Yoga instructor Karen Bishton believes in learning how to breathe, doing the groundwork and mentoring yoga teachers in regional Australia.
How many years have you owned your own business?
Celebrating 20 years of teaching in 2022.
How do you balance work and life responsibilities?
It’s a constant imbalance and at different times I drop certain balls to catch others. Very rarely do I feel like I have it all perfect – in fact, never. From a practical perspective I do love my old-style yearly wall planner, as well my online calendar. Here I have every major business / personal event that I must lock in, I can see it every day and it gives me a big picture view of where there is too much on and where I need to ease up a little.
Where do you envision yourself in five years?
I’d love to be mentoring more new yoga teachers in regional areas. It can be incredibly isolating but thanks to technology / zoom the options are now vastly better for connection.
What keeps you up at night?
Actually – not much.
What’s been the highlight of your career?
Not sure there’s been just one. But one of my students came to me not long after a major stroke had forced her into early retirement from her career. Watching her grow in confidence, in her physical mobility and strength, in her acceptance of the changes that had taken place and to find herself in a place to be grateful for how far she has come would have to be way up there.
Another highlight would be from my men’s class – one of these guys said to me at their second class that they couldn’t believe it had taken till age 45 to truly learn how to breathe. That to me is the essence of yoga. It’s not the physicality – it’s understanding that the breath is our own precious superpower and the sooner we discover that the better off our entire being will be – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
What are some words of advice you would give someone wanting to start their own business?
Not everything has to be an overnight success. A slow burn is okay and while it is possible to have it all – your mental health will thank you if you don’t expect to have it ALL at the same time. The trick to longevity and success (however you gauge that) is to do the groundwork, show up, be consistent, be true to yourself and your clients / students, and if you put in the ground work then the results will be there for you. I couldn’t do it all when I had five children under eight, but I could lay the foundational work with my side-hustle so that as I became a little more free, I was ready to launch.
Don’t be afraid to seek out mentors, ask questions and most importantly – surround yourself with your greatest fans, who will champion you and support you through the challenging times! They will be the ones you’ll seek out to celebrate the magic moments alongside.
What’s on the horizon for Selah Yoga?
In 2022 I’m excited to be celebrating my 20th year of teaching with some beautiful yoga retreats at ‘Waterloo Station’ in Glen Innes, Uki and Norfolk Island. I’d love to think I could launch my ‘Just Breathe’ program online, but that may be a 2023 project!
location: Bingara, Barraba and Manilla, NSW