What I had imagined to be an epic story of change, from leaving real estate to opening a yoga studio, in actuality was quite simple.
If there ever was a moment when I felt so nervous and unsure of myself, now would be the time. To be faced interviewing one of my greatest teachers, someone who is more interested in hearing about what I am doing rather than promoting himself and his story. Him simply asking, “How are you doing”, suddenly leaves me speechless as the weight of the pressure to prove myself thickens. As Brian begins to tell his story I quickly realize how this interview is not only going to challenge my ability to stay confident but to be able to drive.
Brian Granader followed a path that most of our parents prep us for and would be proud of. Brian attended college, graduated with a journalism degree and found himself selling real estate, making good money. Brian was living what to most would be a desirable life, owning a nice house and having nice things to fill it. After working hard for over ten years in the real estate business, things started to get tough as the market began to crash. The competition and stress increased while Brian’s happiness and satisfaction decreased. The extreme hardship people were experiencing aided in Brian is realizing that he wanted to be more of service. He made his clients a priority by focusing on what was in their best interest.
Brian had been practicing yoga for some time, but it wasn’t until he could no longer stomach the real estate business that he began to deepen his practice. He completed a teacher training program, started teaching part time and fell in love with yoga. He made the decision to transition out of real estate and into the unknown. He started teaching full time and soon after opened Red Lotus Yoga Studio. Twelve years later he has built one of the highest rated yoga studios and teacher training programs in Michigan.
Brian recognized when real estate was no longer serving him and took a risk by putting it down. He dove into an industry which at the time was not as popular, with no guarantee of an income and no model to build from. Brian not only took the steps to change his outside, but was now focused on looking inside, recognizing and changing old patterns. He reminds me that we don’t need a huge outside change to live a happier life. Rather than finding something “out there”, we can bring more passion into our current lives. The more I sit with Brian, the more I realize that you don’t need this big dramatic change like quitting your job and starting all over. We all have the power and ability to change how we feel right now.
It wasn’t about Brian quitting real estate and opening a yoga studio, it was about him getting on his mat, meditating and making the little changes inside to feel more grateful, passionate and fulfilled. For some of us a big change helps to break a cycle and ignite introspection, but is not required. For Brian, his career change was a symbolic way of taking control of his life and making the hard decisions to start listening to his own desires. Brian is no different than you or I; he is a husband, father and business owner and feels the daily struggle of life. Owning a yoga studio is still a business and comes with all the ups and downs that a business brings. He too has to get up each morning and make the conscious effort and choice to live as a happier being.
Brian now owns Red Lotus with his wife, Kate Granader, who provides the gracious support that all of us could only hope for in a partner. Brian and Kate are 100% on board with the business and their lifestyle, providing a system for each other to rely on and to pick each other up when down. They both understand and support each others need to make their individual practice a priority to be better partners, parents and peers. Watch Brian tell his courageous story of change and learn how to bring more passion and happiness into your life.
As I sit here and type this article, I realize that one of the biggest messages that I have received from Brian is to trust myself. To have faith that all my struggles are for a reason, that my decisions and desires mean something. To know that everything is a process and temporary. The little acts of kindness, compassion and gratitude throughout the day are enough; I am enough. I can’t express how grateful I am to have had the experience of completing a teacher training program with Brian Granader. I have never felt more secure and comfortable with myself and my suffering. I found a purpose and the meaning in my life that has been missing for so long. Thank you.