At age fifteen, Erica Vucich discovered the healing benefits of yoga. She initially began to practice the ancient art form as a way to manage and reverse her scoliosis. After years of practice and healing, Erica came to Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) for yoga teacher training. Going through the teacher training program was a transformational experience. For someone who was shy as a child, teacher training helped Erica learn to open up. “Learning to lead fellow students and eventually actual yoga students through a class was invaluable,” she says.
Erica finished her teacher training in 2008, but she wasn’t sure if she wanted to teach. She initially took teacher training for her own personal development and knowledge, to deepen her practice and help her heal. She credits SWIHA with giving her the confidence to go out and teach yoga. “Had I not been a SWIHA student, I don’t think I would be at the same place I am today and I couldn’t be happier about that,” she claims. “It gave me the practice and confidence to go out and teach.”
Go out and teach she did! Erica began teaching regularly, and continued to enhance her yoga teaching toolbox, taking additional trainings and workshops even after completing her teacher training. She is passionate about gaining knowledge and learning more about yoga and teaching.
After getting five years of teaching under her belt, Erica realized that she wanted to make yoga what she does for a living. So in November of 2013, she opened her studio, Vibetality. Not just a yoga studio, Erica refers to Vibetality as a human optimization studio. The goal of the space is to provide clients with everything they need to function at their very best. Offering more than just a traditional yoga class schedule, Vibetality also offers “Vibe” classes, such as Fit Vibe and Yoga Vibe. These classes are shorter, sometimes only 15 minutes long, and focus on offering maximum results in a minimum amount of time. The studio’s website touts that these short, fifteen minute classes provide up to an hour and a half of benefits and can help with healing and balancing.
The inspiration for opening Vibetality came from Erica’s own physical struggles, and she believes that every service offered in the studio is something that has personally helped her grow stronger and healthier. In addition to the vibe classes and traditional yoga classes Vibetality offers massage, floatation tank therapy, and Biofeedback Meditation sessions. “We really want people to look and feel their best,” says Erica.
A dedicated business owner, Erica puts many hours into her studio, along with the studio co-owner Patrick. “I heard that as a new business owner you should plan 80 hours per week for the first two years,” she says. “That was so right. It requires your undivided attention and time.” This undivided amount of attention is what has helped Vibetality and Erica find success. She is also aware that if possible, it’s beneficial to sell retail products inside her business; Vibetality sells coffee, a variety of natural bath and beauty products, and a great selection of vitamins and healthy foods.
While there is a lot of time and energy that goes into teaching yoga and running a business such as a yoga studio, Erica loves the rewards of teaching . “There is nothing more rewarding than helping a student achieve and ‘aha’ moment,” she says. “I had many of those in my teacher training and it is the best feeling to help clients and students have them as well.”
Erica is grateful that she can say yoga is her full-time job. “It took me five years to be able to say that yoga is what I do for a living, but I was living yoga long before that,” she says. She hopes that future and current SWIHA graduates can stay positive in their business endeavors. “Don’t get discouraged if you can’t make what you love doing your full time job right away. Try your best to live and breathe what you love, even if it’s not initially what pays the bills.”
There’s still time to be a yoga teacher! January 27th is the start date for the next 200 hour fast track yoga teacher training program at SWIHA! Enroll in the fast track, and receive your certification in under four months. For more information about the yoga teacher training programs or to enroll, call the Admissions Department at 480-994-9244.