and legal liability. All of these lessons started out as bumpy and it took a lot of reaching out for help and many late night google searches to get myself on track. The struggles will always be there and its been a true help to reshape the way I look at these things. I have an opportunity to grow. I am successful enough that I’m pushing myself to grow. No matter what the struggle its so vital to remember that.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Yoga Jawn – what should we know?
My company has many different operational objectives. First and foremost I am a yoga teacher. My classes are all levels and I try to create a space for experienced yogi’s and brand new yogi’s to both be able to gain something in my classes. Most of my classes take place in unique venues to bring in an extra dose of something fun. My two favorites are the outdoor classes in the park and my winery classes.
What I’m most proud of as a business owner is a community that has been created through Yoga Jawn. Community can be a real game-changer in the energy of a yoga class and I’ve been lucky to attract some of the warmest individuals to my classes. A few individuals have even started their own side businesses as a result of our conversations before and after an event. I will forever be a cheerleader of people trying to do great things and sometimes that’s all someone needs to get going on a dream. Always keeping the mentality to give more than I take has created a space for students to share ideas with me and ask questions about how I got started. To see them take some of those conversations and convert them into a business is mind-blowing.
What sets me apart from other yoga teachers is my authentic personality. So often yoga feels too serious and can be unwelcoming to new folks. I know that yoga is a serious spiritual practice but sometimes when someone is trying it for the first time its a good idea to keep it lighthearted and fun so that they’ll fall in love with yoga. I’m often told that my class creates a challenging workout without the ego. If that’s my legacy as an instructor and business owner then I think I’ve done my job.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My most impactful mentor on this Journey was Desiree Crossman, owner of Encinitas Summit. She was my guide through my certification and really helped me to step outside of my own fear and into this role I was destined to take. There were many times in the journey that I almost quit or lost sight of what I wanted to do, and she was always there to redirect my energy to a productive place.
I also would be absolutely nowhere without the other teachers and studios in the San Diego community. From my fellow training graduates to existing and seasoned teachers, I learned so much from all of them. Not just about yoga, but about what it means to step into the role of a teacher and business owner. Many people came to support me in my classes when I was afraid no one would show in the beginning, they have shared information on how to create this business, they have helped me create a website and logos. The list is honestly endless. The SD yoga teacher community is an amazing and uplifting group.
In addition to all of those mentioned above, my biggest fan is probably my husband. My whole life I had all these spirited ideas about how to start a business and I never had the guts to follow through. Having his support and conversation to talk things out has been a positive force in my business development. Often my biggest ideas for Yoga Jawn come from our late night “dream big” conversations.
To be loved and supported has been an absolute game changer. It’s also important to have someone near you that can talk you out of crazy doubts that inevitably come with running a business. For every time I said “I don’t know if I can do this”, he was right there saying “Of course you can, you’re amazing”. Lucky is an understatement.
- Community Classes $0
- Winery Classes $20 (include a glass of wine)
- Yoga-Ski retreat, Starting at $1800 for 5 days.
- Private Classes $75
- Website: www.yogajawn.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @yoga_jawn
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yogajawns/
Meg Marie Photography, Nathan Brooker