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Meet Lizzy Chiappy of Yogalete Training in South Miami/Coral Gables

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lizzy Chiappy.

Lizzy, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
About five years ago, I was presented with an opportunity through my previous yoga studio, to become an adjunct faculty member at the University of Miami. I was to teach a Summer A and Summer B course that would be called “Yoga for Athletes.” The intention of the course was to do a study on the effects of yoga on athletes through the Department of Physiology & Kinesiology. Football players were the majority of my students, however, the course was open to all students. The following year the football team decided they wanted the yoga but not as a course. From being on campus working with them, the Track & Field coach brought me on to work with them, then the Women’s Tennis team and so on. Meanwhile, I created this as an actual program through my yoga studio, Yoga for Athletes, and also created the position, Director of Yoga for Athletes. After growing the program for four years at that studio, I decided to go on my own and then worked with a branding company to create a name, logo, and overall brand image.

In addition, I created a 25-hour training course accredited through Yoga Alliance, for certified yoga instructors to take if they either want to specialize in working with athletes or if they need continuing education credits. I have administered the training 9 times in 3 states and 5 cities. I am blessed with three ladies who help me manage and run the program as well as our talented team of about 10 teachers and assistants. It has been amazing to see where this has grown. Working with the Miami Dolphins, 8 teams at the University of Miami, 3 teams at Florida International University, and a bunch of local middle school, high school, and club teams as well as individual professional MLB, NFL, and NBA players is simply a dream. I truly believe that every athlete on the planet needs this work and I look forward to taking this programming to as many athletes as possible.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Definitely not. But then again, no road worth traveling is ever smooth. It has taken a lot of persistence, patience, and plain old grit to bring teams on. I’ve gotten a lot of push back and resistance from teams, coaches, and even athletes themselves. As widely known as yoga is, many people have a certain perception about what it is and what it can do for them. In addition, many coaches and trainers still have an old school mentality in training and what athletes should be doing to perform better. I’ve been completely ignored, hung up on, and the list goes on. It’s what makes how far we’ve come even sweeter.

Yogalete Training – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We specialize in an active form of recovery. The benefit of being apart of that original study was seeing what worked and what didn’t. Athletes don’t need a lot of the traditional yoga poses, and they also don’t need to completely restore. We aren’t trying to make them yogis, we are trying to bring their bodies back to equilibrium so that they can feel and perform at their best. I’m most proud of the consistency and professionalism as a team, and how much my team genuinely cares about providing the best to the teams and athletes they work with. Everyone on my staff has gone through our training and is on the same page. Lastly, we all have a common passion for what we do. We have even expanded our services to include mindfulness/meditation techniques and pilates as well.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were just starting out?
So far, about my actual program, I don’t think I would change anything. It has grown and expanded organically and ethically. What I would do different is more research on the trademark process because unfortunately, I won’t be able to keep my name and I am in the process of creating a new one. Growing pains of running a business and it’s all a learning.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Anjane Girwarr, Laurie Cassidy

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