“My passion is bringing people together and building communities,” says the entrepreneur
Not everyone has experience of yoga on a paddleboard on the water, so when Sylvie Lamothe received a call from a client, expressing that he had signed up for the activity but he was nervous, Lamothe knew what to say.
“I said, ‘Hey, tonight’s class has four more newbies, so you’ll have a support system,'” said the Timmins woman who runs sessions of the activity, known as SUP. (stand up paddleboard) Yoga, through his company, Rebel Soul. “I promise you it’s not scary. All you have to do is show up and if you decide it’s not for you, you can leave.
The answer was in keeping with the spirit of Rebel Soul. To use words taken from its own marketing literature, the company aims to help people “come to life, discover our passions and make connections”.
In addition to regularly leading SUP Yoga sessions at the Hersey Lake Conservation Area, she hosts winter “Snowga” sessions at Porcupine Ski Runners, where participants use snowshoes. She also leads a variety of different classes through the Yoga & Growth aspect of her business. This includes a series of sessions that coincide with each full moon, where yoga activities are performed alongside discussions that promote personal growth.
The activities are meant to challenge people, but not in an uncomfortable way, Lamothe said. She sees her role as “supporting people to move forward and get out of their comfort zone”.
“That’s where I like to meet people. You’re doing something new and you’re a little nervous and you’ve now decided that you’re going to go ahead anyway. That’s the essence and the energy that Rebel Soul brings,” she said.
She thinks this is important because when people learn to step out of their comfort zone, as the analogy goes, during social or physical activity, they can also see the benefits of doing the same in their lives. personal and professional.
For this reason, Lamothe works hard to provide a positive environment for its customers. For example, with SUP Yoga, she makes it clear that there is no shame in falling into the water. In fact, that’s part of the fun.
“We don’t take ourselves too seriously on the water, there’s a fun element to it,” she said.
Yet it is also great exercise, both mentally and physically.
“It’s a different challenge because your stabilizer muscles are activated. It’s harder to do certain moves on the board, so it activates different muscles that work for you. And then there’s the whole Zen aspect. We spend time at the end, finding our center and coming back to a zen state, where you are lying on the board. You can hear the sound of the birds around you, the ripples of the water. The Zen aspect of yoga is amplified when you’re on set,” she explained.
The Snowga sessions are also intended to be fun and inspiring. Yoga activities take place intermittently through a series of steps. She takes participants to a part of the trail where they can see the sunset and do another movement exercise. At the end of the session, participants use headlamps and walk under the stars. The session then ends with a hot tea.
SUP Paddleboard and Snowga sessions are open to adults of all ages.
Lamothe also leads more traditional indoor yoga sessions and offers her services for birthday parties, bachelorette parties, school groups and corporate events.
The series that takes place around each full moon is called Soul Sessions and takes place at Bodhi Tree Hot Yoga Studio. During these events, participants can bring a newspaper. Between yoga exercises, Lamothe can pose a question and encourage participants to discuss it or write an answer. The question might be, “What was the happiest moment of your life?” or “What makes you feel alive?”
It’s designed for people who may need support as they “find their purpose or tackle the things that set their soul on fire,” Lamothe said.
A third aspect of Rebel Soul is not related to recreational activities. Lamothe offers advice to entrepreneurs on a variety of topics, including marketing, social media, event planning, and business development.
By offering all these services, Lamothe shares knowledge and a joie de vivre influenced by the cultures around the world with which she has lived and interacted. She grew up in Timmins, but as a young adult she worked in international development and traveled to Brazil, Guyana, Dominica and Rwanda, where she helped local agencies develop projects and access funding.
When she returned to her hometown, she began to organize one-on-one events that mixed recreational and social activities, like painting and tasting events or beer and yoga events. She had so much fun doing it that she realized she could start her own business by hosting unique events. She attended a session to learn how to become a SUP Yoga instructor and was immediately hooked.
She has now been running Rebel Soul for about five years. Every day is about helping people work on their well-being, exploring new activities and discovering what excites them.
“I’m someone who likes to connect with people,” Lamothe said. “My passion is bringing people together and building communities. I bring all that strength to this business.