What could be better than yoga? Answer: yoga + wine! When yoga teacher Elizabeth Richardson first invited some of her students over to practice on her rooftop, while enjoying wine & cheese and sharing life stories, she had no idea how much her idea would catch on. Today, her mission to bring yoga to all, support important causes and inspire women to connect with one another continues to bloom through Vino to Vinyasa. We recently had a chance to catch up with Elizabeth and learn more about how she created her dream job.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING 5 YEARS AGO, BEFORE VINO TO VINYASA?
ER: Whew! 5 years ago, I was only a year into my yoga practice, so probably still cursing the practice all together and getting concerned looks from my grandmother about me “doing flips in her backyard” (aka trying and failing at crow pose.) Basically, today couldn’t have been dreamt up even if I had hit my head on her pavement!
IS VINO TO VINYASA YOUR DREAM JOB/VENTURE?
ER: Vino To Vinyasa is an important part of a giant mission and passion project I’ve been manifesting for the past few years. It is a rippling wave to set motion to causes that have always been very important to me. I didn’t know how to get involved, so I created a way. Vino To Vinyasa was created to inspire other women to want to recreate the concept!
NAME THE SCARIEST MOMENT YOU HAD WHEN BRINGING VINO TO VINYASA INTO FRUITION.
ER: Believe it or not, there were tons… and there still are. I am well aware that it is a huge controversy to introduce an alcoholic beverage with yoga, and I have approached that conversation many times at wellness events. I get concerned that in some way it could be seen as tainting the practice, but I think Vino To Vinyasa is meeting people where they are. Yoga is meant for everyone and this is no different; we are meeting women and young women not just on their mat, but in their living room with family and friends chatting about the guys they are dating or the promotions they want. If yoga can meet us here, yoga can meet us everywhere and the rest will come.
WHY AND HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO TAKE THE LEAP AND START VINO TO VINYASA?
ER: It was just so needed in our community, and I had to do something about it. With my knowledge of yoga’s false and intimidating perception, my passion for charitable work, my networks, and my open-minded students, I had to at least try! I reached out to Anna from Charity Project Babe, which supports women who have suffered from domestic abuse, and the connection was just right. She was looking for ways to get more involved in the community and share her story, but she was afraid. She had recently suffered such a great trauma, and her strength in creating an opportunity for others so soon was amazing to see. From there, I was committed! I created a cute flyer from photos I found on Pinterest, invited 11 girls from the studio where I taught, bought a couple bottles of wine & some cheese, set up my speaker and some blankets and pillows and fairy lights… and we had a ball! We all shared a little about our own stories, we laughed, we got vulnerable with strangers, we practiced and we all went home feeling a bit more full and a little less alone. From there, the inspiration came! Each girl invited a few friends, and before I knew it, there were 40+ girls on my building rooftop. I then proposed our concept to a larger event space and we continued to grow from there!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FORM OF SELF-CARE?
ER: You mean other than yoga? It’s between traveling and baths! Whenever I need to get away, I either look at flights or Lush’s newest bath bombs. Whenever I am feeling sore or just need to checkout for a few hours, I draw a bath, put on some tunes, grab a good book and relax.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE WAY TO TREAT YOURSELF?
ER: Shoes that are physically painful to swipe for and candles that smell like that one ex-boyfriend particularly.
WHAT IS YOUR PIECE OF ADVICE TO ANYONE WHO WANTS TO STOP WHAT THEY’RE DOING AND CREATE THEIR “DREAM JOB”?
ER: It takes resilience. Nothing amazing happens overnight. You have to really make a conscious decision. If this is what makes your heart sing, you absolutely have to run head first into everything that will bring you closer to that dream. For me, my dream started as a thought, a seed I continued to water without pressure or desperation for it to bloom the next day, but I had the commitment to keep watering it. I never could have imagined that the promise to myself would quickly turn into promises to others and would began to blossom. Sometimes your dream stops being about you entirely and I think that’s when it begins to truly manifest — when you realize you owe it to the world to see this seed through. You owe it to the world to see your potential through. You owe it to the world to see what you look like when you’re glowing with happiness, when every day becomes an adventure because you’re excited to do whatever it is you do! That’s where the magic begins. My advice is to see what you’re capable of because once the universe sees your resilience, and acknowledges your efforts, it will almost feel like every flower is blooming just for you! The potential you’ve always had will surface, and you’ll begin to find the potential in others. That’s where the magic happens!