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Autumn Chochella is an urban planner by profession. She’s also an animal lover by nature, a vegan by choice, and a yogi at heart.
Having grown up in a household of hunters and southern cooking, she realized along the way that that lifestyle did not align with her energy or beliefs. She needed to work out for herself what lifestyle felt right for her.
At age 18, Autumn began eliminating meat from her diet and eventually went fully vegan.
Autumn took her first yoga class as a young adult – and hated it. “It was in a big, sterile, and chilly gym with bright lights and it felt mechanical,” she says. “The instructor was good but it just wasn’t the kind of yoga space and experience that I had anticipated.”
As a runner, cheerleader, and dancer growing up, Autumn thought yoga would come easy, but says, “I woke up the day after that class and was so sore I could barely move, and realized wow, there is a huge physicality to yoga that I was impressed with.”
Today, yoga is part of Autumn’s everyday life, and she’s even moving toward making it her career going forward.
“After taking that first class and realizing the impact yoga had on my body I went on to keep practicing and realized that I loved the way it felt on my body. I began pouring myself into it and learning about the history of it and I fell in love.”
Autumn has been practicing yoga regularly for two years now and exploring all different kinds of classes and styles. Along the way, she continually shared content on social media about her journey with both yoga exploration, and her plant-based lifestyle and has grown a large following.
Also, along the way, she began getting requests for her followers to teach her. And then when she was asked to teach a class at the gym starting in January, she knew she had to get certified - fast.
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“Some of my contacts through social media had gotten certified through ISSA so I pursued it,” she said.
Upon finding out that she could take the course on her time at her own pace, she was sold. “I’m a person that likes to get things done. I dove in. I’m committed to making this a big part of my life and wanted to approach it the right way and get educated.”
Autumn says she loved the course and the fact that it also opened her up to different kinds of yoga, which she is now learning more about.
“I continue to watch the videos and explore,” she says. “I will likely take the Nutrition course as well.”
Autumn also found increased confidence and a sense of pride in pursuing the education around yoga. “I’ve gotten a lot of certifications and degrees in my life, but this is one of the certifications I’m most proud of because it aligns with where I want to be and how I want to make a difference.”
This path has also led Autumn to some personal changes. About this, she says, “Meditation does not come naturally to me. I’m a person that wants to dive in and start exercising and sweating. So when I began the modules, the meditation portion at the start of each one made me antsy. But then I pushed myself to just sit with myself and it’s really stuck with me and been a good thing for me.”
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Her three kids have been impacted as well. “They watch me do yoga and imitate me,” she said. “My five-year-old is my moon child and yogi and she can run yoga circles around me – she’s that good.”
Autumn says she believes this lifestyle is also guiding her kids in other ways. “I want them to make their own decisions regarding how they want to eat and what lifestyle they each want to pursue, but I think being around nature and yoga has made them kinder and gentler people.”
Autumn completed her certification and is currently working with five one-on-one clients and ramping up to run her own class in January.
Her goal is to teach yoga and pursue her affiliate marketing full-time by Spring.
When asked what she likes so far about teaching yoga, she says, “Yoga can be intimidating, and I really love opening people up to it. I also love learning from them and hearing what their ‘why’ is and then adapting to that in the way I teach. That’s a great learning process for me and I look forward to continuing to grow through what I learn from my clients and those who take my class.”
If you relate to Autumn’s story and think you may want to follow her lead, sign up for the Yoga Certification now.