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Digging deep

By KIRSTEN KOROSEC

January 2010

The yoga roots run deep in Meg Galarzaís life. It just took a little time and digging to rediscover them.

Galarza, 38, grew up in a family that practiced yoga and meditation. Her parents were vegetarian. She was, in short, different than the other kids growing up in Midwest. And as a teen, those were aspects of her life she preferred to keep to herself.

After two years at a transcendental meditation university, Galarza married, earned a finance degree from the University of Iowa and moved away from a life of yoga and meditation. It wasnít until Galarza had her second child that she rediscovered yoga and began taking classes at the Feith Family YMCA.

It was there, after a nudge from her husband, her yoga career began. "I was spending a lot of time doing yoga again, so it became, OK, how about teaching," she says.

It grew from there, says Galarza, a Grafton resident. Today, Galarza owns and operates YogaOne in Cedarburg, which offers a variety of yoga classes, Zumba and instructor training all within two studios. The woman that became a certified instructor and started teaching at the YMCA in 2001, then later expanded to a recreation center, now has 17 instructors working for her.

The business has evolved considerably since those early days.

"I remember my first class at the rec center Ö I had put an ad in the local community newspaper," she says. "And 60 people showed up. About 30 of those became regulars."

Galarza moved her burgeoning business to a small space in Cedarburg, while maintaining her teaching schedule at the YMCA. In 2004, an opportunity to move to a larger, new location on Main Street opened up ó and she took it.

"The timing was good, two other instructors had approached me about teaching and it all worked out well," she says. "My entire business has evolved that way. I never sat down and wrote a business plan. It just grew organically."

Thatís not to stay there werenít a few bumps along the way. There was the name change fiasco, when a business in California informed Galarza the name was trademarked. And the audit from the state that resulted in having to make all of her independent contractor instructors into employees.

But Galarza has managed to roll with the changes, and she gives yoga credit for her ability to keep it all in perspective. "What really helped me was that I started small and only took on what I could," she says. "And itís about maintaining a balance between family and work. Iímwhere I want to be and Iím passionate about what I do. Iím not that shy kid. I can be who I want and live the life that I was raised and speak freely about it."