Steff LeMieux, from Montreal, currently living in Barbados !
- Tell us about how did you get involved in yoga and yoga on a SUP board.
I have been a dance teacher most of my life and started practicing yoga almost 15 years ago. It was my favorite time of the week, to go and take class, someone else was teaching me. I've learned from so many amazing teachers through out the years... In Montreal mostly, but also across Canada and the USA. Then, I started SUP in 2008 on a trip to California and fell in love. A few years later, had the opportunity to try SUP yoga and my two passions; the ocean and yoga came together!
Tell us about your move and business you open in Barbados?
I've been writing my goals for many years, and Barbados has been on the list, well forever!! It's my favorite place on earth. My son and I would come on our vacations... and then our time here grew longer and more frequent. We decided that it would be our home. After leaving my corporate life in the spring of 2014, all the wheels and actions were put in place for our move and my business. I went from doing sup yoga a few times during the summer in, well beige water, to doing it everyday in the Caribbean sea!!! I can't complain!!!
- What do you like the most about teaching yoga?
I love getting to know my students and their practice. I get to teach adults and kids, from beginners to advanced. I guess one of my favourite thing about teaching yoga is being a witness to their journey. What they were able to do one day one, and what they can do now! Seeing the evolution of their practice week to week is a gift.
And sometimes, in SUP yoga watching someone overcome their fear of water, makes you cry tears of joy. But it's not about how cool the posture is or how high they get their leg up, I love their commitment to their mat, or their board every week... that makes me smile and makes me love my job every single day. I've always been fascinated by the history and science behind it! The human body is amazing, and we underestimate what it can do... from breathing to crazy poses. I love meeting new people in the community and tourists during their stay. In studio classes, we get to play and work on so many specific things.
In the water, balance is the word of the day ;)
What do you like the most about living in Barbados?
Obviously for the weather and the beautiful beaches. And the fact that i can teach in the water everyday. But more importantly, the people!
The people of this island are the reason we kept coming back year after year, and the reason we packed up and left Montreal!
The lifestyle here is very different... it's very social, everyone comes together. So many beach limes, boat rides and parties, island tours, hikes and raft ups. But also, dinner parties and potlucks, rum shop nights happen almost every week. The local foods are amazing, and so is the rum!!
The island is small, everyone knows everyone and it is amazing to see the support from each other in different businesses. So many of my friends here own and managed their own business, and we all support each other.
For the person I am, and what I love, this is 100% where I need to be!
Did yoga change something in your life?
I remember reading once... ;
"If you practice once a week, you'll be sore
if you practice three times a week, you'll be fit
if you practice everyday, it'll change your life"
I practice yoga everyday in one form or another... my mat is always rolled out.
my mat is where I get to breathe, think, meditate... but also, laugh, sweat, be upside down and be goofy! I truly believe that yoga is a serious practice as long as you don't take yourself too seriously along the way.
- Who and what inspire you ?
I am so grateful for all the people who have crossed my path and have touched, moved or inspired me over the last few years. My yoga community in Montreal have definitely played a huge part in my life and my goals. We are blessed in the city as we have an incredible amount of fantastic teachers. At first my family wasn't sure this was the best idea, but i had their full support. They helped me through every single step. And after spending so much time on the island, my community here was an amazing help!! the support i felt while developing the business was unreal!! I feel truly blessed for the people around me every single day.
- Where/how do you see yourself in ten years ?
Hopefully still in Barbados doing exactly what i'm doing... except we have a second house in Bathsheba :)
Any recommendations you have for someone that want to open a business in the tropic, coming from a cold country! lol ?
If you're like me and hate the cold, and hate the winters, by all means try your hardest!
Be patient and have more then one back up plan! But if you really want it, go for it!
I am a firm believer in dreams, but they need to be backed up with a serious business plan, vision and market research. I won't lie, it hasn't been as easy as it looks... I've had many tears and moments of losing my sh*t!!!!
There are many obstacles but in the end, it is SO worth it. Wouldn't trade it for anything. We made it, and we're not going anywhere!!
Anything else you will like to share with us?
Come visit Barbados and come take class :)
I also love playing tour guide!
see you soon xx..
..and my favorite thing to wear when I teach, are my crop tops from