I remember the first day I tried Yoga. I walked in the studio thinking, “This is gonna be a piece of cake. I can do repeat 600′s. I can squat 300lbs. Yoga ain’t got nothin’ on me.” Well, I was a little overconfident because not only did I have no idea what I was doing, I spent half of the time sweating, out of breath, and trying to catch up to everyone in the next pose. So sad.
Our Inspiration for the day, Skylor Powell (pictured right), has a very different story. After taking a 200hr certification class, she and a friend, Molly, decided to open their own Yoga Studio, Sprout Health, in Portland, Oregon. Skylor and Molly really value community, and wanted even those unable to afford classes to be able to attend, so they decided to have donation based classes. Clients give what they can when they can. In this way, Sprout Health is available to anyone who wants to start living a healthier life.
In addition to the Yoga Studio, they decided to include a wellness program. We all know that improving our health doesn’t just mean exercising; we have to change the way we eat and live. Sprout Health’s Wellness Program brings teachers to clients’ homes with the goal of helping them make healthier eating choices on their own. Additionally, Sprout Health’s website and blog have healthy recipes inspired by experimentation with fresh ingredients. I tried the Spinach and Romaine Salad with Shrimp and Walnuts recipe! I’ve said too much already. Here’s more info straight from the source:
Interview with Skylor Powell of Sprout Health PDX
It’s very easy to have a dream. How did you implement your vision of Sprout Health?
To be honest with you, I leaped with eyes closed! I have always been a little bit fearless in taking steps forward because I give very little time for considering the consequences. After I found the location that seemed to fit Sprout’s needs: beautiful flooring for a yoga studio, a kitchen for cooking classes, a living room where everyone would want to spend time, office space to meet clients in, a lot of natural light and an awesome location where people could find us easily, I got the key and was off and running.
You have a pretty amazing Wellness Program; can you break it down for us?
We try to offer a little something for everyone. There are programs that are as basic as taking you through the grocery store so that together, we can weed out the processed foods that pretend to be healthy because they are “low fat” or “low calorie” and focus on whole foods. There are cabinetry clean outs, where we empty out bad foods and make room for the good ones! One month, three month, and group cleanses/health coaching programs to help change patterns and habits that keep people in ruts of being tired, irritable, overweight, and prevent them from living to their fullest potential. We even have in-home healthy cooking crash courses, where we come into your space and cook some very simple dishes with your favorite ingredients, your pots and pans and your spices, so that you can easily replicate it when we are not around to help . We have mini consultations for people who just need a bit of accountability. We try to offer options to every level of price point and experience.
You have a 3 Month Health Coach Program that looks perfect. It seems that after drastically changing your routine, one would need consistent encouragement and support. What challenges have people faced once the program is through? How has the community built around Sprout helped enable positive health choices?
The key to our programs, especially the 3-month program, is to make changes that are manageable so that the encouragement and support is something that they can supply themselves simply by feeling the benefits of the changes. We try to make simple, minor changes over a period of time so that the transition is slow enough that the changes last. Through group cleanses, yoga classes, potlucks, workshops, and follow-up meetings, there are a myriad of opportunities for follow-up support systems. The Sprout community blows my mind, every single day, with how much they support Sprout and each other. Everyone just seems to want to see everyone else succeed! They speak encouraging words, they bring in healthy, delicious goodies, they talk, I mean really talk, before and after classes and programs. They take time to get to know each other. One of our dearest students, Gary, brings in eggs & berries for teachers and students to enjoy. Another student, Molly, brings in homemade Kombucha for everyone to share. They are all so dedicated to the well being of the community as a whole; it makes our job so easy!
What advice would you give someone eager to make a healthy change in his or her life?
Do it! What is holding you back from making one change that will inevitably open up a number of other doors in your life?
What are you thankful for?
I am thankful for everyone who has helped me get to this point on every level. My mom, my brother and my dad, of course, who have only been sources of encouragement to make me the brave, and sometimes ignorant, soul who leaps without looking first; who have also been the people to help me up throughout life when the leaps end in falls! They pick up where I leave off and remind me that forgiveness is crucial to happiness. They are more love than any one girl could ask for. They have been so supportive to my growth and it brings little tears to my eyes thinking about how important their dedication to family has been and still is today. Our manager, Molly, of course, who selflessly puts in so many hours at Sprout without hesitation and is such a significant part of every decision that I make. She is the earth that my foundation at Sprout is made of. I’m thankful for my closest friends and boyfriend who have been supportive to Sprout since day one. Friends who have gone out of their way a number of times (even rerouting their 1,500+ bike trip to come to the opening, THANK YOU GUYS!) just to see that Sprout is succeeding. The friends who paint Sprout’s walls, who make manikins and spend their weekends working, who run errands to insane places like Ikea on a Saturday by themselves just to make sure that our kitchen is appropriately stocked for cooking classes, who take hours and hours out of their days to build ladders and assist with cooking classes, who donate their time and effort to cleaning, teaching yoga classes and cooking classes and leading workshops, just to see us grow. The partnering businesses who donate free gifts to our raffles and spread the word about Sprout. I am grateful for Portland rain! It keeps my extreme energy levels at a relatively neutral state so that I can concentrate and keep my priorities straight. I am grateful that I live in a community that is so dedicated to happiness and change. I am grateful for running water and food in my belly. I am grateful for Kenston Elementary, Hawken Upper School, The Mountain School of Milton Academy, Hobart and William Smith and Colorado College for all providing my education to get me here (a lot of transferring!). This list could really keep going, I am grateful for so much. I am grateful for this fantastic opportunity to pause in my day so that I can reflect on everything and everyone that fills me with such joy!
Thank you, Skylor, for sharing you story and for providing inspiration to those looking to change their lifestyle, improve their health and maybe start their own venture! I’ll wait for the studio opening in L.A. (=