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In class recently I was sharing the story of what things were like when I opened my first Yoga studio, Chicagoland Total Body Yoga: without apology I begged my neighbors and friends to be in class for free so it would look like we had students, but really we didn’t have any money coming in for months.

I was working two full-time jobs clocking in a ridiculous number of hours each week; almost every waking moment was poured into fanning the flame of the studio to keep it alive another day, week, let alone month or year. Well, that was 13 years ago. To say I often thought about giving up would be an understatement.