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Angela Wagner, YS Owner, Featured Voyage Dallas

Published: 

Written By: Voyage Dallas Magazine

 

Today we’d like to introduce you to Angela Wagner.

Angela, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.

After I graduated college in 1999, I worked in the marketing and advertising industries. I loved the work but was very stressed by the high-pressure environments. I taught fitness and yoga classes at night and on the weekends. When I left work and went to the gym, I always felt so fulfilled and knew that I was helping people.

After a few years in the c

orporate world, I was laid off from my job. I decided to become a full time personal trainer and fitness instructor. I didn’t love personal training but I absolutely loved teaching yoga and working with groups. But, I missed the business side of going to my corporate job. So I decided to combine the two and in 2004, I opened up YogaSport on Lemmon Ave.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?

 

No Way! It’s been a series of ups and downs throughout the years. I almost closed my doors at year three but my dad encouraged me to keep it open for one more year and give it my all. I am so glad he did. Even 14 years in, there are seasons and cycles that are slower and more stressful than others. There is always a new challenge (new yoga studios, new fitness studios, new fitness businesses opening up in a very competitive market) but at the end of the day, I believe EVERYONE needs yoga and fitness and there is enough business for everyone. The true (and fun) challenge is finding the people who aren’t already practicing and inviting them in to try something new. That is when we can really make a difference in people’s lives. And that is what it’s about for me.

Personally, I have grown up while running this business. I was 26 when we opened and I will turn 41 next week. I went from a single gal to a broken-off engagement to knee surgery to marrying the love of my life to going through infertility treatments to having two kiddos, all while having the studio be not only my heart and soul but also my paycheck. I am now a wife and mom of 2 (Luke is 4 and Zoe is 2) and I am grateful that YogaSport has been the constant for me in my life.

One of my biggest challenges today is finding balance in mom-life and work-life. Every working parent feels this but owning your own businesses is like having another child. For me, it’s always been hard to unplug and really take days off or have a vacation without putting some energy into the studio. I have learned to hire people who support the big picture and love what they do. My staff is incredible and they keep me inspired and on point every single day. And most days, they are the ones truly running the show. 🙂

So, as you know, we’re impressed with YogaSport Dallas – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.

At YogaSport Dallas we teach Power Yoga based on the Baptiste Yoga style. It’s an athletic style of yoga (simply meaning you get a workout) but it’s not pretzely. The movements are accessible to most people and we always offer modifications. It’s awesome to see a practitioner of ten years practicing alongside a brand-newbie, and both students are challenged and feel successful.

What sets us apart? Some good stuff. First and foremost, everyone will tell you that we specialize in community. There is a reason we have been around for so many years and that’s because we really care. We know your name. We know that your son had surgery

last week. And we truly want the best for you. Second, I am a stickler for quality. Every teacher has gone through my 200-hr and/or 300-hr teacher training and our team is focused on creating a consistent and reliable experience. The consistency and quality is truly unparalleled.

Another difference is that we don’t play music and we don’t have mirrors. This is very different than most power yoga studios. Life is intense these days. We are constantly bombarded by distractions and noise. Research shows that we are actually afraid of being alone with our own thoughts and insomnia, anxiety, and depression are on the rise because of it. We need peace. We need to learn to sit with ourselves and our emotions. The YogaSport practice teaches you how to do this in a way that isn’t scary or boring. We keep you moving and breathing, tell you fun stories that you can relate to, and laugh a lot.

Finally, one of our biggest secret weapons is our assisting team. We have an assisting team of people trained in hands-on assists. Almost half of our classes have a dedicated assistant who guides the students throughout the entire class. It ensures that your practice is safe (we are total anatomy geeks by the way), and it helps your body and mind understand the practice on a different level.

The bottom line is that you are safe with us, we are absolutely committed to getting you results, and you will feel at home.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?

My plans for the future are to expand the current YogaSport community within our current space. People always ask if I want to open a second location and my answer was, and still is, no. I believe that there

is something special in having one location where all of my resources (energy, time, love, money) stay. I want to be small enough that the students know who the owner is, and can have a conversation with me and come to my class. The reason I am still in this business is because it’s personal to me. I will continue to do everything I can to keep YS the tight-knit community that it is.

As far as what’s next? I am always working on things and creating new workshops and side hustles… I have a wellness coaching and essential oils business that I do online and at the studio. My coaching business (www.angelawagnercoaching.com) is morphing into something special. Stay tuned for details, especially if you are a mom.

Pricing:

  • New Student Special – 14 days for $39
  • 4 Week, 8 Class Beginner Series (offered 4x/year) – $99 early/$109 regular

Contact Info:

 

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT- MEHLA HICKS

Name: Mehla Goodrich, legally changing to Mehla Hicks in the new year (post honeymoon)

Day Job: Fine Jewelry and Watch Specialist at The RealReal

How long have you have been practicing at YS? Almost 2 years part time and 1 year full time

What is your favorite YS workshop or class? Angela’s Saturday morning Empower Flow class

Name one thing you consider yourself to be very good at: Making and designing beautiful objects

What’s the number one yoga pose you just love to practice? Half Moon Pose

Why did you start practicing yoga? I was 16 and my next-door neighbor was really into yoga, I went to class with her

Who inspires you the most and why? Krista Tippett the podcast host of On Being inspires me with her kindness and candid conversations

What do you just love about YogaSport? I love that everyone makes an effort to know your name

What’s your guilty pleasure? Beautifully crafted handbags and well-designed furniture

Furthest city traveled: Marrakech, Morocco…soon to be Hanoi, Vietnam

What is one thing we don’t know about you that would surprise us?

I weave giant sculptural tapestries from recycled bicycle tire inner tube rubber. I design and manufacture custom fine jewelry (www.mehlaatelier.com)

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT – SARA WEAVER

Name:  Sara Weaver

Nickname: Sweavee or Weaver

Day Job:  Project manager at AT&T

How long have  you  have  been  practicing at YS? Almost a year

What is your favorite YS workshop or class? All of them! I am a morning person so the early classes really help kick start my day.

Name one thing  you  consider yourself to be very good at: Providing the positive outlook

 

What’s the number one yoga pose you  just love to practice? Pigeon out of necessity and any challenging balance pose to keep me on my toes or rather off my toes

 

Why did  you start practicing yoga? Curiosity. I’m a very curious person.

Who  inspires  you  the most and why? Not one individual, but everyone I meet. Each with their own struggle, strengths and goals helps put life in perspective.

 

What do you  just love about YogaSport? The community and atmosphere are unlike any other studio I’ve been to. It is a welcoming family.

What’s your guilty pleasure? Ice cream

Furthest city traveled: Tokyo

What is one thing we don’t know about you that would surprise us?  I won a hot dog eating contest!

 

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT – LAUREN LUONG

Name: Lauren Luong

Nickname: At the studio it’s Little Lauren 🙂

Day Job: Rug Design

 

How long have you been practicing at YS? Almost 2 years.

What is your favorite YS workshop or class? I don’t think I could have one. They all combine to make a great experience!

Name one thing you consider yourself to be very good at: Artsy Stuff

What’s the number one yoga pose you just love to practice? Half Moon, because it feels so freeing. And it’s challenging enough that I have room to grow in it.

Why did you start practicing yoga? For self-awareness and the calming benefits.

Who inspires you the most and why? My husband, because he’s the most balanced person I’ve ever known. Also the funniest!

What do you just love about YogaSport? I love the community here, how I’m always learning something new, and how the practice is more physically challenging than other yoga.

What’s your guilty pleasure? McDonald’s French Fries!

Furthest city traveled: Longsheng, China

What is one thing we don’t know about you that would surprise us? My husband and I are avid squirrel-watchers. They’re the funniest animals.

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July Pose of the Month: Toe Pose

Summer Time! For many of us, that means flip-flops, sassy sandals, and tall wedges. Regardless of your summer footwear, take pause to give your feet some extra love. This month’s Pose of the Month is Toe Pose! Besides stretching the oft-neglected bottoms of your feet and toes, toe pose allows the opportunity to practice internal focus and mental calmness. Starting today, your YS instructors and assistants will guide you to healthy feet (and mind!) all month long.

Benefits:
1. Stretches feet and toes

2. Helps prevent plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the band of connective tissue that supports the arch of your foot and extends to the heel)toe_pose2

Alignment:
1. Set knees together

2. Lift torso and retract shoulder blades back and down

3. Hands to heart, fingers spread

4. Engage your abdominal lock

Step by Step:
1. From Down Dog, drop your knees to the mat.

2. Tuck your toes and sit back on your heels.

3. Smile!

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The Hot Mess by Christopher Roberson

Written by YS Instructor Alum, Christopher Roberson

My life was a hot mess for most of my 20’s. And when I say ‘hot’,  I don’t mean sweaty vinyasa. My personal, financial and social life were all in a constant state of chaos fueled by impulsive and dramatic decision making. In 2008 I tested positive for HIV. Suddenly life felt more fragile. The consequences of an impulsive life seemed more real and heartfelt than before. The thought of not making it through the next hurdle woke me up and I found a different path. I started eating better. I began reaching for a glass of water instead of another 32 ounces of Dr. Pepper. I went to the gym. I started treating my life like something I wanted, and not just something I had. I began to build confidence in myself. It was at this pivotal nexus in my life that I discovered yoga.

What a discovery it was. Initially I kept going back because it was hard…like…’has this lady has lost her damn mind’ hard. Over the next few months my practice began to shift. Yes, I still worked too hard. And yes, I couldn’t NOT pay attention to what everyone else was doing…but when I got up off my mat, I felt something different. Or maybe a better way to put it is that I felt less. I felt less chaos. Less anxiety. I found myself considering consequences before acting. I felt like there was time to consider my reactions before I let them burn down bridges and spark conflict with the pharmacist at Walgreens (did I mention my impatience?).

For two more years I practiced. I breathed. My life started to take new form. My relationships blossomed. The importance of yoga became clearly realized and at this point it became something I yearned to share. On a whim one day I walked into YogaSport because I saw a sign. Not some metaphorical epiphany…but like…an actual sign. I had driven by the building hundreds of times and never noticed it till this day. The studio owner, Angela, greeted me at the door and I immediately asked about teacher training. I was all in after taking my first Baptiste class with Angela. It worked in my body. It gelled in my brain. THIS. This was what I was missing. I wanted to be able to speak like the instructors here. I wanted to share seemingly trivial parts of my life but in a way that could mean something to others. I wanted to be a part of this community and for the community to be a part of me.

Teacher training started soon after and to be quite honest I thought it would be a walk in the park. I thought I would walk in, be awesome, and go home. Well, it turned out that teaching yoga is hard. It’s hard in all the ways I didn’t expect. It didn’t matter how strong my practice was. My physical strength didn’t show me how to connect with my students. My ego didn’t help me share what frustration feels like on the mat and how to over come it. All of the things that I thought would make me the best didn’t mean a thing if I wasn’t willing to be vulnerable.

The next few months I shared. I opened up my insecurities to my teaching group. I cried more in a week than I had most of my adult life. I began to see people outside of the lens of my own needs and wants. I got better at not being great. The hundreds of little things I learned in teacher training led to the big changes I needed after I thought my life had fallen apart. Today I look back at where I started, and where I see myself now. I scan the room of bodies before each class and I am thankful to be in the studio, surrounded by amazing and unique people who are all willing to be present and ready to sweat and breathe with me. Today when I think to myself: ‘Damn, I’m a hot mess’…it’s because my blue hair die ran down my face during a particularly rewarding yoga class and I forgot to pack extra clothes for the ride home.

…and I wouldn’t change a thing.

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4 Week Fundamental Series

Luke Downward DogWe are excited to announce a new workshop series at YogaSport, The 4 Week Fundamental Series. In this 4 class workshop, you will learn the basic alignment and form of Power Flow Yoga. Through demonstration, discussion, hands-on adjustments, and guided practice, we will provide you with a solid foundation of this dynamic style of yoga. Each series will cover the following:

Class 1: Sun Salutations
Class 2: Warrior Poses
Class 3: Balance & Triangle Poses
Class 4: Backbends/Abs

All classes will include additional floor and inversion postures. This series is designed for brand new students who want to learn more about the practice as well as seasoned practitioners looking to fine tune their asanas.

Fall Sessions
Session 1: Thursdays 9/17-10/8
Session 2: Tuesdays 9/22-10/13
Session 3: Tuesdays 10/20-11/10
Session 4: Thursdays 10/22-11/12

If you purchased a Groupon for this workshop, please email nicole@yogasportdallas.com to complete your registration.  

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June Pose Of The Month: Toe Pose

Summer Time! For many of us, that means flip-flops, sassy sandals, and tall wedges. Regardless of your summer footwear, take pause to give your feet some extra love. This month’s Pose of the Month is Toe Pose! Besides stretching the oft-neglected bottoms of your feet and toes, toe pose allows the opportunity to practice internal focus and mental calm. Starting today, your YS instructors and assistants will guide you to healthy feet (and mind!) all month long.

Benefits:
1. Stretches feet and toes

2. Helps prevent plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the band of connective tissue that supports the arch of your foot and extends to the heel)toe_pose2

Alignment:
1. Set knees together

2. Lift torso and retract shoulder blades back and down

3. Hands to heart, fingers spread

4. Engage your abdominal lock

Step by Step:
1. From Down Dog, drop your knees to the mat.

2. Tuck your toes and sit back on your heels.

3. Smile!

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Introducing YS Flair

Flair_Definition

We are so excited to announce another amazing program to honor you, our YS monthly members.  

Remember when…
Aqua Net was all the rage?
Parachute pants and sock rolls were fashion forward?
The closest thing to boy bands was Whitesnake and Guns N’ Roses?
Your jean jacket – filled with buttons (FLAIR!)- was your status symbol?

If you are too young to remember these things, then first puh-lease don’t let us know because it makes us feel old!  Trust us when we say, the 80’s was an especially unique decade. We are excited to embrace one of our favorite memories of living in the 1980’s. Why? Because we think some things should never go out of style. And because as adults, we don’t have many fun opportunities to get our well-earned gold stars!

How does this cool program work? You will earn a coveted YS flair button for each workshop and event you complete. Flaunt your hard earned flair on your yoga bag and be the coolest yogi around. If you haven’t already, pick up your member flair button at the front desk today.  Your future flair will be distributed at the end of each workshop. If you have questions, contact our fabulous manager nicole@yogasportdallas.com.

Member Spotlight : Rick del Monte

FullSizeRender Name: Rick del Monte

Nickname: Rick

Day Job: I am an architect and the Chief Design Officer at Beck, an architecture and construction firm.

How long have you have been practicing at YS? I have just reached my third anniversary.

What is your favorite YS workshop or class? I do all three 6:00am classes. I enjoy starting the morning off with yoga, and I avoid missing classes because of work commitments. Kelly, Morgan, and Jenny do a great job of packing a full workout into an hour. We just need to get a few more people to join in.

Name one thing you consider yourself to be very good at: I think I’m pretty good at several things, but there is only one thing I’m good enough at that people are willing to pay money to have me do, and that is to design buildings. I love doing it and I am glad I can make a living at it.

What’s the number one yoga pose you just love to practice? Side angle is probably my favorite. It looks dramatic and I love the feeling of balance.

Who inspires you the most and why? That would be Betsy, my wife. Always positive and generous. Being around her has made a better person out of me, and she has passed her qualities on to our three kids.  IMG_2091

Why did you start practicing yoga? Shannon Sharkey, a former Yoga Sport instructor started teaching a class for our company. One night a week for ten weeks, and I did not miss a class. After going through all the initial pain to get in shape I did not want to give it up and followed her to Yoga Sport.

Why do you still practice? For two reasons: the fitness and the mental aspect. I have been running for more than 30 years and my knees can only take a couple of days a week, so I have substituted yoga for the other days as a healthier way to stay in shape. The second part is the mental training. I am high strung and yoga has calmed me down and even helped to lower my blood pressure.

What do you just love about YogaSport? The studio is physically demanding but in an encouraging and positive way. Angela has done a great job of selecting instructors who are very consistent in their attitude but each with a unique style. I am fairly shy, but have gotten to know a lot of very nice people.

Spill – What’s your guilty pleasure? I love samurai movies, particularly Zaitoichi the blind Samurai. There are 24 movies in the series and I have seen about 18. Of course Seven Samurai is the greatest film ever made.

Rick Del Monte 1What’s the best dish you can cook? I am not much of a cook, but I can make a mean Cacia and Pepe.

What is one thing we don’t know about you that would surprise us? I am a car nut, love driving cars on the track and have been a driving instructor for the Porsche and BMW clubs for the last 8 years.

Mac or PC? Mac  IMG_2095