It’s no secret that Vancouver is a well-known hub for yoga enthusiasts. There are many yoga businesses that set up shop here, from popular apparel companies to chain studios, and they have transformed the practice of yoga into more than an accessible form of therapy or physical exercise. The yoga industry has fostered a vibrant community in which many friendships and mentorships are cultivated over a single shared passion. Drawn to this community all the way from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Brooklyn Wall started her yoga career from that place of passion — only to discover that her journey as a self-employed professional would become a test of her patience and self-love.

Wall’s professional journey began in 2009 when she discovered that yoga brought out her best qualities and a sense of emotional, mental, and physical alignment. Soon, it became more than a hobby or preferred exercise. Yoga became her purpose when she realized she wanted to help people who are striving to achieve a similar equilibrium.

“Be comfortable with who you are and what you’re teaching. Be genuine with it, even if you recognize that some people won’t like your style.” -Brooklyn Wall

Since moving to Vancouver, Wall has been actively pursuing opportunities that align with her purpose. The first step was participating in a 200-hour yoga training program. Once completed, she obtained the official license to teach in the styles of flow, Hatha, and power. She underwent additional training in hot and yin yoga and has since added those styles to her teaching repertoire.

The next step? Building a full calendar and a network of clients. This is one of the main challenges of any freelancer, and, in Vancouver, yoga is an especially competitive industry. Wall quickly learned that the most effective way of getting hired is by being an active participant in the yoga community she wanted to teach in. She attended classes from the people conducting the hiring process, and started engaging them so they could get a better understanding of who she was. Community is very important in the yoga industry, so being present and engaged built Wall’s credibility as a practitioner.

Brooklyn Wall strikes a pose facing the Lion’s Gate Bridge, in West Vancouver. / Photo submitted

Wall is now five years established in her career, holding roles as both an independent contractor and a freelancer. She teaches regular classes at YYoga, Yoga4Stiff People, as well as private sessions with clients across Vancouver. As a down-to-earth creative, her teaching style veers from the spiritual and philosophical approaches.

“Some people are deterred from trying yoga because they think it is a spiritual practice, but it doesn’t have to be,” Wall asserts. Instead of pushing traditional yoga philosophy, she anchors each of her classes with a different life theme. The purpose of these themes is to allow her students the freedom of making their practice whatever they need it to be: an emotional outlet, a form of self-care, or simply physical exercise.

As far as career success is concerned, Wall believes that aspiring down the freelance path is choosing to play the patience game. She learned that in order to succeed at this game, she had to be patient with both herself and the yoga industry. It’s not just because building the right work relationships or practicing correct form takes time. And it’s not because becoming comfortable in your role as a teacher takes time, either. Patience is crucial in the freelance journey because managing the unexpected situations, failures, and obstacles requires you to be kind to yourself, and kindness never rushes.

This brings Wall to the most important piece of advice she wants to impart to other aspiring yoga teachers: “Be comfortable with who you are and what you’re teaching. Be genuine with it, even if you recognize that some people won’t like your style.”

For some, this kind of inner security might take some work to achieve, but Wall says that’s part of the whole learning process. What is the best way to achieve that confidence in yourself? Wall laughs and says with an air of the obvious: “Just practice teaching; you’re not going to become better if you don’t practice.” And it was with that philosophy that the path of her journey became a little more clear.

Wall is always excited to welcome new students, so she invites anyone interested in learning more about yoga to simply approach her and say hello. More information on her class offerings can be found on her Instagram and the YYoga website.