Marla Mockus strikes a “Good Life” pose on the big chair in Green Lake’s Deacon Mills Park following a lakeside class. submitted photo
by Ariana Hones
Marla Mockus brings The Good Life to downtown Green Lake
Anyone who lives on the shore of Green Lake in January knows the biting winter cold that seems endless.
It is often on those bitter, windy days that the dream of sunshine and warm weather is pure fantasy.
Sometimes, however, those chilled moments can spark a new vision.
That was the case for Marla Mockus, local entrepreneur and creator of The Good Life Yoga studio in Green Lake.
“It was January and there was this crazy blood full moon and I was sitting and doing a little morning meditation and it just hit me, ‘I need to have people in this room with me; this would be the perfect place to have a studio,’” Mockus said.
In a matter of days, she had written her business plan. In two weeks, she had a website.
Over the course of the next few months, she transformed her apartment above Sassafras Coffee into her yoga studio.
Decorated with overstuffed chairs, tapestries, rugs and an inviting color palette, The Good Life Yoga studio opened its doors Memorial Day weekend.
The fact that Mockus’ studio is inside of her home is no coincidence.
“I want it to be homey and comforting and for people to feel comfortable coming into the space,” Mockus said. “In some studios, people come, do yoga, pick up the mat and leave — I don’t want that to be this space.”
The studio’s location right above Sassafras is ideal for Mockus’ vision of offering a supportive community.
“I am trying to bring this community a space that is not a bar, where like-minded people can come after class or work,” she said. “You can do yoga and then grab a coffee with friends afterwards.”
Mockus’ journey with yoga began when she took her first yoga class in college at age 18.
“I resonated with yoga because of how it made me feel,” she said. “Personally, [developing a practice] was super healing.”
Inspired by one of her yoga instructors, Mockus decided to dive into a teacher training program during her travels to Thailand in 2017.
At the end of 28 days, where she and her cohort would practice yoga for 12 hours a day, Mockus received her 200-hour certification to teach yoga.
“I knew from the beginning that teaching yoga was something I wanted to make a career out of,” she said. “I am a creative person and an entrepreneurial soul. I wanted to create the safe space that I envision for people to be in.”
Thus, she decided to start her studio in a town where she had grown up and give back to a community that had supported her.
“It is so amazing the support system of all of the people here,” Mockus said. “People are afraid to follow their dreams because they are like, ‘What if you fail?’ Well what if you fail? You fail. You fall on your face and you get back up and you try some-thing new or try it again.”
The biggest challenge Mockus faces in her first summer is building her clientele.
“I have to be patient and know that people will come,” she said. “It won’t happen right away, but it will happen.”
Her alignment-based classes that focus on building a strong foundation of movement are approachable for all skill levels and enable the participants to “go inwards towards what feels good for them.”
“I want people to come that have never done yoga before and feel good about it,” Mockus said. “You can lay on your mat and take a nap and you are still doing something that is good for you by being in this environment.”
Through the last week of September, people can find Mockus in her studio above Sassafras teaching classes, Fridays from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Farmer’s Market outside of Town Square, and on community day retreats.
After September, Mockus likely will travel somewhere warmer, but has plans to open up for the summer of 2019.
Until the end of September. Mockus hopes that with her “slow and methodical” approach to teaching and her desire to incorporate many aspects of the rich yoga tradition, she can give the community a full wellness experience.
“I want people to put energy into themselves and give self love,” she said. “Everyone can benefit.”
In a town that touts “The Good Life” motto, Mockus’ complementary dream stays right on track.