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Posted by Carmelle Russell on
Sarah Metzger is an enigma of a woman. Wise beyond her years, she is open, vulnerable and enamouring. As an American who has made it in Australia, we sat down with the owner of Melbourne Yoga Studio (Here) Yoga to talk about her journey. She also runs a wildly popular Yoga Teacher Training programme producing the next generation of talented teachers. It's worth making an extra large cuppa for this one.
Q) Sarah, introduce yourself to the Natch community...

Hey, I'm Sarah :) I grew up in midwest America, a wild little kid that was really into bugs and running around on adventures. After studying childhood development at uni, I took my skills abroad and worked on cruise ships running the kids' club for 7 years. After all those years floating around the open ocean, I've put down roots in the beautiful city of Melbourne. Through all my adventures, I've always been a student of life: learning about life hacks, mindfulness, wellbeing, movement, joy, and love. I'm so lucky that I get to bring all of that into my career as a yoga teacher and studio owner. It's really a dream come true to work with beautiful people, both the staff and students at the studio, and share my love of connection every day in a million ways.

Sarah the Business Woman

Q) Sarah, you own one of the most successful Yoga Studios in Melbourne, (Here) Yoga. Tell us why you got into such a profession, how you got started and your journey to where you’re at now. 

During my time working on cruise ships, where things changed quickly--literally we'd be in 7 countries in 7 days with 2000 new guests every week!--I used yoga as a means to stay centered and grounded. I loved the physical and mental benefits of yoga and knew that it was something everyone could use in their lives, so I jumped ship from cruise life and dedicated myself to becoming a yoga teacher with the dream of running my own studio. When I started running the studio in 2015, I had lots of experience managing and a huge passion for yoga, but I had never even worked in a yoga studio so it was an adventure to say the least! I learned on the go and was lucky to have incredibly supportive friends and colleagues who helped me tremendously. Now, after so many years I've learned to go with the flow, and trust that things always work out for the best (and usually better than I could have expected!). 

Q) Learning on the job is something we've all gotten very good at!
Being a business owner involves building a brand and of course being business-savvy. We’d love to know of any lessons, mistakes or advice you've learned and would pass on to someone else wanting to get started in business.

I certainly had lots of hiccups on my business journey, and I think it's important for anyone who wants to get started in business to know that the wobbles and stumbles are part of the journey. As we say in yoga, "the obstacles are not 'on' the path, they are the path," meaning every experience is something to learn from, and there's a huge value in "mistakes" because you learn such big lessons that you never forget. Above all else, the most important thing I've learned is to lead with intention and trust myself. With the yoga studio, I always make decisions that I think will create community and connection, they're my two core principles. And I definitely ask for opinions or advice from others, but I trust my own wisdom as the guidance towards making final decision. 

Q) Trusting yourself when making decisions is the biggest takeaway from this chat. So simple, yet we forget it so readily.

 As well as being a fountain of knowledge on all things Yoga, another part of your offering involves training, talking, listening and energy expenditure, can you talk about that in more depth? 

I remember when I first was running the studio and trying to make everything happen, and even though I knew it would be good for me, I felt like I shouldn't stop working. But I'm no use to anyone if I'm burnt out, so since then I've really learned to prioritize my wellbeing and happiness. My ultimate goal in life is to be at ease and at peace, so why would I wait until I retire or get older? I have the luxury of doing what I love, and so I'm giving myself permission to enjoy it now. I'm sure I could earn more money if I smashed myself at work with long hours and more hard work, but I'd rather work less, and enjoy every day more. I have an amazing manager that tends to emails and daily tasks for the studio, so I can prioritize my wellbeing and mental health, which then leads to me being more productive when I am working, and I have more space and ease the whole way through.

So much yes to this. We don't champion 'the grind' at all, instead opting to hero wellbeing and mental health.

Mental Health, Routine and Rituals

Q) How is your Mental Health doing at the moment?

I'm really lucky to have amazing mental wellbeing tools from yoga that I've been practicing every day to maintain a level of equilibrium. Through movement, mindfulness, little rituals and clearing methods, I'm actually in the best mental health I've ever been. 

Q) Great to hear! Share with us your morning routine - what sets you up for the day?

Every morning, I wake up about an hour before I've got to leave the house, which gives me time to get ready, meditate, do some daily energy clears, have a coffee and go. I used to be the kinda girl that loved to sleep until the last minute (how good is sleep?!) and rush out of the house, but these days the slower mornings really set me up to feel centered and calm as I head into my day. 

Q) I hear you. I call the whole process 'pottering'. Do you have any favourite personal care rituals that you physically or mentally benefit from?

I LOVE all self care practices! Anything that makes me feel loved is a go: intuitive healing massage, energy clearing, facials. I love it all. But perhaps even more profound is when I give myself a few minutes to journal, to sit on the beach, to read a book, or enjoy a cup of tea slowly. I learned a lot in 2020 during our Melbourne lockdown months, and one of the most amazing parts was how much I loved just taking the time to be with myself and go slowly through my day. I didn't realize how healing walking by the beach or sitting in the grass could be, and now being in nature and taking my time to enjoy little moments feels really big and important. 

Natural Products

Q) We're huge advocates of what you put onto your body is as important as what you put into your body with about 80% of products you use being absorbed into your bloodstream. What are your thoughts on natural products?

I love everything about high-quality natural products. Over the years I've learned how much better I feel when I eat nourishing high-quality food, and the same goes for my skin and whole body. And because I'm busy, I really don't have time to figure out what's good and what's not within the millions of body products, so I trust brands like Natch to do all the behind the scenes research and development, so I know when I use their products, I'm treating my body well! 

Adversity and Future

Q) You've been through so much both personally and professionally, seemingly like a graceful swan. Could you share how you overcome adversity? 

Throughout all the challenges in my life, I always wished things were easier. But in hindsight, I am really grateful for the things that didn't work out how I thought they would. It sounds cliché but I'm grateful for the challenges which taught me so much. I learned how strong I am, how deeply I can feel, how innately resilient we are as humans, and what it feels like to keep going and keep getting better. Lately I've realized that the whole experience of being human is a gift, especially the highs and lows--the moments where you're really feeling everything deeply--because then you know you're really alive, you're really here, you're really in this wild experience of life. I wouldn't want it any other way, because my life is never boring. On days where I'm feeling shitty, I try to keep everything in perspective by reminding myself of affirmations like:
It's easy for me to trust and surrender when I know everything can be for my benefit.
If the more beautiful future I already know exists is waiting for me, I can relax and allow life to unfold perfectly. 

Q) Finally, we'd love to know your plans for 2021! 

So it's kind of a secret (not for long), but I'm moving part-time to Byron Bay this April. I'm going to spend most of my time in the sunshine and magic of Byron, and visit my beautiful studio in Melbourne often. I'm looking forward to warmth and travel!! Plus, I've just learned a new healing modality called The Spiral, and I'm super excited to be taking my friends and clients through sessions where we clear energetic blockages that keep you from feeling like your truest and best self. It's going to be a big year 2021--I can feel it :)
Craving more of Sarah's widsom? You can find her instagram account here. 
Visit her Yoga studio and meet the beautiful community she has built here.

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