My name is Carolina and I am the founder and owner of Yogaleena Studio in Houston, Texas.
If you’re reading this, you most likely already know that, but it’s how I introduce myself at most professional events. The funny thing is that even 3 years after quitting my corporate job to do what I love, saying or writing that sends chills up my arms! Why? Because for most people, their dreams remain just that, dreams. I couldn’t be more grateful that I was able to turn my passion into a thriving business, and I get lots of questions from students and peers regarding the big career shift I made in 2016. If you don’t know my story, I’ll start by saying that addressing my fears (masked as perfectionism), changing my lifestyle to align with what brings me joy, and accessing my own intuition instead of relying on everyone else’s opinion were critical first steps on my journey.
Ok, here we go.
Only a few years into my career at ExxonMobil, I knew without a doubt in my mind that I did not want to climb the corporate ladder. What took me much longer to figure out was what I did want to do with my life instead! Working long hours in a cubicle left me too exhausted to even think about a different career path. I was so stressed out at work that I wasn’t eating or sleeping well, or giving myself any time to recharge and really consider what would fulfill me. My work friends at the time, mostly married with families and very traditional views, couldn’t understand why anyone would give up a reliable paycheck with great benefits to work harder at something that would not bring in as much money. And above all else, just thinking about quitting and trying something new terrified me. What would people think? What if I left ExxonMobil and fell flat on my face?
I am actually quite risk-averse, so I couldn’t bring myself to just quit and wing it. However, I did start making small shifts in my life, shifts that eventually led me to where I am today. First, I moved to a new condo in a walkable part of town. It might seem irrelevant to figuring out my future, but coming home to a place I loved had a huge impact on my energy level. I started meeting new people and questioning some of the assumptions that had been holding me back. And that’s when I started practicing yoga at a cute neighborhood studio called Tranquil Space.
Prioritizing self-care and slowing down enough to finally hear the faint voice of my intuition gave me the mental space, clarity, and wisdom to set goals and pursue dreams that were truly authentic to me. One of those dreams was to open up my own yoga studio. From there, I took a part time job at Tranquil Space to see if it truly was something I wanted to pursue, enrolled in Georgetown University’s part-time MBA program to learn more about entrepreneurship, marketing, finance, etc., and started sharing my plans with my family and close friends to gauge their response (which was amazingly positive!) At this point in my journey I wasn’t even close to my final destination, and yet my life felt rich, vibrant, inspired. Being in alignment is not a ticket on the fast-track to achieving goals, it’s a lifestyle that fills you up with light and joy regardless of the end result.
It took another 5 years (and an unexpected move to Houston!) for Yogaleena to open, but it all started with first aligning everything in my life with my internal compass, my authentic self. If instead of tuning in and making meaningful shifts in my life I had tuned out and just kept going after society’s definition of success, I’d be in the corner office of a fancy building making lots of money…and feeling completely miserable.
You see, transformation doesn’t start with the goal, it starts with you.
I am so proud to be offering Align, a unique program designed to help you evaluate areas of your life that you might not even think are impacting your energy, decisions, or happiness. And I’m even more excited to follow along with you as I figure out what I want for my business and life in the next chapter to come.
Check out all you need to know about the program here: ALIGN COURSE.
PS. If you are a Yogaleena Member, we have a pretty sweet deal for you! Just scroll all the way down on the course landing page and see for yourself:)