I met Taylor circuitously through the Brown alumni network and after many months, we finally made a photoshoot and interview happen. She and her husband own Prana Power Yoga (the NYC location is in Union Square) and she gets the award for being the most positive person I’ve ever met. I got up early to photograph her the morning after our yoga pants launch party and she pulled on a pair of our new yoga pants. They fit her perfectly and she chattered away while we went a few blocks away to the Brooklyn Bridge stop to snap photos. Read on to hear her story which I can’t help but describe as magical.
Q. Can you give a bit of a background introduction to your life path so far? How did yoga become such a central part of your life?
hours until the rink in my little town in the Midwest burnt down and my mother didn’t want to drive me (far) to the rink many towns away at 5 AM. Can’t say I blame her.
So I started playing tennis. There were public tennis courts in a park next to our house.
When I was 12 Nick Bollettieri asked me to come live with him in Sarasota, Florida to train to go Pro.
I had no social life. We didn’t focus much on academics. It was just all about tennis.
One of my best friends from the Chicago area with whom I had trained had turned pro and was number three in the world behind Navratalova and Everett. She told me not to do it. She said she was miserable. She didn’t like her life.
So after a year at Nick’s I chose to live in Calabasas California, where my parents had moved from Lake Bluff Illinois. I went to high school there at Calabasas High and played #1 singles on the tennis team for 4 years. We won CIF every year and I earned a scholarship to Brown. I had balance in my life, had friends, won homecoming queen, was a “normal kid.”
I graduated from Brown in 1987 with an honors degree in “Media and Social Change,” a journalism concentration I had created. You can now take this concentration at Brown – I think it’s called Modern Culture and Media.
After meeting with a Brown alum producing the CBS news with Dan Rather in New York, I noticed that balance was missing in the lives of these journalists as well. So I chose another path.
I worked in marketing for a few years – something I do quite naturally – and then I completed my Masters of Arts and Masters of Education at Columbia University in Psychology. I worked for a few years in the field and then began my doctoral program in clinical psychology.
It was then that I found yoga and after my very first practice I thought to myself, “This is it. This is my dharma.”
I had not felt lost or like I was searching for anything, but there it was: My path.
Shortly after I began my yoga practice I felt the veils of illusion life, and I left my ex-husband, whom I had met at age 17 on the first day of orientation at Brown.
And do so with integrity.
Two weeks after I left my ex-husband, I was filming a yoga video for my yoga teacher and I looked at the student next to me and said, “Oh my God, I had a dream about you last night."
I had never seen this person before but indeed I had dreamt about him.
He replied, "So I am, quite literally, the man of your dreams."
Three months later he asked me to a dharma talk at the Cambridge insight meditation Center. We have been together ever since and opened our first Prana Power Yoga in June 2002.
Prana Power Yoga™ is not a business to us. It is our life. We walk our talk and practice yoga and Deliberate Creation every single day. So our studios are extremely successful and we attract amazing managers, teachers and students. I was teaching at our Prana NYC studio in Union Square last Thursday afternoon and I said to my students afterwards, "I can’t believe I get paid to do this.”
Q. What do you think are some important things women looking to start their own business should know or consider? What lessons have you learned from starting and running yours?
Everything that I am going to say here is also detailed in my book, “Create the BEST LIFE EVER,” and my “Create the BEST LIFE EVER Inspiration card deck. I wrote them because so many people over the years have asked me the questions you are asking me and also the following questions:
1. How do you do everything that you do?
2. Are you a workaholic?
3. Do you ever sleep?
And my personal favorite:
4. Are you really that happy?
It was easy for me to answer three of the four questions with a media bite: I am not a workaholic, in fact, I feel like I never work because I love love love what I do. I sleep eight hours a night every night. I really am this happy, 99% of the time – I’m human after all.
But answering the other question, "How do you do everything that you do?” required a bit more time and focus and so it wasn’t possible to answer it adequately while in line at Trader Joe’s or at a soccer game or after yoga class, So I wrote my book and the Inspiration card deck (along with my BEST LIFE EVER blogs and articles on and in the Boston Herald).
My advice is easy, simple and accessible. Most things of value are:
- Follow your heart.
- Only do what inspires you.
- Remember that you can be, do and have anything that you want, regardless of what anyone else wants or thinks about it.
- Don’t worry about our even think about the peanut gallery.
- Walk your path with integrity, grace, focus and intention and never look back.
- There is no such thing as a mistake – only a path and learning and transformation.
- I don't believe in regret.
- I don't believe in coincidences.
- I don't believe in luck.
- Remember that you are the master and creator of your life. Your thoughts and words create your reality. As soon as you take responsibility for this you can feel and utilize the power – the pure potential – that is you.
- Knowing this, utilize Deliberate Creation by consciously choosing your intention, your thoughts and your words to create whatever you want in your life. Soon you will be running the best business ever and living the life of your dreams.
-While on your path, be mindful to practice “yoga” every day. This does not have to be Yoga asana, which I personally love and practice daily. Your “yoga” could be gardening, running, being in nature, writing, reading, taking a bath. Whatever grounds you and makes you feel whole and happy.
- Remember that our Universe is one of abundance, not scarcity.
Celebrate others’ successes and they will become yours as well. It’s all good.
- Laugh and smile a lot. Joy is a magnet for success. Joseph Campbell said, “Follow your bliss.” I can’t say it any better than that.
Q. You teach, write, work out, care for your family, run a business, and get 8 hours of sleep a night. What tips do you have on fitting in everything you want to accomplish?
I’m going to sound like a broken record but the answer is the same. And it’s simple.
When you are doing what you love and listening to your emotional guidance system, you will create more than you ever dreamed possible in an incredibly short amount of time. And another key is to remember that there is an abundance of everything, including time, money and love. Usually this requires a paradigm shift because most people believe that there is not enough time, money and love to go around.
Listen to what people are saying. Mostly they are complaining and talking about how they don't have enough time, money and love. So because of the law of attraction, this is what they attract -- a shortage of all these things.
It’s a simple shift in thought, as all miracles are. My book teaches you how to do this easily, and – now. Because the time is now.
I have a trilogy of new Inspiration card decks coming out in the fall, and one deck, called “Create More Time," is focused on creating more time utilizing your thoughts and the law of attraction.
Q. What do you like to do when you don’t have any responsibilities?
I don’t believe in work or responsibilities. I am a yoga hippie and practice deliberate creation (explained above) daily so I choose to focus on and therefore create total freedom. I therefore truly feel free. I choose what I do all day and all night every day and every night.
And a Virgo to boot! So if it’s possible for me to shift, people, it’s possible for anyone. You can do this!
And p.s., what one might call "responsibilities” I call what I love: being with my kids, practicing yoga, writing, teaching yoga, teaching about deliberate creation and the law of attraction.
Q. What words would you like to leave our readers with?
You can be, do and have anything that you want and I’m rootin’ for ya!
Lighten up, laugh more, appreciate more, and remember that it’s all good. Your purpose on this planet is joy and when you follow that joy, everything else will fall into place easily. And you will have many friends, much love, and a ton of success. Guaranteed.