Mary McCormick and All Life is Yoga are pillars of health and happiness in Chugiak-Eagle River. Mary opened her studio just over eight years ago, because she believed her community could benefit from yoga. From offering free community classes to speaking about the benefits of yoga at chamber meetings, Mary is always finding ways to make her home a better place. She truly believes that yoga is for everyone and that shows in her studio with a variety of yoga classes such as active, wisdom warriors, hot, restorative, kids, and more. She is also always coming up with new ways for people to reach their health and wellness goals from pop up classes to yoga at the brewery. Below are ten questions Mary thoughtfully answered regarding yoga, wellness, and community.
What is your vision for community health?
My vision for the community of Chugiak/Eagle River is to be the healthiest community on this planet. This includes mental health, physical health, and spiritual health; which means our folks are intentional, helpful, kind, supportive, positive, active, motivated, truthful, and faithful.
How does All life is Yoga and yourself help the community reach these goals?
The studio offers a safe place for our community to come and connect with others while being supported reaching whatever goal they are focused on. We have tools and tips to offer as well. I personally work on them myself and offer what I can to my staff and community so we can create a culture of “Oneness.”
What impact does health and wellness have on your daily life?
HUGE – I truly believe I have to take care of myself first, and fill my health and wellness mind and body tank before I can give to others. I am a wife, mom, dog owner, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, business owner, boss, and so many more hats I choose to wear. If I do not have my health and wellness in check, than everything suffers. I have a set morning routine and healthy habits I have created over the last 20 years that I have been fine tuning and LOVE. I pray, meditate, journal, set my intentions, drink water, eat clean, workout no less than 30 mins each day, stretch(yoga), take breaks, read, go outside, roll, and take my vitamins daily.
Over the years what is the most important thing you have learned from being a yoga teacher or studio owner?
I have learned so much that I have to break it down a bit:
Yoga teacher – Teach from a place of LOVE, slow down, and practice what you teach.
Studio Owner – Be intentional and focused, serve your customer first, listen to them, know your numbers, know your purpose, and take risks. Remember that you are not alone, ask for help, and although it is hard work all day everyday, it is so worth it
How do you balance being a yoga studio owner, manager, yoga teacher, and mother?
SUPPORT – I am not alone, I have an amazing helpful and supportive husband, and family who all live close. I also have an amazing team here at ALL LIFE IS YOGA, we are not meant to do this life alone, and I have learned to ask for help. This was a hard lesson to learn through tons of mistakes but a very important one, more brains are better than one. This is how we grow, make mistakes, and learn.
All life is Yoga recently celebrated its 8th anniversary, how do you feel about where it’s come over the years?
Humble, grateful, and truly blessed – I LOVE serving the best community in the world. Chugiak/Eagle River ROCKS!
What originally inspired you to open a yoga studio?
I have always been into fitness, I remember doing workout videos in my living room in high school to Kathy Smith. Then after that always at the gym taking classes, one Tuesday morning I took my first ever yoga class at 6:30am and at the end I was crying, this yoga thing was what I was missing. So, eight years later, after taking my certifications to teach yoga, I found this inner desire to share the gifts and benefits of yoga with anyone and everyone who would listen. People think yoga is a religion and I am here to help break down the walls and misconceptions of what it really is. Yoga is a science of our minds and bodies. It can be a great workout or a total stretch, it fits what you need on this day. I like to say it brings you into the present moment. I knew our community was missing a true yoga studio so I took a risk and just did it, and amen it has exceeded my hopes and dreams. I started in my garage with my MOMS Club, we moms needed this break and it was the start of this beautiful life I get to call mine.
Your studio sells a variety of items, how do you choose what you sell? Any locally made items?
I listen to what my customers are asking for, then I do research on what is available. I look for who makes it, quality, reviews, what it is made with, and where. I was a buyer for Nordstrom years ago and learned a lot, and have brought all the knowledge with me. Yes, I love supporting our local artists, I have sold tons over the years including all kinds of art, jewelry, books, and clothing.
Do you have a favorite style of yoga?
I really love all yoga styles and over the years my favorites have changed, right now I am in love with taking restorative yoga classes.
What is your vision for the future of All Life is Yoga and yourself?
We will have our own All Life is Yoga building and wellness complex here in Eagle River, whether we do a brand new build or a remodel. I am open to either, I just need to find the right location and space. As for myself, continuing to learn, grow, and share the wisdom I have experienced with everyone. I love everything I am doing and I do not see myself stopping anytime soon, God willing. A new venture I am growing is motivational speaking to groups and I see this taking off in my future as well!