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Check Out Kellie Mathes’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kellie Mathes.

Kellie, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I founded Go Yoga! Express on the belief that our best lives are built around unshakable inner strength or what I like to call personal peaceful power. I became deeply passionate about sharing yoga (to strengthen the body) and mindfulness training (to calm the mind).

Through the years, I’ve seen life rob people of their natural vitality and inner strength. Setbacks, injuries, insecurities and doubt lead to a loss of belief in one’s true power and this belief keeps people from living their best possible life.

During my personal journey through cancer and recovery, I achieved life-changing strength with yoga and mindset training. I transformed my body from frail and sick to full powerful and strong and as my body transformed, my confidence increased too!

Yoga brought me back to life. But first, after I was cleared to begin physical exercise, I attempted a few exercises that I enjoyed before cancer.

I walked into a step class and I lacked coordination and balance; I joined a spinning class and the pace was too demanding; and finally, I went for a run and I was too dizzy and simply not ready for high intensity movement.

With a mix of disappointment from failure and determination to regain my strength, I signed up for my first yoga class at my local YMCA. Like most people, I had no idea how strong I could get with yoga. To my surprise, I loved the class and most importantly, I could keep up!

I began practicing yoga three days per week. Over the course of several months and with a consistent yoga practice, I became as physically strong and confident as I was before my breast cancer diagnosis.

The pace worked for every level of fitness and options to increase or reduce the class intensity created a welcoming experience.

Within a year, I was physically and mentally stronger than I had ever been so I sought out more challenging classes. On the journey, I discovered hot and power yoga, along with my life purpose of sharing the life-changing benefits of yoga with others.

I’m proud to say that I have created a yoga community where people show up with a “feet to the fire” philosophy. They understand and embrace that the physical and mental demands of the classes are well worth the reward.

Yoga builds the body from the inside-out. Strong body. Calm Mind.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Getting to where I am today, sole-proprietor of my dream business, Go Yoga! Express hasn’t been easy…and it’s been well worth it.

As the leader of a thriving community that is rooted in personal development, when our community grows, I grow. There’s no replacement for doing work that I love, with people that I love, every day. Every struggle, lost night of sleep or financial worry has been 100% worth living the life of my dreams. I know that the strength I’ve gained from my struggles is a blessing.

I opened my first yoga studio with two friends. As time passed, our views on yoga grew apart and I developed a strong urge to create a community rooted in my philosophy. While the call for change could not be denied, leaving my first yoga studio was difficult. I had developed friendships and relationships that would become strained or even end because of my decision to follow my dreams.

While my new business was an immediate success, nine months after opening Go Yoga! Express, a nearby yoga studio closed. The owners of the building of the shuttered studio reached out to see if I was interested in leasing the space to continue to grow my business. I agreed. I was excited and envisioned this addition as the beginning of my yoga empire…

As it turns out, I hadn’t developed myself or my team enough to manage two spaces. Our two locations were 7 miles apart and while I thought it would be easy to bounce between the two studios, they were too close to each other to be profitable with the plan I had developed. The result – the increased expenses greatly outweighed the additional revenue and I was exhausted from managing two spaces. In addition to running two business locations, I’m a single mom and I was in over my head.

I closed the 2nd location.

I’ve owned yoga businesses for ten years and from the start, I have navigated new yoga studios and fitness centers opening nearby, as well as the increased presence of online offerings. By far, the pandemic has been the most challenging situation I’ve ever faced.

Fortunately, a few months before the pandemic, I achieved a longtime goal of opening a virtual yoga studio that offered online classes. Thankfully, Go Yoga! Express was ready to move all of our classes to livestream when the country shut down. We survived. It wasn’t easy or glorious and we survived.

As the world reopens, our community in the studio is growing again, and I imagine it will be another 9-12 months before we realize pre-pandemic attendance, membership and revenues.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
We incorporate mindset training into our yoga classes. We offer an intention or reading that sparks our students to expand their personal power. I love to watch students activate and expand their personal inner power.

I’m filled with so much love and energy when I see someone take charge of their life, their decisions, their body and their relationships.

From the first time I saw a student achieve something they once thought impossible for them, to witnessing massive personal leadership growth in our yoga teacher training programs, I know that my purpose is to guide others toward their true inner strength.

I attract and cater to those who seek to ignite their personal power.

It isn’t easy or comfortable and it’s 100% worth it.

People who wouldn’t love my vibe are those who want someone to do the work for them and provide all the “right” answers.

I believe that when you ask someone to “get you all the way there”, you give up your power and forget that you’re the one who is truly in charge of your choices and your results which ultimately combine to create your life.

Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
Find a mentor who has achieved what you want to accomplish so you can learn from their success.

Next, ensure that your mentor asks you questions. A good mentor will offer advice and knowledge while leaving space for you to develop your ideas. You might feel a little frustrated because of your “need to know” or “get it right”.

Keep in mind, your problem-solving skills will be stunted if your mentor spoon-feeds you all the answers without engaging you to think independently.

Finally, make sure that your core values are aligned with your mentor. It’s easier to take advice from someone you respect and identify with.

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