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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:

 

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Member Spotlight: Tauma Wiggins

Name: Tauma WigginsTauma1
Nickname: T
Day Job: Watercolorist / Founder of #TheLandmarkCollection
How long have you have been practicing at YS? 5 years
What is your favorite YS workshop or class? Sunday @ 4pm
Name one thing you consider yourself to be very good at: Watercolor. Did you mean in yoga? Um, lately, I am good at not getting bent out of shape if I don’t consider myself to be “doing well” in a class. I used to be a bit competitive, but now I realize it’s true, every day your body is different.
What’s the number one yoga pose you just love to practice? I enjoy half-moon for the challenge. Some days I feel strong and some days I shake and wobble. I always love pigeon for stretching my ever-tight hams and glutes.
Why did you start practicing yoga? I was running a lot when I started and needed a healthy balance for core, strength, healing and stretching.
Who inspires you the most and why? I am mostly inspired by children. My nephews stay with me each week and I mentor 3 teenage girls. My dream project is starting an after-school apprenticeship of professional artists working with kids, reproducible all over the U.S.
What do you just love about YogaSport? I love that there are no mirrors. At first I was like NOOO, I must see myself at all times! But then, I actually was able to put away distractions of the outer-self and let my inner-self go through a really peronal transformation, while being guided by highly trained instructors that care and want to help. There is also a sense of unity and peacefulness that I do not feel at other studios in Dallas. Tauma4
What’s your guilty pleasure? None of your business! 😉
Furthest city traveled: Toluca, Mexico
What is one thing we don’t know about you that would surprise us? Like many people, some of the struggles I have overcome have been quite real. I’m grateful to have made it through them to be strong today. Grateful for the love in my life and to have learned from the pain.

Check out Tauma’s awesome work at: http://taumawigginsart.com/

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Member Spotlight: Caroline Grubbs

Name:  Caroline Grubbs

Nickname: Caro

Day Job:  LectuCarolineGrubbs2rer in French at SMU

How long have you have been practicing at YS?  About 2 months

What is your favorite YS workshop or class?  Honestly, I’ve loved every class and every instructor, and I’m looking forward to trying some new classes this summer!

Name one thing you consider yourself to be very good at: I am really good at bar trivia, especially any question related to pop culture. I can tell you off the top of my head how many ex-wives Tom Cruise has and yet sometimes I struggle to remember the plots to classic novels – ones that I’ve taught, no less! It’s concerning.

What’s the number one yoga pose you just love to practice?  Warrior TwoCarolineGrubbs3

Why did you start practicing yoga? My mom practiced Iyengar yoga for a long time and on weekends she used to disappear into her bedroom with a mat, a block, a blanket and a strap for an hour or two. As a kid, that intrigued me. So did the glossy hardback books she would buy with pictures of people in leotards twisting their bodies into crazy positions. I took my first yoga class in college (an Iyengar class, coincidentally) and fell in love with the feeling of openness I got from it.

Who  inspires you the most and why?  My grandmother. She was born above a jailhouse in Sedan, Kansas; grew up with eleven siblings in the rural Ozarks; dropped out of high school. Her early life couldn’t have been more different than mine. But as an adult, she got her GED and then an associate’s degree; she traveled the world; raised two boys, and when my uncle came out in his twenties, she showed him nothing but love and pride; she taught herself to paint; she wrote poetry. She showed me that you could make anything out of your life, especially if you lived with joy and creativity.

What do you just love about YogaSport?  How friendly and welcoming everyone is. It’s such a fun, supportive place to practice! And I regularly come home after a class with Christopher and report back like three hilarious things he said.

What’s your guilty pleasure?  Gossip blogs (for bar trivia research purposes).

Furthest city traveled:  Melbourne, Australia.CarolineGrubbs1

What is one thing we don’t know about you that would surprise us?  In college, I was captain of the women’s rugby team.

Mac or PC: PC

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Member Spotlight: Jamesia Dolph

Name: Jamesia DolphJamesiaDolph_2
Nickname: Jammy
Day Job: Clinical Social Worker at Childrens Health Medical Center
How long have you have been practicing at YS? Came to my first class as a guest in October and loved practicing with the yogi community at YogaSport!
What is your favorite YS workshop or class? I love the Power Flow classes!
Name one thing you consider yourself to be very good at: I think I’m pretty good at organizing my home environment! I think I’m a little OCD Lol
What’s the number one yoga pose you just love to practice? I love any type of backbend pose!! I love the challenge and strength of a backbend!
Why did you start practicing yoga? I started practicing yoga over seven years ago to try something new to add to my workouts. I later realized it’s so much more than a workout. It challenges my mind and body and made a positive impact in my life in so many ways.
Who inspires you the most and why? My mom because she is the absolute best!! Her love and wisdom is so inspiring!JamesiaDolph_1
What do you just love about YogaSport? I immediately feel the stress leave my body when I walk into the building and feel the heated room and smell the incense! I love all of the instructors smiling faces and the enthusiasm they bring to class. The assistants are awesome! I always feel accomplished and empowered at the end of every class 🙂
What’s your guilty pleasure? Wine and Dark Chocolate!!
Furthest city traveled: Prague!! I love to travel!
What is one thing we don’t know about you that would surprise us? I am an army brat! My father was in the army so we were stationed in various areas of the US and lived in Germany. That’s probably why I love to travel.
 Mac of PC? PC!

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Member Spotlight: Chris Phelps

cp2

Name: Chris Phelps

Nickname: Wild horse

Day Job: Social Entrepreneur (Founder, Campaign for Kindness Inc. and Creator, Tacky Box)

How long have you have been practicing at YS? 8 months

What is your favorite YS workshop or class? Every single one I can attend!

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

What’s the number one yoga pose you just love to practice? Crow

Why did you start practicing yoga? I realized I had evolved into a very different person and wanted cp a workout that was congruent with who I’d become.

Who inspires you the most and why? There are 3. I am inspired by my two children because they know how to live life well and love BIG, without fear, and by the Texas prisoner whose story I’m currently capturing in a documentary film; he found happiness in spite of his painful circumstances, forgave himself for an alcohol induced mistake, and works tirelessly to change the culture on college campuses which played into his demise. (And, of course, God but he IS inspiration.)

What do you just love about YogaSport? The energy of every single person who frequents it

What’s your guilty pleasure? Red wine and Nashville on ABC (even better when combined!)

Furthest city traveled: Montepulciano, Italy

cp1

What is one thing we don’t know about you that would surprise us? I’ve kissed Willie Nelson 4 times…in my wilder days, of course.

Mac or PC? Mac

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Member Spotlight: Natalie Renfro

  June

Spotlight Member Of The Month

 

 

 Name: Natalie Renfro Stevens unnamed

 Nickname: Nat, Nay-Nay, Renfrocious

Day Job:  Attorney

How long have you have been practicing at YS? Almost 5 years

What is your favorite YS workshop or class? The 6:00 am classes – I am not a morning person, but that is the best way to start the day

Name one thing you consider yourself to be very good at: Foreign languages

What’s the number one yoga pose you just love to practice? Triangle

unnamed (2)Why did you start practicing yoga? I grew up playing club and school soccer very competitively, which eventually took a toll on my knees.  I needed a new form of exercise besides running, and decided to try hot yoga.  I started practicing at a Baptiste-affiliated studio in Austin and fell in love with yoga.  I was thrilled to discover YogaSport when I moved to Dallas in 2010.

Who  inspires you the most and why? My husband.  He is the funniest, most intelligent and best person I know; he constantly inspires me to be my best self and get out of my comfort zone.

What do you just love about YogaSport? Everything!  Angela, the instructors, assistants and staff are amazing and have created such a vibrant and welcoming community of yogis. Also, the cold lavender towels (seriously, whoever came up with this has my eternal gratitude).


What’s your guilty pleasure?
 Candy, candy, and more candy. Also, Scotch.

Furthest city traveled: Vienna, Austria

What is one thing we don’t know about you that would surprise us? I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes as an infant but have been asymptomatic since about age 5.  I went to specialists all over the country but no one has ever been able to figure out why it went away.

Mac or PC? Mac, hands down.unnamed (1)

Angela Wagner, YS Owner, Featured in Dallas Morning News

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Keys to heavenly peace:

How to ease holiday stress

Published: 

Written By: Leslie Barker of the Dallas Morning News

Maybe it was seeing Halloween costumes displayed next to Christmas ornaments. Or forgetting to thaw the Thanksgiving turkey. Or hearing “Little Drummer Boy” on the radio for the 71st time. Whatever first set your holiday heart pounding, your hands sweating and your fingers trembling, your stress level is, in all likelihood, up. It may not level off for a while.

That’s the bad news. The good? There are simple ways to bring it down. When you’re finished, you’ll still have chores and obligations, but also a renewed spirit to deal with them.

Start by putting down your to-do list and your smartphone, neither of which is going anywhere.

“Checking your phone or email is sending us into a high anxiety state,” says Angela Wagner, owner of YogaSport studio on Lemmon Avenue.

Ditto for well-meaning people who aren’t on your gift list — but they drop in bearing a cellophane-wrapped something for you. We can’t do anything about them, but we can offer one-word, one-minute-or-more ways to establish peace on Earth — your Earth. Here goes:

Breathe

Inhale through your nose to a count of four or five. Exhale slowly through your nose to the same count.

“When we resist and fight and judge reality, that’s what causes the stress, not the circumstances,” says Brother ChiSing (a.k.a. Norman Eng), director of Dallas Meditation Center in Richardson. “Breathing mindfully increases your ability to be aware, to accept and then to make better creative choices in the moment.”

Doing so “opens your heart,” adds assistant center director Bobbie Perkins. When that happens, it’s “a little easier to deal with people, even family members you don’t like to be around all that much.”

Wagner advises doing this — not phoning a friend, not texting another one — when standing in line, for instance, with armloads of wrapping paper or rib roast. “It relaxes your whole nervous system. You’re getting that extra oxygen, getting rid of your distractions.”

Chew

As tasty as gum can be, flavor isn’t what helps relieve anxiety, says Kevin P. Gosselin. He’s assistant dean for research and evidence-based practice at the College of Nursing, Texas A&M University in Bryan.

“It’s a somatic process, the process of chewing gum to reduce the physiological anxiety we experience,” says Gosselin, who has a doctor of philosophy degree in educational psychology. “Chewing gum is a way we can reduce that anxiety. It provides a tangible outlet — biting down.”

A couple of caveats: Choosing sugar-free will also relieve the stress of anticipating cavities as well as make your dentist happy. And chew doesn’t mean chomp sloppily.

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Music has been used as therapy since Plato’s time, but is a lot more accessible nowadays. As for its calming nature, Gosselin says there are two schools of thought.

The first is selecting your own music. The second is choosing music that meets certain criteria: 60 to 80 beats per minute; no voices, only instruments; and no horns, percussion or anything with “a more abrasive tambour,” Gosselin says. In other words, choose piano or string instruments.

“From my research, classical music is typically better at reducing anxiety than self-directed,” says Gosselin, whose studies involved nursing students. “I tend to stick to classics like Bach, Mozart, Haydn.”

Franz Gruber wrote “Silent Night,” so that might be a good choice. Whether to include “Little Drummer Boy” — that’s up to you.

Touch

Specifically, your pets.

“There’s actually work that’s been done that shows primarily if you pet your own dog or cat your blood pressure will lower,” says Bonnie Beaver, a professor of animal behavior in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University in College Station. “It’s more significant if it’s your own. Otherwise, there’s a tension: ‘Is this one going to bite me?’”

Research suggests that when you’re stroking an animal, there’s a release of oxytocin, a calming hormone, “which then physiologically helps relieve stress,” she says. In addition, the animals tend to have a corresponding lowering of blood pressure while they’re being petted.

Studies have mostly been done on dogs, including one showing that dog owners who had survived a heart attack were less likely than non-owners to have a second heart attack. The calming influence, though, has been verified with other species as well, says Beaver.

“For me, I have great stress release with a horse and a dog and a cat.”

For an added benefit, after petting your pooch by the crackling fireside, take him for a walk. Fresh air is calming; plus, people are more likely to talk to you, so you’re getting that social component. Do so only if your dog is good on a leash. “If they’re pulling you down the sidewalk,” Beaver says, “that’s not good.”

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Angela Wagner demonstrates a restorative pose that allows you to passively reverse blood flow.
(Ron Heflin/Special Contributor)

Extend

We tend to live our lives a bit on the hunched side, says Wagner. “We’re hunched over our computer, driving cars, holding the baby, reading your phone.”

Thus, she recommends a couple of yoga poses. Though one takes a little more bottom-scootching than the other, both can be done between trips to the mall or when the in-laws are shouting along with A Christmas Story while it’s on TV in the other room.

For the simpler “cat-cow,” get on your hands and knees. Inhale, dropping your belly, arching your back as you raise your head. Exhale, curve your spine, tuck your belly, let your head drop.

“When you’re rounding it to cat, you’re exaggerating the negative movement” of the hunch,” she says. “The general backbend of cow will reverse some of the negative of rounding forward. You’re releasing some of those tight muscles in your chest, your pectoral muscles and shoulder muscles.

“Your body is meant to be in strong alignment. The way we hold ourselves is a huge part of the way we feel.”

For “legs on the wall” pose, lie on your back facing the wall. Scoot your bottom as close to it as possible, then lift your legs so they’re flush against the wall. Pull your shoulders down and, if you like, grasp your elbows above your head and rest your arms on the floor.

“This relaxes the central nervous system,” Wagner says. “You’re reversing your blood flow. You’re doing it passively. The wall is doing the work for you.”

Stay there for a few breaths, a few minutes, a few stanzas of “Twelve Days of Christmas.”

“I haven’t found it to take the place of a nap,” she says, “but it’s always written up as one of the most restorative poses.”

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Bubbles are fine, but to make the most of your tub experience, be sure you’re generous — as in a cup or two — with the Epsom salt.

Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, has been touted as a stress reliever because when the body is stressed, it loses magnesium, which Epsom salt can replenish through the skin. It’s also been touted on various websites (including empathsolutions.com and Dr. Oz’s Pinterest page) as increasing energy levels.

Of course, you may need to do this before the kids are on holiday break. Or just hand the older set a threaded needle and some popcorn. By the time they tire of stringing the stuff, you’ll be out of the tub and refreshed.

 

Read the story at Dallas Morning News.