When I first met Lauren Vestal, 35, I was attending a networking session hosted by The Ask Method, a local women’s networking community, looking for advice on how to avoid burnout in the workplace. Lauren responded with such wisdom and empathy, providing sage advice that she clearly put genuine thought behind. So I wasn’t surprised to learn that her free time involves teaching yoga at Hot Yoga Plus – she just has that calm, cool, collected yoga teacher energy.
And teaching yoga is just one of her many ventures. She has her hands full, juggling a six-month-old and a full-time career in the strategic development and operations sector of the fashion wholesale industry. On top of that, she recently completed a breathwork certification and is working on developing a proprietary platform for fitness teachers.
The key to balancing it all? Practicing mindfulness.
A lifelong athlete, Lauren grew up playing soccer and continued to play throughout college and beyond. The sport began taking a toll on her knees, which is how she ended up at Hot Yoga Plus in 2018. She immediately fell in love with the studio and yoga practice and began teacher training shortly after that. Now, she teaches classes twice a week and co-leads teacher training.
Lauren describes the philosophy and rich history of yoga that permeates throughout each class. “The practice of yoga is transformative in a way I didn’t anticipate,” she says. “Yoga demands that you’re present and focused on your body and breath, and really allows you to create space mentally and take that mindfulness into your daily life.”
Through practicing and teaching yoga, Lauren’s learned that there’s another way to do life than how she’s always done it – a more mindful, interconnected way. Now, she’s taking what she’s learned in the wellness space and using it to help others improve their lives through her newly-launched breathwork course and an upcoming platform built to help fitness instructors optimize and monetize their business.
While on maternity leave earlier this year, Lauren completed a breathwork certification through XPT and recently partnered with Taylor Somerville of Symmetry, a company that coaches participants on how to manage stress and improve overall wellness through breathwork and other key practices. In partnership with Symmetry, she’ll be offering one-on-one breathwork coaching and group seminars.
“Our connection with breath is so important and can impact so many aspects of our overall wellness,” Lauren explains. “We’ll help teach people how to breathe more effectively, use breathwork to better fuel your muscle tissue, and help busy or stressed people create more space.”
In addition to reducing stress and anxiety, breathwork has various medical benefits, including more balanced blood pressure, stronger respiratory function, more time in deep sleep, and an improved immune system.
Her eagerness to help people also comes through in the platform she’s currently working on developing. A self-described nerd and lover of Excel, Lauren is working on a platform to help fitness teachers analyze their business and ultimately make more money.
When Lauren started teaching yoga, she always wanted to keep track of how many students she had and how many hours she was teaching to maintain her accreditation. She built her complex spreadsheet to keep track and realized it would be a great tool for full-time fitness instructors.
Through this app, fitness instructors will be able to easily manage their schedules across different studios and gyms, keep track of notes on their classes and students, keep one record of all their payment history, and more – essentially, it will allow them access to a customizable dashboard for their fitness-teaching business. This level of insight and easy trackability will allow instructors to optimize their business and take it to the next level.
She currently has a fully workable beta version but is searching for a developer or investor to help her take it to the next level.
To connect with Lauren, you can find her on Instagram at @yogarcemove. To learn more about Symmetry’s breathwork courses, visit Symmetry.live.
By Lucy Modzelewski
Photo by Tindall Stephens