FEBRUARY 2019 —-

INTERVIEW with The Triumphant Year Blog and Media

By Maya Clifford

By Maya Clifford

This morning I am bringing you Sarah Oleson…one of the most amazing yogis’s on the Northshore. Such a light to the world and to all her students. I cannot wait for you all to get to the end of this interview and hear all your thoughts. If you are looking to take classes with Sarah, please refer to her Instagram for events and daily class updates…ENJOY!!!

What was your first passion in life aka what did you want to be when you grew up?

A healer. I have said this since I was a young girl. I want to help people to feel connected. To themselves, to their bodies, to their best friend, or their lover, to nature, to everything!  This has evolved in many ways throughout all of my professions, and roles that I have played in life thus far… but my passion remains the same… to heal and to let myself and others feel safe, loved and complete. 

Was there always a want inside of you to become a yogi?

Yes…Well, I think being a yogi is being a good human… So yes, I have always wanted to be a good human,  Haha. My mother started bringing me to yoga and meditation when I was young, and I was curious… I actually thought it was pretty strange at first, why were we all silent? and then why were we all chanting? Why were we burning incense and dancing around? One day it clicked and I realized it didn’t really matter what we all were doing,  just that We were creating a space for peace, for healing, which is what I always wanted to do, so it stayed with me. 

Who are or is your yogi icon/s?

I admire so many yoga teachers, healers, leaders as Yogis. My teachers, Vidya Heisel, and Jennifer Yarro are based in Spain and London and have been guides to help me teach and share yoga asana. For the spiritual practice, as well as the yoga lineage, I have found guidance in BKS Iyengar and Sri Dharma Mittra. I am a huge fan (yoga groupie) of Shiva Rea and Sean Corne, two women that have taken yoga in the Western World to a new level. But truly, the teachers are all around us. My dad is not a yoga practitioner, and maybe not considered a “yogi” but I call him my Guru because I turn to him for guidance always. 

Do you have a daily practice either spiritual or physical?

Yes. I wake up to meditate every morning. I do this before speaking, before coffee, before any electronics. This has been a part of my life for years. I have never missed a day. Some days I cannot concentrate, or let go, and it is a challenge. Some days I feel tired, and frustrated and do not want to sit… and some days I sit for two hours and it felt like five minutes. Sometimes I will chant…or sit in silence…or do deep breathwork.  I have a physical, asana practice as well daily. Movement can be medicine. 

What is the most common misconception (in your opinion) about building a business or a brand?

I believe there is a big misconception that you need to constantly be “on” 24 hours a day as a business owner. I have tried it… and believe me, it is just not possible, or healthy, or fair!  There has to be a time in the day, or a few times during the day, to shut off the “work” mode, even if you are working for yourself. I am sure every person that has started their own business will start the first few months or years being constantly “On” … but really, the emails/social media/ can wait! 

Why do you do what you do?

There are many reasons, but the one that stands out is because of Lucy. I was Lucy Grogan’s babysitter from the time I was 13 years old until I was 22. She was 8 years old when she was diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia. I watched her suffer, laugh, cry, and I watched her welcome death without fear at the age of 12. Lucy was able to experience holistic healing practices in the hospital, such as Reiki and massage, art therapy, and yoga. Before she passed away, she had the idea to create Lucy’s Love Bus, an organization to help bring these practices to children and families that were ill and could not afford them (most insurance does not cover this) In 2007, Lucy ’s love bus was assisting three families. Now, in 2019, we have helped thousands of families across the United States, and we bring practitioners and therapists into hospitals and homes so that children can heal in a different way. We recently opened a healing center in Amesbury, MA, where I teach yoga to bereaved parents and siblings that have lost children. Every time I set foot in the center, or in any yoga studio for that matter, I aim to help someone feel part of a community, feel loved and complete, and to connect back to themselves. When I see a connection happening, whether it is to breathe, movement, or a hug from another student, I know I am doing what I need to be doing.

Any specific client experiences that stand out to you or change your perspective?

I had a student on one of my retreats to Costa Rica sprain her ankle on the very first day. I felt terrible, she had paid all of this money, had invested all of her time, and she couldn’t even do yoga and was in pain. Well, I have never seen someone so brave and determined. She still came to every class, participated in every group activity, and after each session would come up to me and specifically thank me and tell me it was wonderful. That really put things into perspective for me. She didn’t have to be participating physically in the yoga sessions, she was just listening, meditating, observing, and she was still so connected and a part of it. She was basically my hero that week. 

What is a place you have traveled to that you loved (and perhaps would return) and what is one place you are eager to see next?

I am in love with Bali, specifically Ubud. The people, the food, the slow lifestyle. I have been two times and cannot wait to return. I am eager to see Italy! I head there in October for a retreat I am leading in Tuscany. I also hope to go to Morocco and Greece…

Best retreat experience you have been on?

I love going to Spain for my retreat. The retreat center is in the hills of Southern Spain, 40 minutes from Seville. It is the definition of bliss. The food is all prepared on site from the farm there. The center (Suryalila)  is small and only hosts about 50 guests max. My teacher opened it so it also has a special place in my heart, and it is where I lead my first retreat ever.

If you could be any color what would you be?

Blue like the ocean 

If you could be any stone/gem what would you be?

Turquoise, the healer.

What does being spiritual mean to you?

To me, being spiritual means loving yourself, and seeing the beauty in all. I am not always spiritual. I get angry and disappointed with myself and others. But if we KEEP TRYING to stay open, remember to make eye contact, say thank you, give good hugs, and hold each other up… we are doing it right. Being connected is being spiritual. 



Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah Oleson.

Sarah, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Ever since my mom dragged me to my first yoga class at around age 10, I have been interested in the practices around healing the self and others through yoga, and mindful meditation. Growing up in Amesbury, MA it was not too common that a family did not have a television…but my parents wanted us to learn what life was about without the “tube”. So, my twin sisters and I were fortunate enough to be exposed to an abundance of nature, art, and different cultures. I felt drawn to all people, learning about them, understanding them, and helping them.