A Dream was born under the stars in Bali
by Gaby Aschwanden
Owner of TheYogaPage.com
It was on one of those magical nights in Bali, just after a yoga retreat with Shiva Rea. that my friend Sonja and I sat under the stars talking, laughing and sharing experiences about life and
yoga. We both realized how challenging it was to find yoga retreats, yoga workshops and yoga training for our individual needs. More and more we could see how important this information was for us, to find places and people to help balance our high-corporate jobs with the tranquility and restoration we found in yoga.
We are 21st century women. Soon we were talking about a global yoga directory on the internet with sophisticated search engines to help us find yoga events and yoga businesses all over the globe. That night under the stars of Bali the idea for The Yoga Page was born.
Back in the “Real World”
May to August 2008:
Back in Switzerland and my career. I sat again with 20 other colleagues in our shared high-rise office, advising top income earners how to invest their money, working in an environment where only money counts, materialism at the centre of it all. Yet the idea of a global yoga directory never left me, illuminating me like a star in a clear night sky. The feeling became so strong that I made the decision to follow that star, curious where it would take me. Consequently, I left my job and the security of a fixed income, taking the first steps on a new path to the unknown, my first steps to connect the yoga world, my first step for The Yoga Page.
My Giant Leap
October 2008 to September 2009:
In retrospect, it might look like I knew exactly what I was doing. But when I returned to Bali all I brought was two bags, a strong intention and a business plan to create a user friendly, fast and attractive yoga directory. A new chapter on my journey began and I spent many hours, days and weeks researching, creating, learning and planning to nurture the seed for The Yoga Page. The first months were dedicated on the structure and design of the site, the set up of the search engines and the functionality of the global yoga directory. The offices varied, sometimes I was working at a café at the beach, sometimes at a shelter beside the rice fields or on a table overlooking the lush tropical vegetation of Bali. My colleagues were gone, replaced by surfers, ducks, tourists of every nationality and smiling friendly Balinese.
Every day brought new challenges and decisions to take, new topics to think about and new fields to discover. There were so many new skills to learn, and concepts to understand. It was completely different work from my career as a private banker in Switzerland, but I was fortunate that my education in business administration helped me to make a clear plan and begin to implement my vision.
The great philosopher Joseph Campbell said, “If you follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be”, and he was right! I constantly found that I met the right people at the right time to help me manifest my vision and support me in my project.
My base was in Ubud, the spiritual heart and the art capital of Bali. There is no doubt about it, Bali is special and the ideal setting for creativity, inspiration, yoga and working for this big project. I continued my research, taking retreats and other teachings with Shiva Rea in India and Bali, and Twee Merrigan in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Bali and Munich. Together with my daily yoga practice these gave me energy, faith and will power, and the opportunity to test my ideas with professionals from the field.
As the rice fields of Bali grow from the prepared soil, The Yoga Page began to grow a little every day. Then, like an unexpected storm before the harvest, I had a motorbike accident in Bali. I had just come back, full of vigor, from a yoga conference in Hong Kong. The date was set for the website launch on July 1, 2009. Two days later I woke up in a hospital bed, my writing arm had a broken shoulder and a strange doctor was telling me I must strap the arm and not use it for at least three months. I must admit, this were shocking news and I cried then, in the company of my dear friends. But only for ten minutes. Truly. I believe something was guiding me, keeping my faith true. I got out of hospital and visited a traditional Balinese healer, and miraculously was working on my computer again in less than a week. The process slowed me down of course, but my dream was back on track again.
The Bridge to the Global Yoga Community
When is a new business service actually “born”? The Yoga Page officially went live on September 1, offering free listings to all yoga studios, teachers, retreat centers until 1st March 2010. Gradually, word is spreading and we have yoga gurus recommending to their colleagues, and businesses linking other companies. There are new listings every day; yoga seekers can go diving on a yoga retreat in Zanzibar, create a teacher training at a retreat center in Guatemala or a resort in Chile, sing and dance at the Bali Spirit Festival, or join an inspiring teacher on a yoga safari in South Africa. All kinds of amazing yoga experiences get listed on The Yoga Page and the database fills up every time I open the computer.
It is becoming the bridge to the yoga world that I first envisaged under the stars in Bali. As each new business realizes how it can help them and clicks on, the bridge becomes stronger. More resorts know the value of linking to us, more great retreats are advertising their dates, more yoga teachers and yoga centers are sharing their information with the global yoga community. There is still a long way to walk on this journey but I put my heart into each step.
Many people ask me what makes The Yoga Page special? The answer is in its vision, its practical functionality and that it comes from the heart of a yogini, who is putting all her energy to make it happen.
For yoga teachers, yoga events, retreat centers and resorts, The Yoga Page offers a very affordable and user-friendly way to promote their services to a worldwide market. For the yoga seeker, everything is easy to compare, plan and organize within a few clicks. Truly, it is the most sophisticated search engine for the yoga world and I am proud of it!
|The Yoga Page Benefits at a Glance:|