Emily Kane is the owner of Yogacara, a traditional style yoga studio located in the heart of Whistler, BC. Read how she honoured her inner fire by deciding to put aside her Master’s application, and by instead pursuing a career that incorporated all the elements of her life that truly brought her joy.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you became interested in yoga?
I originally saw it as a good way to train for other sports. I was super athletic so when I was challenged to "switch gears" and let go of that competitive side it was challenging. I soon realized that yoga was more than just stretching and breathing which has been a huge influence on me even over 15 years later.
Was there a deciding factor or moment in your life that caused you to just go for it and open your own studio?
Totally! I was in university trying to get into a masters program that had very high standards. It was extremely stressful--I was literally making myself ill. I began to think about what truly mattered to me. I knew the answer involved yoga, snowboarding, nature, and doing what I loved. I was really surprised there was no yoga studio right in Whistler Village so that sparked the idea and the rest is history.
Discipline has also always been big for me and seeing the "bigger picture." I feel like I usually have a good relationship with fear and understanding what I'm truly capable of. That includes telling that little voice of doubt to F off if it's too loud and not letting "haters" get in the way either.
What are the core values of your studio and business?
Compassionate teaching, creating meaningful connections, and fostering community. Having a 15 class cap really allows us to connect with those values--it's about putting people first.
Who has inspired you in your life and why?
Plenty of people! I feel like everyone's got a story and something to learn from. If I had to narrow it down... my mom for always being strong, my husband (Kevin) for reminding me that true love is possible, and Ana Forrest, one of my teachers, for her inner strength and caring guidance.
What challenges have you faced as an entrepreneur and what lessons have you learned?
Be prepared for anything. My roles always change. I've been tech support, an electrician, a bird catcher (yup, there's a story with that one)... you name it. Being open to learn new and unexpected things has been a big lesson.
What lights you up or stokes your inner fire?
Yoga (teaching and practicing), snowboarding, hiking, and just being outside in nature. I'm always down to try new things and go on adventures.
What advice would you give someone who’s considering starting their own business?
Be open to learning new things and going outside your "niche." My niche was yoga and customer service but I learned a ton of other skills to support the studio. I also feel like preparing for the unexpected (financially and otherwise) is key. Learning to weather the storm, especially in the first couple years, is part of that.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed or unfocused what do you do?
Anything that brings me a bit of comfort and encourages me to be still. Sometimes it's in the arms of my husband. Could be in child's pose or out on a walk in the woods. Putting my phone on airplane mode and setting a timer to practice savasana can also be a game changer.
Do you have a favourite quote and why?
"Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success." - Swami Sivananda. I love this quote because it reminds me that even the little things in life, including small acts of kindness, can make a big difference.
Are there any books or documentaries that have influenced your life or you’d recommend?
"What the Health" was a documentary that definitely impacted me. I was vegetarian for about 15 years and I was already at a tipping point in terms of considering going vegan but that movie was the last straw. For books, anything by Louise Hay. Particularly "You Can Heal Your Life."
Photos via Emily Kane Instagram