Today we’d like to introduce you to Halle Miroglotta.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Becoming a yoga teacher was never on my list of things to do. I grew up in Cleveland, OH, moved to Chicago at age 18 for college at Loyola University, and graduated in 2011 with a BA in Philosophy and minors in Sociology, Peace Studies, and Women and Gender Studies. Not surprisingly, the contents of my resume have since assumed every possible constellation: beekeeper, medical billing assistant, rooftop farm/restaurant worker, research assistant, artist, barista. I tried some yoga in college and liked it, and some years later, in the midst of a triathlon training, tried a free week of yoga at Corepower Yoga. It stuck. The shifts in my life were profound. I felt stronger, calmer, and kinder. Signing up for yoga teacher training a year later in January 2012 was a stroke of courage or luck, and it created a personal and professional path that opened wide and has been unfolding ever since.
It was a pleasure to be asked about my business. I feel like my business was a bit of an accident, born out of following the needs of my community and my students. It is still very much in development, and this year I am dedicating myself to creating more online content and audio resources for students. I am and have always been passionate about creativity, curiosity, health, the natural environment, play, community, helping others, and the cultivation of intellect, mental discipline, and stamina. Teaching yoga for the last five years has been a platform to watch these interests expand, interact, and shift.
Over the years, my trainings include 200-hour Power Yoga Training from Corepower in IL, Chicago (2012), a 500-hour Yoga Acharya (Master of Yoga) from Sivananda Vedanta in Austria and Poland (2014 & 2016), a 90-hour Pre-Natal Yoga Teacher Training in Chicago, IL with Amala Yoga (2016) and a Birth Doula training through DONA in Ann Arbor, MI (2017). All of these trainings and experiences have informed one another in some way, and their synthesis has created my unique method of sequencing, customizing postures, modifying, and cueing. To date, I have taught almost 3000 classes and I feel like I still learn something new every time I walk in the studio.
The teachings of yoga includes the physical postures, awareness of breath, the flexibility and stability to nourish and maintain a healthy body, and the tools to concentrate and soothe your mind, and much more. Being a yoga teacher full-time means not only being an instrument of these teachings, but also a businesswoman, a customer service professional, a promoter, an emotional nurturer, a public speaker, a negotiator. Being a yoga teaching sometimes means being employed by a company or studio, and other times an independent contractor. Sometimes it’s stepping into the security of a studio or schedule already established, other times it’s branching into the unknown of your own design and learning through continual trial and error.
Halle Yoga has evolved into a brand that encompasses a robust weekly group class schedule at Lakeshore Fitness and Corepower Yoga in Bucktown, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, West Loop, and Downtown, as well as maintain a small roster of private clients. In the past few years, I also created and presented dozens of original independent workshops throughout many studios in the Chicagoland area on a range of subjects including Arm Balances/Inversions, Partner Yoga, Pre-Natal Yoga, Introduction to Pranayama, Yoga for Depression/Yoga for Anxiety, and more. I have facilitated ten+ 200-hour yoga teacher training sessions and have been a guest lecturer at continuing education workshops in Illinois and Wisconsin. I am known for a thorough, consistent, subtle approach.
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?
Sometimes the fact that I don’t always have a plan has benefited me, because it allows me to stay open to possibilities that may have escaped me had I been married to my personal agenda. In this sense, the path has been smooth. One thing always seems to lead to the next as far as teaching opportunities, even if it requires a little bit of patience or time. Being sensitive to feedback, student requests, and gaps in what I see as educational opportunities for aspiring yogis and yoga teachers has continued to evolve my outreach and goals.
I have tried many teaching and business tactics over the years, and necessarily some of them have worked better than others. There was a period of time in which I had a rental arrangement with a chiropractic clinic. I loved the owner and the space, but the date/time I picked to host a weekly class was a bust. There were weeks that I would travel there, sit, and then leave when it became clear that no one was coming. Sometimes you put yourself out there, and it doesn’t work! But through those obstacles I learned more about marketing, timing, communication, and being flexible in my approach. I discovered that weekend workshops did better at that studio, and changed what I was doing to suit the needs of that particular community. Every single thing is an opportunity to grow. Sometimes I am delighted by the success of a concept, other times I have to be grateful for thick skin when my idea is met with crickets. I’ve also discovered that some of the struggles have just been periods of intense study or effort, and have borne the greatest fruit.
One of the biggest challenges for me as a business yogi is to account for what I will call “admin time.” Sometimes I work for myself as an independent contractor, and other times I am an employee of a company. When I am an independent contractor, I pay myself for my admin time. If I am employed by a company, sometimes the ongoing work of sequencing classes, answering work-related emails and phone calls, marketing classes, absorbing referrals, scheduling, networking, and preparing curriculum for trainings, facilitations, and original workshops is not paid time. I am always in a constant effort to work smarter instead of harder, and am formulating the approach to my “long game.” I want to build better content for students to access outside of the yoga class to develop their growth at home.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Halle Yoga – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
My business, Halle Yoga, is five-years old. It is in a continual space of evolution, and has shifted and grown organically over the years. I infuse the physical alignment and intensity of Power Yoga, the mental stamina and stability of Sivananda Yoga, and the subtlety and sensitivity informed by Pre-Natal Yoga to create an experience that is playful, spacious, and strong. I am passionate about providing individualized instruction in an inclusive environment, and truly believe that yoga is for all bodies and all people. I specialize in articulate cueing, hands-on adjusts and assists, and customizing the physical practice to serve diverse needs. I am proud to show up and have provided consistent, high-quality, informed teaching in every group class, workshop, and private client session. My attention to detail within these sessions sets me apart from the others.
One of the things I am most proud of as a company is a series of workshops I led over a period of about two years. At the end of this stretch, I set out to create a “thesis workshop” to serve as the creative, original presentation of my yoga studies. Several of my students, one in particular, had asked me if I knew of any information available on using yogic techniques to manage anxiety and depression. I told her that I would do some research for her. To my surprise, I found nothing. Since one of the most rewarding parts of being a yoga teacher is successfully addressing the needs of your students, the focus of my workshop became apparent.
For two days over one weekend I led a four hour workshop called Yoga for Anxiety/Yoga for Depression. The workshop was designed to serve yoga teachers and yoga practitioners who were looking to balance the tendencies of depression/anxiety. It ended up being well attended by not only yogis and yoga teachers but also nurse practitioners, doctors, therapists, and social workers. Through a combination of lecture, discussion, and two short asana practices, attendees developed resources for identifying their state, harnessing their energy through posture and breath, and intelligently sequencing their home practice or their classes to therapeutic effect. The premise of this workshop was inspired by the Ayurvedic principles of Brahmana and Langhana. Practices that promote Brahmana increase vitality and build energy in the body; those that foster Langhana are grounding and calm. Much to my surprise, both days of the workshop were completely sold out with a waiting list. Additionally, I self-published a book of resources to use along-side this workshop, and all 75 of the books were sold within the next six months at various future iterations of this workshop.
This experience taught me that it is good sometimes to go out on a limb, to lay your heart bare, to be vulnerable as a teacher, and to be open to ideas. It reminded me again that my students are really my teachers, and continuously reveal to me what needs to be explored. This experience made me proud because it was an independent venture, filled a community need, served a diverse population, and really stretched my abilities as a facilitator to integrated content through a creative lens.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
There are a lot of plans in the works right now. Within the next six months I am looking to create and launch online content, written content, and more for students to access globally. I truly believe that yoga should be accessible to all, and I want to provide what I can. Everything is definitely in the incubating stage, but I am excited to move ahead.
- Group Classes – $15-$35
- Private Lessons – $80-100
- Community Classes – Free
- Website: hallemiroglotta.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @halleyoga
- Other: halleyoga.wordpress.com
Jules Kennedy, Stanley Opalka