Entrepreneur Lisa Brownstead of the Blakeney area has turned her love of yoga into a rewarding career that benefits adults, children and corporations.
When Brownstead, a 43-year-old former California television news anchor and then Charlotte stay-at-home mom, went through a divorce and became a single mother of three, she needed to come up with an income.
"I worked with a life coach who asked me, 'What do you love to do? What are you disciplined about? What could you do every day?'" said Brownstead, who recognized her passion for yoga.
Brownstead earned her certification through Yoga Alliance, became a registered yoga teacher and began teaching adult classes in 2007. She currently teaches at Steps 'N Motion and Y2 Yoga.
"Yoga helps me be more centered and balanced," said Brownstead. "I have a more laid back approach to parenting. It helped me build self-confidence and self-esteem, and it gave me the confidence to start my own business.
"My motivation is to let people know what a great physical workout yoga is and that you can also learn a lot about yourself when you're on your mat. I think it helps you become a better person."
Brownstead went on to found Pretty Postures in 2008. Through Pretty Postures, she offers yoga parties to all age groups, including children.
In December 2010, Brownstead expanded her reach to assisting business owners and employees. She formed Corp Wellness Yoga, along with founding partner Jennifer Busco. Brownstead also works with goodmortgage.com and the pit crew of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.
"We're bringing yoga into the corporate workplace," said Brownstead. "It sets the tone for the rest of the day. They feel like they've released some of their stress.
"People need to take time to move their bodies. People don't rest enough, they're overly stressed and this is contributing to the rise of disease. As corporate wellness people, we can come in and help employees stay healthy by increasing immunity, letting them relax and relieve stress. And when you work out regularly, you sleep better at night, too."
Brownstead encourages others who want to make a career change or start their own business to "just do it."
"If you think about it too much, you stop yourself," she said. "It's knowing in your heart that what you're doing is what you want to do and that you love it, and I think the business comes. And if it doesn't, you learned a great lesson and can apply it toward something else.
"The other thing is trusting that there is abundance for everybody and not getting caught up in comparisons."