Applying Yoga Principles in Life and Business

An interview with Kerry MacDonald, RYT-200

Written by: Bernice Thill

Kerry MacDonald is a co-owner and operator of Fashion Villa in Wausau, a yoga instructor at 5 Koshas, and also a yoga student. Yoga has been one way she cares for herself so that she can continue to do what she loves for others.

As a business owner handling multiple roles— payroll, inventory and HR to name a few—MacDonald stands for 8 to 10 hours a day and may work with 6 to 20 or more clients a day. It’s important for her to keep her energy level up, and to be able to engage her customers. Her work requires good listening, conversational and consulting skills. 

MacDonald says that when clients step into her salon, they expect an experience with their services. It’s their opportunity to talk about themselves, so she needs to be able to clear the conversation from her mind from client to client.

Yoga became a practice that helped her manage the physical and mental demands and stress.

“I was introduced to yoga about five years ago. After working behind the chair for almost 30 years and the stress of being a business owner, my body and mind demanded attention,” she explained. “I was experiencing body fatigue and brain fog. I had a workout routine for a long time but found it was no longer suiting my needs.”

Yoga helped MacDonald learn the association between breath and movement, and it has made a substantial difference in her daily living.

“The concept of breath and movement, being able to learn to meditate to help clear my mind was so intriguing,” she said. “I now find that a gentle yoga practice with breath adaptations is my regular practice.”

In her daily work life, yoga has benefitted her in many ways, including:

  • Breathe practices to calm her mind and control her breathing 
  • Stretching to compensate standing long hours
  • Practices to maintain her body for a long and healthy career

“Any business owner or any employee, any person in the world could benefit from yoga and apply it to their daily life. People don’t understand all of the benefits unless they can experience them by practicing,” she said.

Over time, MacDonald became interested in teaching yoga, so she enrolled in a Viniyoga program, a yoga style focused on adaptation. It addresses the entire person (body, mind, breathe and behaviors for example), allowing teachers to adapt postures and practices to support individual needs. 

“I initially took the teacher training to deepen my own practice, and I had a few personal experiences that also inspired me. It was never my intention to teach—it just seemed to fall into place,” she explained.

“I feel everything about the teacher training was applicable to being a business owner, the whole experience was so positive,” she said. “Learning to pause, take a breath, get my mind and breath under control. Adaptation is key, and that is the Viniyoga way.”

Through 5 Koshas, MacDonald offers a gentle yoga class that students can attend either in studio or online. “I love teaching this class and helping students find their best adaptations, as well as helping them grow in their personal practice, exploring and learning what is best for them. My goal for every student practicing is that they personally get the most out of it and feel fulfilled.”

MacDonald’s advice is for anyone to give yoga a try. “Take an array of different yoga classes, have an open mind,” she said. “Don’t be self conscious, be yourself. Yoga is more than a workout—it is an experience you deserve. Viniyoga is all about adapting, it can be applied in so many aspects of your life.”

For more information about classes, check out the schedule here

Read more about Kerry here