Beth Bauer never intended to be a yoga teacher. It happened quite by accident while she was living in India. She had been working as an expat for a software company and started a travel blog so she could more easily share her adventures with friends back home. In late 2016 she was unexpectedly laid off, along with other staff, and found herself feeling depressed, unhealthy, and lost. That’s when a friend suggested she learn yoga, and since India is considered the birthplace of yoga, Beth decided it was a good idea and perfect timing.
Since she had just lost her job, money was tight, so Beth sent a few e-mails to some ashrams (yoga schools) in the area asking them if they would trade some free classes for promotion on her blog. She was thrilled when one agreed, but when she arrived at the ashram, she was shocked to find that she had been enrolled in a 30-day intensive yoga teacher training course. That month was exhausting and challenging. She was the oldest student in the program, and the only one that had never done yoga before, but it changed her life!
Once Beth returned to her home on the Long Beach Peninsula, she longed to use her new skills and teach some yoga classes. Beth asked her local homeowners association if she could teach yoga classes in their building. They graciously agreed, and soon Beth was going door to door with flyers inviting people to her classes. She had only one student in her first class, but now, two years later, her classes are filled to capacity. As Beth watches the lives of her students change, and their health and well-being improve, she gets excited about the long term difference her classes are making in the community.
Recently Beth felt the calling to take her offerings to the next level and host a yoga festival on the Long Beach Peninsula. Guests from around the area will gather at the Ocean Park Camp and Retreat Center from September 20th-22nd to deepen their yoga practice, celebrate the Autumn Equinox, take fun and informative workshops, and enjoy a host of recreational activities like kayaking, horseback riding on the beach, and zip-lining.
She hopes that their time around the campfire, walks along the beach, star gazing, and yoga classes will refresh their mind, body, and spirit. Beth feels that far too often in this hurry-up world, we forget to be present and enjoy the moment. As she watches her yoga students make new friends and become healthier, she’s convinced that yoga is a holistic lifestyle that can transform people. As one of her favorite yoga teachers used to say in India, “Yoga is not a work-out, it’s a work-in.”
If you would like to learn more about the event, check out the Jiva Yoga Festival website or Facebook page. Even if yoga isn’t your thing, the workshops cover a host of subjects, from fighting sugar cravings to living a happier life. Beth is also seeking local vendors for an outdoor style market during the festival and corporate sponsors for the event.