My name is Marina Abayeva in 1993 my family and I immigrated from the Soviet Union to the United States. I came here as a teenager and was full of ambition. I faced new challenges in this country, for the first three years I struggled with speaking a new language, adapting to a new society and understanding the mentality of a new culture. I also had a lot of opportunities, I enrolled in a nursing program while working two jobs as a salesperson in a boutique store and a personal assistant. After a few years in the nursing program I realized it wasn’t for me and switched to business school, where I graduated as the valedictorian.
With persistence, hard work and a bit of luck I landed a job at Karen Kane Inc. It is a fashion company where I worked as a sales assistant for the vice president and account executives. After four years I was eager to get promoted to a new position as an account executive, but the vice president was not convinced I was ready for the role. I was disappointed in myself. At that time I was balancing my personal life with my career. I was raising and guiding my son, caring for my parents and in-laws and supporting my husband. Juggling work and family was very overwhelming. I felt pressured, overworked, stressed, worried, and frustrated. I was lucky to work in the corporate world and learn from coworkers who introduced me to self-care. After a business trip back home, I signed up for yoga classes at NYSC on 67th and Queens Blvd.
By some magical force one day I took a yoga class that changed my life! From that day on I practiced daily to improve my mental, emotional, and physical well-being. I felt energized, self-respected, and peaceful after the first practice and took more classes. I realized that with consistency and discipline my mind and body shifted to positive thoughts and a strong mindset. People around me noticed my confidence, strength, and increased stamina. By changing my personality, I changed my reality. After a year of continuing to work on myself with purpose and determination, I was promoted to Account Executive Specialty & Department Stores.
During my 15 years at KK I had a great experience meeting and learning from successful, talented and intelligent people. My responsibility was to continue building brand recognition in specialty stores. I traveled and promoted new collections every season at trade shows. I did merchandising and managed department stores such as Dillards, Bloomingdales, Nordstroms, Lord & Taylor, and Amazon. I built a portfolio of over 10 million dollars based on my hard work, organizational skills, discipline, personal and professional skills, and passion for fashion.
In 2015 I became the most successful, mindful, and determined person. That year I left KK company and was recruited by a privately owned company Yal NY as a VP of sales and merchandising. My expertise was to bring awareness and experience to build the company brand and portfolio. Under my leadership the company’s profits increased by 80%! I worked closely with my team of designers, advertisers, marketers, manufacturers, branding experts and took the company to the next level.
How Yoga Changed my life
I was always drawn to the practice of yoga and it wasn’t long before I realized that teaching yoga was my true calling. I decided to take my licensing in Yoga Therapy as a way to deepen my knowledge and understanding of this ancient practice and this became a new chapter in my life.
After getting my license, I opened a small yoga studio for six people. Despite its size it was immensely beneficial to all my students. Teaching others gave me an insight to know myself better. I saw firsthand how yoga could help people stay calm, mindful, peaceful and happy during the most challenging of times, like the pandemic. This inspired me to share my knowledge with others and teach yoga wisdom, breathing techniques, and the health benefits of yoga, because it had changed my life in so many ways.
As my reputation grew, I started teaching private lessons to people in their homes. I worked with kids, families, people with autoimmune diseases, physical pain, or lack of mobility. I also collaborated with a few full-time doctors who referred their patients to me to gain more flexibility and mobility from yoga. It was the best years of my life, seeing people become pain-free and relieved from stress and anxiety, losing weight, building confidence, and feeling peaceful – that was my goal, to create peace in their hearts.
In 2021, a big shift happened in my life. My family, including my parents and siblings, supported and motivated me to open a professional studio that had been my vision for a long time. However, I had a lot of insecure thoughts. Could I run a business? Would it be successful? Would people understand my services? How would I deal with expenses and more responsibilities? A few days of deep thinking, I made the decision to transfer my parents’ second-floor apartment to the beautiful and cozy Blossom Yoga studio.
Now, two years later, Blossom Yoga Studio is a thriving business. I can proudly say that it was the best decision I ever made. I enjoy seeing people looking forward to being in the studio, practicing with me, and making positive changes in their lives, being more productive, strong-minded, pain-free, healthy, and happy. They share this joy with their kids, family members, and friends. It is a pleasure to see my vision and passion aligned. The most important lesson I learned is that by changing yourself, you can help change others. That’s my mission.
Blossom Yoga Stream was founded on the belief that people are happiest and healthiest when they are moving with mindfulness in a supportive community. We believe passionately in the connection between body and mind and in pursuing lives that blend creativity with purpose. We also believe that local businesses should serve their communities, making people’s lives better and allowing them to achieve their passions and purposes.
Every day, I am inspired by and grateful for the students who call Blossom Yoga their yoga home. Their dedication to the practice and their commitment to living mindfully and with intention is a testament to the transformative power of yoga. I look forward to continuing this journey with them and helping more people find peace and happiness through the practice of yoga.