We had the good fortune of connecting with Erin Sampson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erin, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I have always wanted to teach and I took my time finding the avenue that led me to where I am today. My love for the practice of yoga and the career of teaching landed me in a Yoga Teacher Training program. I received my 200-hour teaching certification in 2008 in Arvada, Colorado. For the next several years, I taught classes at my neighborhood studio. In December of 2011, my family of five moved to Tamarindo, Costa Rica for six months. We wanted to expose our kids to a different culture and lifestyle and to find out if we could sustain our businesses outside of the U.S. We fell in love with Costa Rica and decided to split our time between Colorado and Costa Rica. Upon my first return to Colorado, I opened my own studio, Five Parks Yoga, in my home. This allowed me to teach in both Colorado and Costa Rica on my own schedule with my own vision. In an effort to bridge the gap between Colorado and Costa Rica, in February of 2015, my husband Matt and I started filming yoga classes and posting them on YouTube, so that my students could practice with me when I wasn’t in town, (either town!). Since that time, I have posted over 300+ classes and now have 209,000 subscribers and students from over 200 different countries. While my original intention was to simply share my classes with my students who practiced with me in person, the unexpected result of my YouTube channel has given me an opportunity to connect with students from all over the world. My other passion project began in 2013 when my friend Alyson and I founded Warrior Girls Yoga – yoga workshops and camps for middle school and high school aged girls. The program has been an amazing part of my passion for sharing yoga in a full-hearted and meaningful way. Alyson and I have a unique ability to work together to seamlessly integrate the life changing practices of meditation, mindfulness and yoga. I strive to share my love for self-discovery through the practices of mindfulness, meditation, and yoga during my online and in-person classes.
What should our readers know about your business?
FiveParksYoga.com began as a small home-based yoga studio in the Village of Five Parks, Arvada, CO. In December of 2011, my husband Matt and I made a big leap and moved our family of five to Tamarindo, a small town in Costa Rica. We had an amazing experience and decided to make Tamarindo our part-time home. Living in two countries with three kids and a dog has presented its unique challenges, but yoga always remained a central part of my life and work. I found work at studios in Tamarindo and also taught classes at my home while I was in Costa Rica. At the point that I had students practicing with me at my home studios in both Tamarindo and Colorado, I thought it might be interesting to bridge that divide by filming my classes and uploading them to YouTube. Sharing my classes online allowed my students in Colorado and Costa Rica to practice with me regardless of my location. My husband Matt’s semi-professional hobby is photography and videography so we struck a nice balance between my teaching and his filming and editing. My first class was published in February of 2015. We only had an expectation that my students who had practiced with me in my home studios would follow the classes. We were surprised when people we did not know started following the site and subscribing. In my first six months of posting classes on YouTube, I made a total of $60! But, that was motivation enough to film more classes and post more content. By 2017, I was able to fill my first retreat in Costa Rica and by 2018, my channel had 100,000 subscribers. Today, I have over 200,000 subscribers and over 300 classes. I think what makes me unique amongst yoga teachers and YouTube instructors is my desire to remain authentic and accessible to my students. I host 1-2 retreats a year in order to connect with my students on a personal level. I love my job and I feel that my students can connect to me through the amazing practice of yoga.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am so proud to be from Colorado and love to share my beautiful location with friends. When our friends visit us, we are sure to take a trip to Red Rocks in Morrison (even if there isn’t a concert!). When in Morrison, we love to eat at the classic Morrison Inn for Margs and Mexican. I also love Beso de Arte, which is right in the middle of town. Not far from Morrison, we enjoy heading to downtown Golden for food and local shopping. If there is an opportunity, getting out of town and into the mountains is always a fun excursion. We love visiting Summit County and Winter Park for skiing, camping, and hiking. If I am with a friend who practices yoga and loves the outdoors, we take a trip to Boulder and take a class at Yoga Pod and hike around the Flatirons. For fun in the evening, we always enjoy a night out on the town in Downtown Denver. We enjoy heading to LoHi to eat at restaurants like Linger and Lola. Colorado is a fantastic place to live with endless opportunities!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My first and most important shoutout is to my family. My husband Matt helped to co-create our YouTube channel. My three kids have supported me with time, space and enthusiasm. I am so thankful for my extended family and network of friends who have been on my team from the very beginning of my journey. My subscribers and supporters on YouTube have contributed toward upgrades in lights, microphones and cameras along the way. I have been inspired by my teacher trainers; Mindy from Green Mountain Yoga and Hali from Multistyle Yoga. I have also been influenced by yoga teachers at conferences and in workshops. Amy Ippoliti and Adriene Mishler are two of many inspiring teachers who have influenced my career.
Matt Sampson @ TamarindoFilms.com