Last week, I had the pleasure of attending Halle Becker’s final Homegirl Yoga class of the season before closing up shop for the summer, and I am so glad that I made it just in time. Having just returned from Wanderlust in Vermont, Halle brought back many of the lessons she learned in the three-day event and shared them with the room full of women ready to take on their practice of the day. With an in-home yoga studio in her Upper East Side apartment, Halle has created a safe space where women can come practice in a comfortable and uplifting environment where all judgments and insecurities are left outside the door.
Halle began Homegirl Yoga in New York City as a unique branded form of yoga that plays by the mantra to “sweat and surrender.” She describes her practice as a blend of “truth, rock and roll, and yoga,” and based on the blend of music genres we listened to throughout the course of the hour, I have to completely agree with this description.
“It’s about really getting in your body to get out of yourself, and hopefully paving a new way to live and be. Yoga is such a great template for that because each pose creates a buzz that helps you shift.”
With a background in event production for over 20 years and working with Oprah for two years in the motivational speaking arena, Halle realized that she, too, had a story to tell and share.
“We all learn from teachers and people we come across. The best way to pass along what I’ve learned over time was to teach. I am in recovery from a long time drug addiction, I’m a single mom, I adopted a baby from Russia, and I have a healthy loving relationship with my ex husband. We all have addictions. Home Girl Yoga is my forum to spread the message from the lessons that I have learned from all of these experiences.”
Along with teaching yoga in her personal studio, Halle also works closely with Lululemon (a yoga brand started in Vancouver, Canada now making its way across the globe), as a brand ambassador and educator, and also teaches at Soul Cycle (a cycling branch off of the popular fitness facility, Equinox).
I asked Halle what words of wisdom she would offer budding entrepreneurs, and her advice hit me like a wave of positive energy as a young female entrepreneur, myself.
“I teach the kind of yoga class that I would like to take myself. When you go forward with entrepreneurship, more than likely, you’re bringing your passion. The key is turning it into a workable, profitable business. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help – call upon a life coach, a community, or a financial advisor. I called a town meeting for women I trusted to ask what they wanted to get out of their yoga classes – I wanted to know the inner and outer workout that they wanted to achieve. Always ask for feedback from your customers. What’s the difference between your work and a job? A job is where you go to make money – its why actresses weight tables. It’s why yogis work in corporate offices. The ultimate goal is to make ‘work’ and ‘job’ the same thing. That’s what you go for.”
Even if you’re not a seasoned yogi, beginners are welcome and can work at their own pace, as well, in the Homegirl Yoga classes. If you’re ever in the Manhattan area, reach out to Halle to attend one of her classes.