Today we’d like to introduce you to Christina Zimmerman.
Hi Christina, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I made the decision to pivot away from my career in 2011 when we moved to Savannah. My kids were young and we had just arrived in a new city. My husband’s job was and is demanding on his time and requires quite a bit of international travel. Staying home with the kids was the right thing to do for our family at the time.
Since 2011 I have slowly (frustratingly slow at times) and methodically been creating a new career and business. Although I didn’t really realize I was starting a new career until I kept teaching classes here and there for a couple of years after finishing my first yoga teacher training. I eventually realized I did enjoy teaching but there was a lot about how and where I was teaching that I did not feel excited about. When I first opened my small boutique studio in 2016 I had the intention to offer yoga and Thai Yoga Bodywork. It was a slow start and I tried a number of different approaches. Some things worked and a bunch of things didn’t work! It wasn’t long into running the studio that I felt as though I still had not fully stepped into what it is I really wanted to do. I felt restless and unsatisfied. I had moments when I questioned keeping the studio. I kept moving forward but I simultaneously sought out additional advanced trainings in yoga studying with Jason Crandell who is a phenomenal teacher. I studied with two new Thai Yoga Bodywork teachers. I also found StickMobility and became a certified level 1 coach.
StickMobility has been a game changer for myself and my clients. I also dove deeply into studying ELDOA last year. ELDOA felt as though after years of studying and searching I finally found the missing piece that I didn’t really know I was looking for! I had finally stepped fully into my deeper intention and purpose with my studio and career. My ELDOA teacher, Bryce Turner, has been incredible and inspiring.
It has taken 11 years, a lot of studying and training, and a ton of mental energy to get to this point after letting go of my first career path. I have felt so excited for my business and my career evolution this last year! Having expanded my skill set to include so many tools and exercises and principles feels so right in so many ways. Being able to have all of these tools allows me to be super creative and responsive when I’m working with my clients.
My career will continue to evolve and grow. Of that I am sure. I already have plans for the next year to continue studying ELDOA with Bryce. I also have plans to dive into the SomaTraining program. My intention and desire for my career is to be exactly the sort of trainer/coach that I would want for myself.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has definitely not been a smooth road! There have been a number of struggles and challenges along the way. The most recent has been the impact of a global pandemic on my business for obvious reasons. But there are two big struggles that I wrestle with often.
The first struggle that I have been processing a lot over the last 11 years is letting go of what I thought I was going to do with my life! I have undergraduate and graduate degrees. Both of those I worked hard to get! It was always my intention to work, develop a career. Show my daughter that she too can have professional aspirations. It has taken a lot of work to reconcile the ideas I had against what I have actually been able to do. Honestly I still work on that reconciliation! This struggle often manifested in not having confidence in what I was doing at times. It played a huge part in my feelings of restlessness. It stood in the way of really marketing me and my growing skillset. However, so much of that has changed in this last year!
Even doing this interview never would have happened a couple of years ago. These days, though, my daughter often likes to tell me how I’m a “girl boss”. I think she’s going to be ok with my career decisions.
The second struggle is being a solo business owner! I have to make all of the decisions for all of the things! This is obviously exciting and freeing. But it is also stressful to always decide everything. I am the one to decide when to clean the bathroom to when I will work to determine which trainings to invest in. I have to decide to renew my lease or remember to renew the insurance policy. The struggle of being alone in my business can be stressful at times. Particularly during a pandemic! Each year that goes by through the struggle gets easier to manage.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Having my own studio allows me to have creative control over how I work with clients. I create customized classes utilizing exercises, movements and principles from yoga, StickMobility and ELDOA. We work together to assess weaknesses, challenges or movement dysfunctions. I will factor in their lifestyle and their priorities for how they want and need to use their bodies outside of the studio. I develop a plan and create opportunities in the studio through exercises and movement sequences to improve posture, improve strength and flexibility and coordination, and up-level movement skill and muscle recruitment. If back pain or joint pain is a complaint we also begin to address the root cause and reduce pain. My clients over time discover how the exercises and movement principles translate directly and positively impact their daily life. It means everything to me when they enjoy telling me all about how the golf swing, or climbing a ladder, or squatting to the bottom shelf at Home Goods was suddenly easier and stronger feeling!
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @christina.rae_savannah