The co-owners of Realignment Studio, a yoga, meditation and wellness space that recently opened on Capitol Hill, were featured in The Atlantic. As a part of The Atlantic’s series on mentorship, On the Shoulders of Giants – the possibilities and and pitfalls of mentorship, Founder Alyson Shade and Partner Betsy Poos discussed how their dynamic has changed over the years as yoga teachers, mentors and business partners.
Poos, also CHAMPS Executive Director, sees mentorship as key to growing and succeeding as a local business owner. Small business owners shoulder both the day to day load and the big picture pieces that mean success, survival or failure of the business. Connecting with a mentor can be a vital step towards success.
Early yoga masters relied on parampara, an oral tradition meant to pass teachings from teachers to students, to ensure that their practices endured.
Today, there are tens of thousands of yoga teachers in North America, and many of them consider themselves to be mentors of a sort, providing physical, mental, and spiritual guidance for their students.
For The Atlantic’s series on mentorship, “On the Shoulders of Giants,” I interviewed two veteran yoga teachers based in Washington, D.C., Betsy Poos and Alyson Shade. Poos, who has taught yoga for 17 years, mentored Shade at the studio she owned. Five years later, the two have decided to go into business together, opening a new yoga studio on Capitol Hill.
I talked with Poos and Shade about how their relationship has changed over the years, and how they have navigated becoming business partners. The interview that follows has been edited for length and clarity.