Meet Steffanie: Owner of YogaVega
My sister in law and mom both work with Steffanie, and I finally had the chance to take a class from her a few weeks ago and it was AMAZING! I’ve taken a LOT of fitness and dance classes in my life and hers was so different and freeing. She truly has a gift.
If you live near the Saratoga Springs area, you have to go try YogaVega. They also offer couple classes and aerial yoga!
Tell us a little about yourself and your career
I have been married to a great guy for 28 years. We have two boys at home, a married son and a daughter in college. They are the solid core at the center of my being. We moved to Saratoga Springs in 2015 to open a studio and be near our older parents. I began teaching fitness in 1992, after graduating from college with a degree in Humanities. I danced growing up but loved the arts and always thought I’d work in a museum or something. Life had a way of throwing fitness formats my way that filled a hole I didn’t know was empty. I taught and managed programs for Airforce Bases, Leisure Sports Facilities, YWCA and Nike. I taught just about everything until I found yoga in 2001 and gradually phased out of all else until I got interested in Pilates and Aerial and other mind/body disciplines.
How does your community of women you surround yourself with support you?
My community of women feed my soul. My biggest supporters are my mom, sisters and daughter. They are instrumental in every decision I make in the business and always in my mind.
I’ve hired hundreds of teachers in my career and the ones that currently work for me are some of my absolute favorites. They are smart, articulate, gentle, approachable and fun. They take the time to get to know their student’s needs and create a little community in their own sphere of influence. After all, that’s all we can really do, isn’t it, be content and willing to influence our little spheres.
What do you hope women get out of your classes at YogaVega?
I really hope that women walk away from a class at YogaVega feeling happy with themselves. In a fitness setting it’s so easy to compare and get caught up in how we look that we sometimes overlook how we feel, which is the most important thing. We have limitations, but we should appreciate our bodies that function and minds that drive us. Let’s just celebrate that. One thing I say a lot is to not feel selfish for taking the time to fill your cup so you have more to give. You’re taking care of others when you take care of yourself. Often times women will cry after classes because they have been able to release physical and emotional bindings. That’s a real joy to see.
What do you wish you could go back and tell your younger self re: your career aspirations?
If my older self could tell my younger self something it would be: first, the thong leotard phase is not going to last so don’t waste your money. And second, to keep getting experienced in all the different formats to teach because some day you’ll be using it to serve your community of old and young, men and women, fit people and those who are “getting-there.”
What is your career-related mantra?
My career related mantra is “Dare Greatly.” It’s taken from The Man in the Arena Speech by Teddy Roosevelt. It’s better to valiantly strive and dare greatly than to not even try because you fear failure. Sometimes I feel like the man in the arena whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood (and lots of tears). Dream big and go after it with your whole being because anything less won’t have the power to allow you to change lives.