Awaken Yoga: Healing from the Inside Out

Carmen Ohm
Awaken Yoga
Le Mars, IA
Awaken Yoga is a yoga studio in LeMars Iowa that creates a safe space to explore through stillness and movement some of what goes on inside of ourselves. When you enter Awaken Yoga you are invited to slow down and step into the fullness of yourself through what yoga and meditation offer.
Awaken Yoga is a unique business in this area because we have taken alternative health practices that are commonly offered in metropolitan areas and have made it
available in a rural community. People come from other small surrounding towns to practice yoga and meditation at Awaken, so this studio hasn't only benefited people in the LeMars community but also people in the surrounding area. As Yoga has grown, and continues to grow in popularity, and technology keeps us informed and connected, rural areas crave some of the amenities that metropolitan areas have, but don't always get that opportunity to participate in! Awaken has filled that gap in LeMars making alternative health practices such as yoga and meditation accessible to the rural people here!
As stated above Awaken Yoga is the only yoga studio in LeMars and many of the other small communities that surround LeMars. Due to the uniqueness of what Awaken Yoga offers our community there isn't a lot of direct competition. What Awaken Yoga competes for is fitness and wellness dollars in the consumer household. One way that Awaken would use the DBGH funds would be for an upgrade in software that would include a personal branded app for clients to use when booking classes. This visibility and convienence would contribute to ease of booking with an outcome of increased class, workshop, and membership bookings. The revenue created by Awaken yoga comes from unlimited monthly memberships, 10 class passes, drop in classes, private sessions, and workshops held at the studio. Because this is Awaken's revenue source, ease and convenience of booking classes, memberships, and workshops is of utmost importance to sustainability of business.
The yoga industry is growing rapidly as there is emerging medical and scientific research that is being done on the numerous health and wellness benefits of a regular yoga practice. The yoga practice is accessible to a diverse population from childhood all the way to the elderly. As the yoga industry grows and evolves, the information around the practice of yoga evolves. Carmen is 200 hour certified, but wishes to become 500 hour certified. Part of the funding from DBGH would be used to send Carmen to 300 hour RYT so she can become 500 hour certified. This 500 certification allows Carmen to be able to teach other aspiring yoga instructors at Awaken, and creates an environment for continued growth and business sustainability.
Carmen Ohm is 200 RYT and a Registered Nurse. Carmen was a nurse for 16 years before deciding to open a yoga studio. Carmen found yoga through mindfulness and meditation. She believes that in the stillness of the mind, and movement of the body you can connect with your inner light and heal past hurts. Carmen has discovered that the being a Licensed Registered Nurse and 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher has been a beautiful marriage in both body bio mechanics and holistic mind, body, soul health.
Carmen's desire is to help others cultivate a connection with themselves, their emotions, and their own inner light through mindfulness and body movement so they learn to accept and love their authentic human selves.

Carmen owns Awaken Yoga and is the only employee of Awaken Yoga. Carmen is the marketing manager, studio manager, finance director, customer service director, sales representative, and accountant for Awaken (phew!)! There are six independent contractors that also teach meditation and yoga at Awaken Yoga. These women uphold the same vision that Carmen has for the studio, and bring a broad skill set to our rural community.

I have decided to apply for Dream Big, Grow Here because Awaken Yoga and I represent all of that. I dared to dream. I dared to do something that most thought was crazy. I quit a full time, respected, professional job, and opened a yoga studio in a rural area. I have already taken a chance on the people in LeMars and the surrounding small town areas, to recognize the need to go within and slow down, the need to heal themselves through the gifts that yoga and meditation have to offer. I have had the privilage to make my dream a reality. But, I want to grow here too. I want the opportunity to continue to grow my dream, impacting ALL people with the gifts that yoga and meditation offer. I want the opportunity to grow here so that the people in this area have a place to heal from the inside out! I believe that the funding from DBGH could accelerate my growth and help Awaken be more sustainable, thus creating a community of healthy functioning Awakened people!

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