From Money to the Mat

As a young 20-something in 2010, I was your normal ambitious male living in a metropolitan area (Denver), and doing what most guys my age do: chasing partying, money, sex, career recognition, validation from others, and all sorts of meaningless and ridiculous items. If I close this next big deal, then my boss will respect me more, and that will mean I’ve made it. Remember, these type of things are very important. When shopping for a new car after a remarkable sales year, I was once quoted as saying “I think a Lexus defines me more than an Audi”….barf. Oh, and the money. I loved money, loved making it, loved spending it, loved talking about it. Yep, I was that guy.

Finally, at age 28, I wandered onto my mat for the first time, looking to spice up my fitness routine with something new. Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention, I definitely knew that I was going to “beat” yoga no problem. How hard could it be? It’s just stretching, right? AND there will be chicks there? Perfect. What I found, however, transformed and shaped the rest of my life.

What I found, however, transformed and shaped the rest of my life.

After a couple of years of a regular practice, my old aspirations began to seem so silly and absurd, all driven by the ego (and totally worthless). Big house, Mercedes C-Class, and a job title that included the term “VP” – these were actually important at some point?? It’s like training your entire life just to win the life-trophy, and then when they hand it to you, you realize it’s nothing more than a piece of metal attached to a wooden post. I’m almost embarrassed for my old self…

So, what does a well-to-do (but very unhappy) software guy do when confronted with the fact that he has been living his entire life from a place of ego?? How does he forgive his past and only focus on the present?

A Serious Change

In June of 2012, I got the idea to combine two things I love, yoga and the web, to bring value to other people and enrich their lives, unlike the last 30 years where I had been focusing only on my own. My love (addiction) to technology has blended nicely with the very ancient practice of yoga, in that the internet offers a venue for people to discover yoga for the first time in a very familiar setting, when going to the studio for your first class might seem a little nerve-racking…we’ve all been there.

A few months after setting up the company, I actively made the decision to say goodbye to $120,000 a year, a Senior Director position at my firm, all the frills, and pursue Reflexion Yoga full time. My former boss, whose approval I yearned for at one time, told me I was crazy at the time. On the day I left my old job, despite his advice, I’ve never been so clear about anything in my life. As our relationship expanded outside of the boss/employee roles, he later came to see that this was the only path for me.

The end result

I’ve built a website that people can access for less than they spend at one happy hour, and deliver online yoga videos right to their living rooms. Reflexion Yoga offers full length yoga classes for everyone, especially beginners. The site is designed so that yogis can search/sort through the huge library of videos and find the right yoga routine for them. Let’s face it, some days you feel like taking on the world, and others you just want a nice relaxing flow. The idea is to empower our members to practice on their time, at their own pace, and from the comfort of their home.
I now have the opportunity to help people discover yoga, improve their bodies and minds, and best of all, I sleep like a baby. Do I yearn for the big house? Do I let my car define me? Do I wear a three-piece suit to visit my clients? Nope. And I couldn’t be happier :)

Ali Jafarian

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