We had the good fortune of connecting with Dawn Hopkins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dawn, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
My entire journey as an entrepreneur has been about taking risks. I left my marketing career in 2001 to become an entrepreneur and opened a women’s fitness franchise with a former co-worker and friend. This was a risk that worked out very well and led me further down the path of health and wellness. It was during that time that I discovered my passion for yoga and mindful eating, and became a yoga teacher and mindful eating facilitator and coach. My partner and I made the tough decision to close our gym in 2009 after the market crashed and we were unable to sell it. Rather than playing it safe and going back to corporate marketing, I decided to pursue yoga and wellness full time. I stepped out in faith, and founded The Living Well Retreats where I facilitated yoga and wellness classes, workshops, and retreats and trained yoga instructors. At one of my yoga retreats, I felt the nudge to open a non-profit wellness studio and yoga school called The Center for Living Well. We operated as a virtual studio for two years from 2011-2013 while we raised money for a physical space. We opened the doors of our physical studio in 2013. Two years later, my then business partner abandoned the business to pursue other interests. In 2016, I closed the studio, dissolved the nonprofit, and went back to operating as a virtual studio. Again, this was a big risk not knowing how it would all pan out. Fortunately, I was able to reinvent the business yet again, and re-launched as Inspiritus Yoga, Wholistic Wellness & Training in 2017. I currently have a successful teacher training and continuing education program with three licensed training centers in the US and Canada. I continue to teach, train, and facilitate yoga and wellness workshops and retreats as well as provide individual coaching and healing services. While the COVID pandemic has been challenging, we are continuing to adapt by offering online programming and remaining “flexible”. We will continue to adapt, adjust, and take the calculated risks necessary to thrive in this new environment. I wholeheartedly believe that the risks I took previously prepared me for such a time as this. It’s so worth it when you are walking in your purpose and making a difference in the lives of others.
What should our readers know about your business?
Inspiritus Yoga originated as The Living Well Centers in 2008, providing yoga and wellness classes, workshops, and retreats. In 2011, we became a yoga school and began offering yoga teacher training and continuing education. In 2016, we changed our name to Inspiritus Yoga: Wholistic Wellness & Training to better reflect who we are and what we do. Inspiritus Yoga is a Yoga Alliance-registered yoga school and continuing education provider with three licensed training centers in the US and Canada. We specialize in helping people heal, grow, and transform through yoga and wellness programming, mindful eating, and wholistic healing. Our programming includes yoga instruction at every level, yoga therapy, Thai yoga therapy, Reiki and Chakra healing, mindful eating coaching, yoga teacher training, continuing education, workshops and retreats. What sets us apart is our amazing community and our unique approach. We provide a safe space where people feel supported, and cared for because we meet you exactly where you are in your healing, wellness, and spiritual journey. The journey to where we are today was not an easy one and had many unexpected twists and turns. With faith, commitment, hard work, and an incredible team, we continue to overcome our personal and business challenges. We continue to remain dedicated to our own healing and growth, so we can better support our clients with theirs. In addition, we believe the teacher must always be the student first, so we continue to remain commitment to our own continuing education and credentials to provide the best possible experience for our students, clients, trainees, and teachers. We believe when purpose aligns with passion, nothing can stand in your way!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was visiting, our time together would likely include the following: – Yoga in the park and/or at Joyful Yoga – Hiking – South Mountain, Superstitions, McDowell Mountains locally, Sedona, Cottonwood, and/or Flagstaff – Local Dining Out (patio preferred!) – Favorites include Postino, The Living Room, Picazzo’s Organic Eatery, Pita Jungle, Hash Kitchen, Sicilian Butcher – A trip to the Queen Creek Olive Mill with a tour and a nice meal on the patio – An afternoon at the Botanical Gardens or an evening visit with music in the Garden (when available) – A day or overnight trip to Sedona and/or Flagstaff area, with hiking, yoga, and wine at Page Springs Winery or downtown Cottonwood – An overnight wine tour in Sonoita/Wilcox area – A visit to the MIM or a concert at the Chandler Center for the Arts – Home dining – we love to cook! And relaxing by the pool (when warm enough), or by a fire (in winter)
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to my husband, Bob Hopkins. Bob and I have been married since 2015, but he was a friend and one of my long-time yoga students prior to our becoming a couple. He has always provided love, support and encouragement, especially during the tough times when I considered returning to a “safe corporate job”. His constant reminders of the importance of the work that I do, coupled with his own testimony, are what keep me going during difficult times. He believes in who I am and what I do. And he loves and supports my community of trainers, teachers and students as well. I honestly wouldn’t be able to keep doing what I’m doing without him, especially during this last year.
Stephanie Greene Photography (Dawn’s image)