As yoga has become increasingly mainstream and popularized, all kinds of undreamt-of and peculiar yoga trends have emerged in the past few years – goat yoga, beer yoga, naked yoga, and recently, even Heli-yoga. However, just 16 years ago, something as common as the combination of yoga and spinning was unheard of and deemed irreverent. How, then, did this disrupting hybrid movement become a phenomenon? At Tuesdaynights’ first event of the year on February 7, 2017, we had the pleasure of speaking to Kimberly Fowler, the Founder of YAS Fitness Center, who is also known as the “Godmother of the Hybrid Movement.”
Though YAS Fitness Center has now expanded to five locations, with thousands of loyal members and new ones joining every day, the journey of Kimberly has not been an easy one. While she was in law school, she was diagnosed with brain cancer and was told she had six months to live. Refusing to succumb to illness, she fought on, sought solace in yoga, and was able to make a miraculous recovery to everyone’s surprise. But that’s not all – at age 40, Kimberly got into a terrible climbing accident that took her a full year to recover, and that left her feeling lost and unmotivated to go back to law. It was then that she decided to create a business around what she is truly passionate about – yoga.
By combining yoga and spinning to form “Yoga for Athletes,” unheard of at the time, Kimberly was disrupting the yoga industry and was ridiculed by yoga purists for mixing hard-charging cardio with yoga. However, none of these obstacles stopped her; instead of allowing the criticism to take the best of her, she saw herself as an innovator, a pioneer in the fitness movement.
Now, not only is she a master yoga instructor, but also a dedicated philanthropist, speaker, and published author. She said, “I want to empower my students to become their own teachers. I hope they leave my class feeling good about themselves and what they are capable of doing.”
When asked what advice she would provide to women who might want to start their own business, Kimberly said, “Just do it. Jump and figure it out on the way down.” This is what she did, and with hard work, dedication, and unwavering belief in herself, she has become one of the most well-known names in the yoga industry. She reminded us, “I’m not your guru, YOU are.”
Green Bunnies Kitchen
In addition to an inspiring fireside chat with Kimberly Fowler, guests had the opportunity to learn about the event’s sponsors, Renew Juicery, Vibetrek, and Green Bunnies Kitchen, a certified organic kitchen that delivers healthy, delicious meals to your house. Its Founder and Chef Makani created Green Bunnies Kitchen out of her passion for clean eating and providing meals with integrity, and the belief that eating well should be easy. Inspired by the teachings of her father and growing up in Hawaii, the philosophy of her kitchen follows the Hawaiian mantra “Living Pono,” which means “to do things the right way.”
Her dishes include Mary’s Chicken Scarpiello, Turkey Meatballs with Roasted Spaghetti Squash, and Mary’s Oaxacan Chicken Mole. All of Green Bunnies Kitchen’s meals are prepared daily, using only USDA-certified organic ingredients sourced from local family farms and ranches, featuring grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, and pesticide-free, non-GMO produce.
Cancer Support Community
The nonprofit organization featured at this Tuesdaynights event was Cancer Support Community, a wellness community that provides psychosocial support to not only cancer patients, but also to family, friends, and caregivers. As the world’s largest professionally led nonprofit network of cancer support, the community strives to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community, “So that no one faces cancer alone.”