Alex Cole was introduced to yoga by his wife Terri, who had discovered yoga through the home workout series “Power Yoga 3” by Bryan Kest. Living in Lake Tahoe, there were no nearby yoga studios the couple could take advantage of, so almost seven days a week, they’d practice yoga in their living room.

As the couple’s yoga practice progressed, teaching became a serious possibility for them both. “Again, it was my wife [that led me to teach],” explained Alex. “She was looking to transition from her corporate life into a passionate life. To deepen her practice she went all in and decided to take a teacher training course in Portland, Oregon. Honestly, I didn’t want to get left behind as I watched her growth. I joined her.”

After one year of teaching, the couple decided to go on a “real journey of discovery,” explained Alex. In 2009, they set out on a tour that would bring them to 100 studios in 100 days. Beginning in Seattle and ending in San Diego, Alex and Terri took classes from yogis of all kinds, from the classic to the funky, the well-known to the unknown.

As the couple traveled, they blogged about the experience through a website called “YoYoYogi” and earned a passionate following.

“After several months of new studios, new teachers and a new community, we realized a need to ‘root down’ and foster students who would share in the passion of self-discovery and transformation,” said Alex.

The traveled yogis settled back in Portland and opened a yoga studio likened after their successful blog. Since, YoYoYogi has become a vibrant studio where, “all are free to ‘be,’ regardless of their path in life,” said Alex.

Students of YoYoYogi are drawn to Alex’s Soul Shakin’ class, described as a powerful fusion of the physical, mental and spiritual. “I take my students to their edge through a physically demanding practice as I strive to open them through 21st century messaging that hits their heart and soul deeply,” said Alex.

For Alex, one of the most fulfilling parts of being a teacher is watching people grow through the practice of yoga. “To be a part of a student’s journey is a gift,” he said.

Drawing from his dual-experience as a yoga teacher and owner, Alex advised other studio owners to be sure never to squash their teacher’s individuality. “At YoYoYogi, we do not try to change our teachers or put them into a mold,” he said. “Instead, we give them space so they can be their best authentic selves.”

Alex’s Mantra: “It’s not what you do, it’s how you do what you do that defines your life.”