How I left the corporate world to search for that "Dream Thing" and found myself through yoga - Ask me anything, with Paula Baake, Dancing Mind founder, Master Yoga Teacher, Coach and Speaker
Hi! I am Paula Baake, founder/owner of Dancing Mind Yoga. I am a Master yoga teacher, coach and speaker. I fell in love with yoga about 15 years ago, when I was going through what you may call an early on-set of a mid-life crisis. I had given up a successful corporate finance career in search of my dream “thing, ” but I had not clue what that “dream thing” was.
I was addicted to adrenaline sports. I cruised the streets of DC in search of the steepest hills on my in-line skates, snowboarded through tights trees in the rockies, rock-climbed steep faces all over the US and the world, ice climbed frozen water falls, and did 100 mile mountain bike races for “fun.” I drove a Jeep Wrangler. Had a beautiful home. The cute husband. One would say I had an amazing life.
But see the truth is that I was really not happy at all.
Deep inside I suffered from doubt. I feared that I did not fit in. That I wasn’t good enough. I competed to be the best, to win. Deep inside I was really insecure. Somehow in the twisted dark turns of my brain, my mind had created this “scheme” that if I could be the coolest, have the latest gear, and be the toughest, I would be the best, and being the best would get me friends. WRONG – with a big loud BUZZ after.
So I grew more fearful and lonely. Doctor’s gave me anti-depressant pills. They made me numb. Sad. I gained weight.
And that’s when I started to seek alternative ways to understand what was going on inside my heart. The healing process had started.
I read books and books. I learned about yoga and got curious. I did some sun-salutations at home. And then I took a yoga class at my rock-climbing gym, and the rest is history.
In that class I felt something I had not experienced in a long time: SILENCE. During that hour, in that dirty floor, on a borrowed mat, with all the outside noise, my mind was “quiet.” All I could hear was my breath. I felt my lungs going in and out. I felt my arms being challenged. I felt my body calm. I felt peace. And I saw light.
That’s how my passion for yoga and understanding what it does to the mind, body and spirit started.
I read more books. I got courage and went to “real” yoga studios. I took classes and fell in love with the community. I felt safe, supported, and challenged. I started to get to know myself – mind, body and spirit. I enrolled in yoga teacher training, learned more about the processes. I started to meditate and grew more more conscious of my thoughts, words and actions, and how they impacted myself and others around me.
A year later I opened Dancing Mind (2007), in the upstairs bedroom of my house. Nine mat spaces and space heaters. My dogs got used to people coming in, and would wait for students at the door. My intention was to create a community of like minded individuals, and to share this practice that transformed my life.
What have I learned?
I have learned that my biggest strength is my vulnerability. To breakdown in front of people. To speak authentically with love and kindness. To hold back the urge to “vent.” To not poison the people and the world around you with negativity. To be present to my feelings, and understand what drives them, what thoughts and actions they create, and more important to stay grounded and not REACT from them. See it takes practice and REAL power to be a good human being.
Yoga empowered me to understand that I am the master of my story. It taught me to stop the “blaming cycle,” to stop pointing fingers at other people, or circumstances. That I get to choose the state of mind that I want to be in. That I – and no one else gets to create my own reality.
So this is my story, and the story of Dancing Mind – a community destination, where people come to transform their lives. No matter how old you are. No matter how fit you are.
As a yoga, mindfulness and leadership coach, I help individuals of all ages understand what keeps them stuck and to take steps to breakthrough and move forward. I also offers my business management expertise and coach other business owners who are looking to live more fulfilling life-styles, become more mindful and impactful leaders, and take their business to that next level. My coaching and speeches are honest, authentic and motivational in nature and are intended to challenge and shift beliefs.
Join me for this AMA and I'll answer your questions about yoga, meditation, and a commitment to personal development can transform your life and he life of those you touch.
- Paula Baake
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