We asked our community to share the names of female yogis who inspire them. Check out our list below and add your suggestions in the comments.
In a world that encourages following the paths laid before us, these women decided to pave new roads.
We chose 20 women who are changing the world one decision, one class, one word, one person at a time. And their effects are epic: Because of one woman on our list, underserved children now have access to yoga and mindfulness resources. One woman said goodbye to the life that had been laid before her and carved a new path, full of service and meditation, without knowing where it would take her. And yet another is standing up to long-held beliefs about bodies and beauty and redefining how we perceive ourselves as women, athletes, and yogis.
Separately, these “yogapreneurs” are changing their corners of the world through business, yoga, health, and art. Together, they are changing the way we participate in all of these things, and they are paving new roads for women everywhere.
Jess Davis, Folk Rebellion
As founder and “Chief Rebel” of Folk Rebellion, Davis believes in the power of unplugging, which is why her lifestyle movement and brand is aimed at slower living and using technology more mindfully. Davis hopes Folk Rebellion will empower people with the knowledge and creativity necessary to inspire a simpler, happier—and screen-free—way of life.
Payal Kadakia, ClassPass
Kadakia was already a successful entrepreneur before the launch of mind-body sensation ClassPass. As the CEO and co-founder she believes in creating a holistic life: Balancing your time, listening to yourself, and knowing what makes you happy. Kadakia believes that ClassPass will make users more happy by serving as a tool to help them find passions and pursue hobbies.
Emma Mildon, The Spiritual PA
Mildon is a Spiritual Personal Assistant for your soul. Her goal is to help clients get their spiritual lives in order through helping them unearth their higher selves and purposes. She’s read all the scripts, tried all the methods, and—as The Spiritual PA—helps her clients find the ones that are best for them.
Sophie Jaffe, Philosophie
Philosophie founder Jaffe is a health and wellness expert, as well as a raw food chef and yoga teacher. The goal of her company is to make it easier to attain “radiant wellness” through complete nutrition. Her products are vegan, raw, gluten-free, and full of whole, live, nutrient-rich foods.
Mary Beth LaRue and Jacki Carr, Rock Your Bliss
Co-founders LaRue and Carr use a combination of yoga and coaching to help clients find sustainable, “ohmygodilovemylife bliss” in their lives. LaRue has also designed custom yoga programs for rehabilitation centers, homeless shelters, and the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles. She also serves as an instructor at Wanderlust Hollywood. Carr serves as a goal coach, public speaker, and personal brand consultant.
Tamara Jones, Yoke
Jones, the founder of Yoke, a yoga and Ayurveda trade post, has created a beautiful line of Ayurvedic-based home goods that have been picked up by stores across the country, including Urban Outfitters. Her goods are ethically sourced, and Yoke works with organizations in sustainable development through their charitable foundation, the Yoke Global Giving Foundation.
Caitlin Gottschalk, CTG Yoga
The founder of CTG Yoga used a play on a childhood nickname to come up with CTG, a company with the mantra “create the grace.” CTG creates mindfully made and artisanally sourced dry goods to inspire more graceful living. A portion of their profits are dedicated to bringing yoga and meditation classes to children in underserved schools through their foundation, The Mindfulness Movement.
Ania Lesniak and Meghan Conway, Daya Yoga Studio
At this community-oriented Brooklyn studio, owners Lesniak and Conway are building a new approach to yoga through blending traditional Ashtanga-Vinyasa movement with Kripalu theory. Classes are offered in multiple languages, and meditation sessions are available by donation.
Silvia Mordini, Writer, Happiness Coach, and Yoga Teacher
Dedicated to connecting people with their own joyful potential, Mordini does a bit of everything. She is a successful writer, with her book Happiness Prescriptions due out soon, as well an inspiring life coach with a dedicated following. Mordini has also designed a teacher training, Alchemy of Yoga, that is dedicated to the purpose of self-study.
Corinne Wainer, SHAKTIBARRE
As CAO and co-founder of SHAKTIBARRE WOMEN’S COLLECTIVE, it’s Wainer’s goal to provide women from every walk of life with yoga and barre classes at sliding-scale prices, along with access to healthy food and wellness-centered empowerment events.
Andes Hruby, Writer and Yogapreneur
When not inspiring people by writing lifestyle and fitness columns, Hruby coordinates unique retreats at Manu Yoga Retreats in beautiful Costa Rica. Hruby also spends her time working with outreach organizations such as Sudara, an antislavery and anti-trafficking organization.
Nicole Cardoza, Yoga Foster
Yoga teacher and Yoga Foster founder and executive director Cardoza is using science-based, data-driven information to help train teachers to teach yoga. Her donation-driven program empowers school teachers to create happier, healthier classrooms through teaching their students yoga.
Susanna Harwood Rubin, Yoga Teacher, Author, and Artist
With her second book, Yoga 365, due out this fall, Harwood Rubin combines her life as a yoga teacher with her background as a visual artist and writer, bringing the three disciplines into a conversation. She is a storyteller who loves weaving Hindu myth and Tantric philosophy into her yoga classes. Harwood Rubin also gives talks on yoga, writing, and Hindu myth online and at yoga studios internationally.
Valeria Hinojosa, Water Thru Skin
Hinojosa runs her website with a dedication to “lifestyle with a conscience.” It’s full of eco-friendly tips, kind ways to be fashion forward, yummy recipes, and a fun, eco-friendly online shop. Hinojosa is also involved with several philanthropic brands and nonprofits.
Tatum Fjerstad, MOVE SIT WRITE Tour
One day, Fjerstad found herself aching for a different kind of life: One that involved a lot more adventure and meaning and a lot less stress. And so, the MOVE SITE WRITE Tour was born. Traveling across the country, Fjerstad teaches meditation and writing workshops and is having the time of her life: “The best thing I ever did was quit living the life I thought I was supposed to live and start living the life I wanted.”
Joan Hyman, Yoga Teacher and Writer
Hyman has over 20 years of experience leading retreats, trainings, and workshops worldwide. She has been featured in and contributed to several publications, including Wanderlust and YOGANONYMOUS, and is the Director of Teacher Trainings at Wanderlust Hollywood as well as a Wanderlust Festival presenter. Hyman leads retreats all over the world, including Nepal, Bhutan, and India. She’s trained in Ayurveda and weaves the practice into her classes.
Jessamyn Stanley, Yoga Teacher
Stanley is body positive advocate, writer, and yoga teacher who uses high-energy Vinyasa flow as a way to move past mental and emotional barriers. She is dedicated to providing a body positive approach to yoga that celebrates students’ bodies and encourages them to ask “How do I feel?” rather than “How do I look?”
Kellie Adkins, Business Coaching for Conscious Entrepreneurs
Adkins has been a nutrition researcher, a wellness coach, a yoga therapist, a yoga studio owner, and teacher trainer. Now, she helps people achieve those things. Through her coaching business, Adkins empowers holistic entrepreneurs to do what they love—and actually make a living doing it.
Who would you add to this list? Please share in the comments below.
Photos courtesy of: HIYO Design (featured), Jess Davis via Wanderlust, Payal Kadakia via website, Emma Mildon self-submitted, Sophie Jaffe via website, Mary Beth LaRue via Wanderlust, Jacki Carr via website, Tamara Jones via LinkedIn, Caitlin Gottschalk self-submitted, Lesniak/Conway via Daya Yoga Studio, Silvia Mordini self-submitted, Corrine Wainer self-submitted, Andes Hrubry self-submitted, Nicole Cardoza self-submitted, Susanna Harwood Rubin via Roxxe NYC Photography, Valeria Hinojosa via website, Tatum Fjersted via Brian Lynch, Joan Hyman via Wanderlust, Jessamyn Stanley self-submitted, Kellie Adkins via website
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