Yoga Your Way
Choice Press Mentions & Releases
Meet Mary Reaston and Heather MacKay of Yoga Your Way in North County
PRESS RELEASE: SD Voyager Magazine – Local Stories
October 5th, 2020
Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary Reaston and Heather MacKay.
Mary and Heather, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Our story started in 2018 when we met at Floating Yogis. Heather had been practicing yoga for 18 years and I was new to yoga. We shared a love of water and were taking a SUP (Stand Up Paddle Board) Yoga class. One of the poses in the class was crow, an intricate arm balance. I wanted to do the pose without a face plant and Heather suggested practicing on land first. She offered to guide me into crow and that is the beginning of our beautiful partnership and journey. Heather is and will always be my inspiration. She taught me to not be afraid; to always believe in myself and age is a simply state of mind. Together we have completed our Sup Yoga Teacher Training (TT),200 and 300 hour TT, and Gravity Yoga TT and are currently enrolled in our Yoga Trapeze TT.
After completing the teacher trainings, we realized we have something special, so we created Yoga Your Way to bring Yoga, Health, and Wellness to everybody. Yoga Your Way is a virtual yoga studio and so much more. We believe Yoga is for everybody, anywhere, anytime. We have created an extensive virtual library for everyone from the beginner to the seasoned practitioner, and even their families. We feel that there has never been a better time to bring health and wellness into one’s life. With the current health crisis facing this country, COVID, we felt it would be essential to be able to have access to yoga to maintain a healthy balance and wanted to make this affordable to everyone. Our monthly membership is the lowest priced available. In addition, we also offer socially distanced Beach Yoga Classes at Floating Yogis in Carlsbad.
Has it been a smooth road?
Yoga Your Way has taught us that you have to be nimble. In January of this year, we were celebrating our first true partnership with Girl Scouts of San Diego. We were granted the sole opportunity to provide yoga to all Girl Scouts in San Diego County, then COVID hit. In person classes were no longer an option. We had to think outside the box and adapt. We were approached by companies to see if we could assist with wellness and fitness because of added stressors and working from home due to COVID. We changed our entire business model to virtual and this presented us with a new set of challenges, primarily how to make it affordable for everybody. Our research showed that most online yoga platforms charged anywhere from $20-99/month. We did not feel that this price point would be accessible to everyone. We decided that $6.99 per month for a family was more than reasonable and actually less than the cost of a fast-food meal for a family. We had to learn an entirely new set of skills to create and maintain a website to host all video library, vignettes (instructional videos) and “live virtual classes.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Yoga Your Way is a comprehensive virtual yoga studio that offers 24/7 unlimited access. Why is Yoga Your Way different…in addition to our extensive video library that hosts a wide range of classes, we also offer vignettes. These are instructional videos for every pose inducing benefits and modifications. We host “live” virtual classes that are unique because with a flip of your camera, we will offer you virtual enhancements or modifications by certified yoga instructions to give you a better foundation for your practice. For those practitioners that want a safe place to practice in –person yoga, we offer our Beach Yoga Classes at Floating Yogis three times a week. These classes are outdoors, socially distanced, and feature Gravity Yoga. We are the only certified class for Gravity Yoga in the San Diego area. Gravity Yoga is a targeted mobility practice to increase flexibility and mobility, decrease pain, and improve sleep. Membership of Yoga Your Way also includes discounted pricing for in person classes.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Absolutely. San Diego is a mecca for health, wellness and yoga. It is the perfect place for Yoga Your Way because when we offer our virtual classes, what better backdrop than beautiful San Diego. We are proud to be from San Diego. We hold our Beach Yoga Classes at Floating Yogis in Carlsbad, CA and in our opinion Floating Yogis is the premier Sup Yoga Studio, not only in California, but worldwide.
“Women in Wellness:
“You Are Never Too Old; Age Is A State of Mind” With MaryRose Reaston of Emerge Diagnostics.”
You are Never too Old. Age is just a state of mind. Don’t be limited by a number. I was told by a Yoga Instructor I was too old to do a headstand so I became afraid and didn’t want to try although I always wanted to do one. With the help of several friends I not only do headstands but do headstand crunches every day.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing MaryRose Reaston.
Mary Rose Reaston is an innovator, author, expert witness and is the CEO and Chief Science Officer of Emerge Diagnostics, Inc. MaryRose has a successful track record in the development, commercialization, marketing and governmental acceptance for advanced Electrodiagnostic testing. She is the Co-Inventor of EFA technology and holder of several U.S. and international patents. She has been named as an Industry Risk Innovator and Responsibility Leader.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
Myimmersion into wellness began a little over two years ago. I have always been a proponent of better healthcare, but I had never been a very active person. My downtime was enjoying a good book or movie with family. Then just before Christmas I decided I wanted to get more centered and balanced, so I decided to give yoga a try. My first attempt was in a studio and while it was enjoyable it was confusing I didn’t understand the poses or instructions but what I did learn from that very first experience was to breathe and stay present in the movement. I am the CEO of Emerge Diagnostics Inc, a global medical service company so an hour of being present in the movement was a wonderful experience. This experience taught me that no matter how much you enjoyed your job, taking time to recent and balance would enable me to become a more effective leader. This was the start of my journey into wellness. I love the water; it is my place to go to recharge. I discovered Paddle board Yoga while on vacation in Hawaii with my husband. Even though my first time on a paddle board the board shook so much I did not know how I even managed to stay on, I continued and became a certified SUP Yoga instruction and then received my 200 and 500 hour teacher certification. I incorporate Yoga everyday even if it is only a few minutes to stay balanced.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
As the CEO of Emerge Diagnostics, we provide global medical services to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of soft tissue injuries. We have developed a more objective telemedicine platform especially designed to help people with back, neck and shoulder issues. We have also designed telehealth to assist people through the COVID pandemic. One of the major industries we work with at Emerge Diagnostics is transportation. Truck drivers are one of the bedrocks of our society during normal times but there are indispensable with the pandemic. Without the hard work of these dedicated people our economy would suffer greatly. We wanted to do something to give back and keep people healthy, especially in the transportation business, so Emerge Diagnostics partnered with DoctorNow and Yoga Your Way to form a virtual joint venture: Here 4 Your Heath. The name says it all. We wanted to be here to keep people well and healthy. Everyone should have access to this unique telehealth and wellness opportunity. For less than the cost of a fast food lunch, a person can have unlimited access to video telemedicine visits and equally important, unlimited access to customized yoga videos and virtual yoga classes with virtual enhancements. My entire career has been focused on better care anywhere. I was saddened to see the loss of jobs and with that healthcare benefits. I also became concerned with many individuals having to work from home with the added responsibility of childcare since schools were shutting down. A respected colleague had to stop working as her job could not accommodate working from home and her husband’s hours were cut. They lost their health insurance and were feeling overwhelmed and unwell. They searched online for telemedicine services, but a single call could be over $30, something that unless urgent was not in their budget. This presented a critical issue, we needed to solve. So, we did. We wanted to offer two components to the program: a way to get better if sick- telemedicine and something for everyone in the family to participate in to stay well- yoga.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I first started out on the wellness journey my mistake was in believing that people would be as invested in wellness and self-care as I was.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Heather Mackay, CEO of Yoga Your Way is my role model and mentor for wellness. Heather has always encouraged me that I can do anything I set my mind to do. I had always wanted to do crow, a yoga arm balance. Heather worked patiently with me as I face planted many times until I was able to do crow on the land and out in the water on a paddle board. Heather’s centering and balance helped me to see the need to bring wellness through yoga to everyone. Her philosophy is yoga your way anywhere anytime.
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
I feel that healthcare is a major priority from prevention through treatment, never more so than now. In these unprecedented and challenging times with medical issues on the forefront, access to quality healthcare and wellness is limited by in-person visits. Physicians and patients no longer want to have to go to a health care provider if it can be avoided. Gyms or yoga studios are closing or have limited availability. Access to healthcare with loss of jobs or high deductibles is a new reality. Luxuries such as working out may not be an option for many people win today’s environment. Given all of these factors, I wanted to be able to give back and share my success so that people could stay well or get well. Emerge Diagnostics, Doctor Now and Yoga Your Way have collaborated to offer a monthly program with unlimited access to quality physicians via telemedicine. While access to healthcare is vital in these trying times, we also feel an ounce of prevention will help individuals improve their quality of life, so this partnership is also aimed at wellness. For a low monthly fee, users have unlimited access to physicians as well as customized yoga videos, yoga for specific industries, and yoga for specific conditions. We wanted to make it cost effective so everyone would have the ability to participate. This will benefit many for a long time to come, and we are thrilled to be a pioneer in the industry.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
Make Time in Your Day to do something for yourself. I found that taking the time in the day to make time for yourself is important. I start everyday with Yoga even if it is only for 10 minutes. Breathing centering and balance help me energize for the day and prepare me to be able to face whatever awaits with clarity.
Believe In Yourself. If you do not believe in yourself then how can you expect anyone else to believe in, you. If you believe in yourself, you project confidence and can accomplish anything.
Never Be Afraid to Ask for help. I found in life and especially on my journey toward wellness if you don’t’ know what to do or how to get started ask for help. People love to help it is a blessing for them to be able to assist.
You are Never to Old. Age is a state of mind. Don’t be limited by a number. I was told by a Yoga Instructor I was too old to do a headstand so I became afraid and didn’t want to try although I always wanted to do one. With the help of several friends I not only do headstands but do headstand crunches every day.
Life is a balance take time for family and friends.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Here 4 Your Heath- The name says it all. This is a program designed to offer affordable healthcare and wellness anywhere anytime. It is the hope of Here 4 Your Heath to get people better if they are sick, help them stay well and healthy and live more productive and fulfilled lives.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
You cannot make everyone happy. I learned very early on that while allowing for input from every member of the team, the ultimate responsibility for each decision rested with me. While I always listen, I can’t always take the action that people want and this causes some hurt feelings.
You won’t have all the answers and that is ok. I thought that by being in the role of CEO that you had to be able to respond with all the answers; be all-knowing. This was especially true for me as I was not a seasoned CEO. I thought if I didn’t have all the answers then people would think I was not qualified for the job. Having a great team and becoming more centered helped me overcome this and now I say I don’t know; let’s look into this together or I know where I can go to get the best information.
Surround yourself with the best. The better people you have working with you the better the team gets. Don’t settle for mediocrity; this affects the entire team and pulls others down.
Encourage outside of the box thinking. Don’t be afraid to explore new ideas or new solutions to old problems. This is especially true in our new reality with COVID 19.
Always Believe in Yourself. Have confidence in your abilities.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Mental health issues are important to me especially now during this new reality we live in. I understand the need for social distancing, but I fear what this is doing to us and our loved ones. I look at the elderly in Assisted Living Facilities that can no longer be surrounded by loved ones and I look at the children that no longer can enjoy all the interactions with friends through school and activities and I fear for us. I hope that staying healthy and well will help alleviate some of these serious mental health issues we are no faced with as we deal with this pandemic.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
MaryRose Reason — Linkedin
Mary Cusimano Reaston Facebook
Thank you for these fantastic insights!