Hi there, my name is Gwen and I am the manager and lead trainer at Yoga Bliss Lembongan.
In 2013, I officially decided to take a break from my PhD in Marine Archaeology (that was longing for a while) and from my relationship. I told my teacher I will be travelling for 3 months as I needed a break and promised to work harder when I will be back (I never did…)
My best friend decided to join. We had no money, we did not speak english but somehow managed to pack our whole life, sell most of our belongings and leave 6 months later. Why did I do that? Well, I knew that there was more to life than what I was doing. I was feeling extremely stressed out, I was feeling low, always needed to prove myself to others and was slowly losing my joy.
It is actually only after I left that I realised that I was at the edge of a burnout in France because of the pressure of being in a Phd.
As I was an underwater archaeologist in France, I quickly bounced from this and started teaching scuba diving. I also officially resigned at this time from my PhD.
You might be wondering where my yoga practice is at this time!? Well it was full of ups and downs as you can imagine. I took my first yoga class in 2006 but it was not before years later that I managed to have a regular home practice. I seemed to always have good excuses and, you know, life happened.
As I was travelling, my yoga practice became my anchor more than ever. People were coming and going in my life and I needed some stability. After committing to my yoga practice and at the request of my teachers I decided to go deeper in my yoga study and became a yoga teacher in 2014. I practiced Ashtanga Yoga daily and studied in India (Mysore), and Bali with world renowned teachers such as Gregor Maehle, Monica Gauci, Ramesh Sheeti, Laruga Glaser and many others, following my path as a practitioner and teacher.
After all those years of practice and my first 200hr Yoga Teacher Training done, I felt it was time to start a new chapter in my life, to take a leap of faith! With equal fear and excitement, I left my job as a scuba diving instructor. I was ready for something new!
The start was very difficult financially. The land owner of what is now Yoga Bliss Lembongan asked everyone that he knew on the island if they knew a good yoga teacher. Everyone said my name so we then met for the first time in his local restaurant. I did not know what to expect! He asked me if I wanted to take care of a yoga studio if he was building one. Wooow! I said yes, and Yoga Bliss was born out of the jungle, 2 months later!
I then began leading drop-in classes, teaching 5 classes a day trying to make a living. I though this was the way! After months at this crazy rhythm, I was back to feeling burned out, was losing my daily practice and my savings were at zero… I was feeling lost and a bit hopeless honestly.
It is at this time that I started connecting with my main teachers. I was in awe of their own way of teaching, leading students, teaching retreats and workshops everywhere in the world. They seemed so relaxed and content. I realised that there was another way!
Following their steps, I committed to build a sustainable business where I will not be burned out! I hired another yoga teacher to teach the majority of the drop ins, started teaching workshops and leading yoga and surf retreats. Not long after, I started leading my own yoga teacher training and understood that this was what I was meant to do! I was meant to help yoga teachers on their journey so they can make a living without burning out like I did in the past.
Since then, I dedicated a lot of time and money into my own growth as a yoga teacher trainer. I continued training in Ashtanga Yoga but also in Ayurveda, Yin Yoga, Vinyasa, Sound Healing, Yoga Therapy, Yoga Anatomy, Pranayama, Restorative Yoga, Prenatal, Philosophy… You got it, I am passionate about yoga!
As Yoga Bliss grew bigger and bigger, all our trainings and retreats were fully booked, every time! My role did quickly change from being a studio manager and yoga teacher to being a website designer, accountant, graphic designer, marketing director etc. Yoga Bliss also grew online in March 2020 and we have now created an online academy with more than 10 online courses that are self paced and dedicated to yoga teachers.
I am now a proud mom of a 2 years old adorable boy, born here in Bali. I built a house on Nusa Lembongan and I feel like I am living my best life! I practice yoga every day, go freediving and are able to enjoy every single moment of my life as even when I work it feels like living my best life!
I am doing what I love the most, helping yoga teachers elevate their yoga career and make a living from sharing their passion for yoga! My students are able to serve their students with authenticity and also get the income they desire.
If I could get one wish, it will be that all passionate yoga teachers make a living from sharing their passion for yoga.