Be the Change Yoga. Irvine, California


One of my biggest loves is seeing people do what really lights them up. Getting to hang out with and photograph said folks... Heavenly :-)

Allison Martin Prince and Katie Sheldon Allen of Be the Change {donation based} Yoga studio right here in Irvine are two women that are doing just that! As you can see from our branding session, their lights are bright as can be!

I asked Allison and Katie if they'd indulge us in a little interview... Hope you enjoy and if you're Orange County {or even LA or San Diego} be sure to check out one of the incredible classes or events at Be the Change.

Allison's Sunday morning "Be Peaceful" class is my church. 

What inspired you to open a donation based Yoga studio, right here in Orange County?

We both loved the donation based model in Los Angeles.  We were inspired by Bryan Kest (Santa Monica Power Yoga) and Govindas and Radha (Bhakti Yoga Shala).  Yoga has become very expensive, and we loved that these studios were making yoga affordable and accessible to everyone and it feels so great to be able to GIVE!  We believed that if the donation based model was working in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and other major cities around the country, then it would definitely work in Orange County.  And it is!!!

What {who} are 3 songs or artists we should be listening to?

Some of our favorite kirtan/yoga inspired artists are DJ Drez, C.C. White, and Govindas and Radha. But the list goes on and on....

If you could only do 1 yoga pose which would it be {besides sad}?

Allison - If I could only do one yoga pose it would probably have to be Sukhasana, which is an easy seated position.  Of course I love a lot of the stronger asanas, but I feel that when I sit in silence focusing on my breath that is where I experience the greatest benefits.

Katie- If I had to pick just one pose, it would be plow pose (halasana)   I could stay in that pose all day long! It just feels so great to release tension throughout the entire back of the body. The longer you stay in the pose, the more the body melts into the floor and you can feel the space opening between each vertebrae of the spine from the neck to the tailbone - amazing!!

How did your love affair with yoga begin?

Both of us started yoga in college because it helped us feel balanced and centered during this challenging and stressful time in our lives.

Have you had any other career paths or has it always been yoga?

Allison started teaching yoga while still in college, and knew immediately that she would continue on this path for her entire career.  Katie got her masters degree in Public Health, writing her thesis on Yoga's ability to prevent and treat chronic diseases.  She then completed her yoga teacher training and started teaching right away at Soul at Home. We feel blessed to have found our dharma (our life's purpose) so early on.The two of us met working at Soul at Home in 2007. 

We clicked pretty early on and led a Yoga retreat together in Costa Rica.  Since we found out we worked so well together, we created a yoga teacher training program that we have been teaching for 4 years.  We started visualizing Be the Change Yoga about 2 years ago, and worked very passionately to make our dream a reality.

Any words of wisdom you'd love to share with other women in business partnerships?

Allison: Our advice would be to dream big.  Far too often we limit ourselves, and don't live up to our fullest potential. Katie and I have not stopped dreaming, in fact our dreams just keep getting bigger and bigger. The more you practice the easier it gets, and you will be amazed what happens when you work hard and follow your heart.

Katie's business advice: take time in stillness for self-reflection and clarify your dreams. The longer you sit with something and refine it, the better it gets - no need to rush. From your dreams you create concrete goals, and just like a Yoga practice, every day you commit to actualizing those goals. Make sure you have a partner who has the same dream, who works just as hard as you do and who you communicate well with.

Communication is key - in Yoga we preach honest and kind communication; which is imperative in business. We have a no-drama rule at our studio; if something is not working or can be improved upon, we ask staff to make requests as to what they would like to see implemented. We make sure our staff have the same values as we do and aim to create a platform for all staff to realize their fullest potential.

We keep an open line of communication among staff and students; which allows everyone's voice to be represented. And remember to have fun, not take things too seriously, breathe deep, laugh and enjoy the ride!

Thank you Katie and Allison for inspiring us all to Be the change we wish to see in the world*.