Inspire Yoga owner, Bethaney Pilat (affectionately known as “Queen B”) is why we are all here at Inspire Yoga today. This studio and the community that has developed are a direct result of her original vision. In fact, the words “Inspire Yoga” actually came to her during savasana at the end of a class. Boy, are we thankful she took that class! Today, we interview Bethaney and get to know her a little bit better…
N: Inspire Yoga was your vision. What was your hope for this community of yogis coming together?
B: I believe that if we want to see the world change for the better, we must begin with ourselves. So I created a space in my own community where people can go to keep shifting toward a better understanding and quality of life personally. Yoga is a profound tool for doing this. Over time, the positive effects of the yoga practice spill over into so many other aspects of life that it is impossible to not be a changed person. This innately influences the relationships we have with those around us. Selfishly, I hope that this will result in a greater chance of the world changing for the better.
N: What has surprised you over the past 7 years?
B: It’s not necessarily a surprise, but more of a happy discovery…but I love how close and connected our staff is at Inspire.
N: What do you draw the most inspiration from in teaching yoga?
B: Definitely the students I teach. I have the privilege of hearing about your ups and downs, your successes and failures, your joys and sorrows from day to day. It is that commonality of experience that connects us all on a deeper level. Sharing our human-ness inspires many of my themes, words, and tools I wish to present and integrate in my classes. I am to reflect, in both big and small ways, themes and concepts that we can all relate to on some level.
N: You also lead teacher trainings through the studio. What has been the most rewarding aspect of training new instructors-to-be?
B: That moment when I see a trainee realize that Teacher Training has very little to do with yoga poses and so much more to do with learning about themselves is the mind-blowing reward. I see lives change right before my eyes. I see people burst open with their humanity in front of their peers and inspire greatness in each other. I see people transform into confident leaders who have a great deal to share with others. This is the gift I get back for the work I put in.
N: What is one lesson you wish you could share with your 20-something year old self?
B: What you have to give to the world is important. Be patient but be persistent.
N: How many years have you been practicing yoga?
B: I have been practicing yoga since 1998. Even though my college years seem like yesterday, it has been almost 20 years now.
N: What keeps you coming back to your mat after all these years?
B: Once I grasped the fact that my yoga practice is a reflection of my life and my inner self, “coming back” is just natural. The yoga practices have become such an integral part of my everyday existence. I may not see my mat every day, but the tools of awareness, mindfulness, and personal growth that yoga has given me have shaped who I am day in and day out.
N: Do you feel yoga is for everyone? If so, discuss the common ground which yoga provides.
B: Yoga IS for everyone. It’s a matter of understanding and investigating what practices and forms serve you best. The common ground which any yoga practice will give you is a series of internal tools to use for self understanding and improved quality of life. You must find the right yoga practice for you. When you do, it will resonate with your heart and mind and you will keep coming back for more.
B: I am also a wife, mommy, daughter and sister. Being a mother has been the most rewarding and grounding role in my life. Being in the presence of my son (and now, another one on the way!) makes me feel a level of importance and reverence that inspires me to be a better person. I believe this role is the one that influences all other aspects of who I am and how I live my life.
N: How do you pursue a work-life balance?
B: Boundaries and forgiveness. I blurred the lines of work and personal time early on and paid the price in energy depletion and stress. Since that time, I have worked intentionally at segmenting my tasks and time in a way that aims to respect all aspects of my life and honors the relationships that are the priority at the moment. It’s the reason that you may not get an immediate response to an email or I may ask to schedule an appointment with you to chat about life. I have found that this respect of boundaries allows me to be more present and intentional with those I share time with. Of course, there are always times of exception, whether it be out of necessity or by choice. In those times, it is forgiveness that reconciles my mind and gets me back on track.
N: If you could share one thing with someone who is considering starting a yoga practice, what would that one thing be?
B: Start today. There will never be a better time than now. You will not be perfect when you begin no matter how much research, planning and preparation you do. Just get in to a class and begin. If it doesn’t feel right at first or the practice doesn’t suit you – keep searching for the right teacher and style for YOU. As it is with all worthwhile endeavors, it is not always easy in the beginning. If you keep coming back, eventually you will move through the obstacles and land in a place that feels like home to your heart and soul. But waste no more time. Start today! …That’s “one thing” with a lot of explanation.
Inspire Yoga is nominated for “Best Yoga Studio” in Denton county and Bethaney herself is also nominated alongside Inspire as “Best Yoga Instructor”. Your votes would mean so much to the whole team at IY! Cast your votes each year in both of the following categories.
(CLICK TO VOTE!)