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Meet Trailblazer Mar Soraparu

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mar Soraparu.

Mar, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I feel that every step of my journey has been in preparation for me to have my own yoga and coaching business. In high school, I was an active performer in the arts – singing, acting, dancing – where I learned movement, expression, and fearlessness. After high school, I moved to Los Angeles where I studied Sociology at UCLA and worked as an assistant on the production side of film and television, where I learned the business of hustle. I really find these years to be transformative. After graduation, I decided to try working in the Financial Services industry which opened my mind in a way that nothing else previously had. My methodical and analytical skills were being exercised and I really enjoyed the challenge and the growth that occurred with me professionally. After a couple of fantastic years in that industry, I eventually moved back to Chicago with a large firm where I was on a fast track to a big corporate life. Fast forward one year and the magic of finance started to disappear for me. I went back to thinking about why I had gotten here in the first place and realized it was driven by monetary means. What I didn’t realize, was that in this quest to monetary robustness, my creativity was no longer being exercised and was rather being muted. My stress hit an unhealthy high and thus, I decided to jump ship.

During these years in finance, I had turned to yoga to relieve my own stress and had felt a connection and the profound benefits of the practice quickly and intensely. My teachers in Los Angeles were incredible and the teacher I found in Chicago became my inspiration. I figured that there was a reason that the yoga practice kept showing up for me, so I decided to explore it. I traveled solo for two months through Southeast Asia to reconnect where I wandered through Vietnam, Thailand, and Nepal reflecting and healing. After 2 months of travel which included a one-week yoga retreat, I knew that my path was to lead others and to contribute to society in a meaningful way. Leading was something I felt comfortable doing and the yoga practice was a creative outlet that brought me joy. Yoga and coaching seemed to be the answer. It was the best and most difficult decision I have ever made.

I founded Yoga with Mar in 2014, a yoga, coaching and lifestyle brand, where I work with private clients and corporate clients across the city of Chicago. I additionally teach permanent classes at Studio Three Chicago and Core Power Yoga and substitute classes at Mirepoix and Yogaview. I am an RYT 200 Yoga Alliance Certified instructor and actively study an array of yoga styles and theories so I can serve my clients and students in the best way possible.

My ultimate goal is to help others master their minds and get into their bodies. In my opinion, these two elements, reinvigorate and heighten the life journey. Yoga is medicine and mind mastery is freedom and I have found that during this time on Earth, it is truly making a difference in peoples health and overall happiness.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road is winding, bumpy and smooth in some areas. There are constant struggles however these are the struggles that I have chosen. The struggles have made me stronger and more fluent in my craft. My advice to other women is to just get started and give it time to evolve.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Yoga with Mar – what should we know?
I am a Yoga Instructor and Empowerment Coach. I also have a few side gigs that I work on including social media consulting, accounting and vacation rental management.

I teach yoga privately to individuals and groups, in corporate settings and in studios across Chicago including Studio Three Chicago. I am known for my flow-based classes with the public and for my highly customized on-one-on approach to private lessons. As an Empowerment Coach, I lead others through a program designed for high-functioning individuals who want to live mindfully with optimal energy for maximum performance.

What sets me apart? I am not sure I can answer that. However, my goal is to always provide others with value. Whether it is an Instagram post, a class, a private lesson or empowerment session, I hope to offer you insight that shifts the way you think and feel. It isn’t about me – it is about you.

So much of the media coverage is focused on the challenges facing women today, but what about the opportunities? Do you feel there are any opportunities that women are particularly well positioned for?
I think that women are well positioned for any opportunity that they choose.

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Image Credit:
Scott Shigley, Leah Huggins

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