Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who is Mar Soraparu?
A: I just re-read "The Untethered Soul" which dives into how complex this question is and I have been waiting for an opportunity to answer it! Mar is half of my birth given name which is Maria (from the Sound of Music). I cut it in half after college so I wouldn't be found on Facebook for the sake of my new big-girl job at a financial firm. Soraparu (Soar-wrap-pah-roo) is my new last name which is much harder to pronounce than my maiden name which is Miles. I got married last year to my love of 6+ years which has been the most rewarding period in my life to be with a partner who challenges, opens and supports me.The wedding was an incredible celebration of this love and even one year in we continue to grow as individuals and as a couple. It's my favorite part of "us" -- because we are always evolving. I have always been interested in self-development which I credit to my parents and their incredibly high EQ. It wasn't obvious to me for a very long time that it was such a gift -- however it has become my career which is just incredible to me. I look back and see every step of the way whether it feeling like it was backwards or forwards as the time, as very critical pieces as to where I am today. I consciously choose to always view my life in this way. For some more basic information, I am from the suburbs of Chicago, went to UCLA for college and moved back to Chicago in 2013!
Q: What was the inspiration behind Yoga With Mar?
A: I left my financial career without much of an idea of what I wanted other than knowing I wanted to work for myself. I also was going through an incredible transformative time in my life which aided in this decision. I am creative and figured I would consult and find something that stuck. I traveled throughout Asia on a solo trip for 2 months and during that time I really reflected and questioned every single element of my life. I didn't really understand much of my "why" and this was confusing to me. I decided to write a business plan for a corporate yoga business and decided that once I returned home that I would go through yoga teacher training. Yoga was the only thing other than my now husband that was keeping me together during these years. When I returned, I found my way into the yoga scene and decided that one-on-one yoga was my thing and I just jumped right in. All built from there.
Q: What do you love most about your job?
A: The diverse and complicated puzzles that I get to attempt with my clients. Whether it be yoga or coaching, my clients have a wide array of needs, desires, injuries, strains, life circumstances and so forth. I learn so much simply by serving them and with the relationships that we form. It is a very cyclical career.
Q: Take us through a day in the life!
A: Oh man! Every day is so different. I decided early on that I would have consistent streams of income that I enjoyed to ensure that yoga and coaching never became something that felt transactional. I think this was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. If a client cancels or if I can't teach for a week, I am not scrambling and stressing out. I feel a strong sense of responsibility to keep the energy vibrant for my clients because they deserve it. Therefore my days typically involve some variation of the following: Early morning meditation, teach clients or classes, exercise, breakfast on the go or at home, emails and deep coaching work, clients or classes, lunch at home, quick meditation (walking or guided), emails and consulting work, research, yoga, reading, dinner at home, time with husband, sleep!
Q: What's your favorite way to stay active?
A: I enjoy and find the most success with a variety filled routine! Strength, run, yoga, strength, yoga, run, yoga. I also practice mini yoga routines at home almost daily -- even if it is two sun salutations. I like to say hello to my baseline. I also recently embraced the art of walking and am working on walking outdoors in the colder months. Every so often, I do something totally different like rock climbing, cycle class or a hike while on vacation!
Q: What do you love most about YOUR #FitCityFamily (aka the health and wellness community in Chicago that you interact with!)
A: The pure joy that comes from being together in a space for a common purpose despite what we all may have going on in our lives. I also love that I probably hug 15 people in a given day which is absolutely incredible. We are all connected however we don't operate our moment to moment life with this in mind. This becomes a connective moment for all. I really feel this with my students, clients, studio colleagues and other leaders in this space... like you! You bring so much joy FCB!
Mar + The Blondes