‘She built it and they came’

We all strug­gle with bal­anc­ing our pro­fes­sional and per­sonal lives

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS - Joe Sher­ren

Through­out our lives, we all strug­gle with bal­anc­ing our pro­fes­sional with our per­sonal life. Some will say that there is no such thing. How­ever, I be­lieve the fu­ture is not about bal­ance, but work-life in­te­gra­tion.

To­day, more than ever, peo­ple are play­ing many dif­fer­ent roles in their lives: work­ers, par­ents, spouses, friends, care­givers for el­derly rel­a­tives, and vol­un­teers in their com­mu­ni­ties. They must also make room in their lives for tak­ing care of their own phys­i­cal and men­tal well-be­ing.

In­deed, with all that go­ing on, it’s tough. When peo­ple spend time in their busi­ness, they of­ten feel guilty about not be­ing with their fam­ily. Con­versely, while with fam­ily, they feel guilty about not look­ing af­ter the busi­ness.

Karen Mur­phy is no dif­fer­ent, but, may have the an­swer for you. She is build­ing a pros­per­ous busi­ness while at the same time rais­ing two chil­dren with an­other on the way. Karen and the staff at Mok­sha Yoga ad­dress this is­sue by pro­vid­ing a place where peo­ple can achieve peace and strive to be their best self.

They en­lighten oth­ers to the pos­si­bil­i­ties of liv­ing a holis­tic, bal­anced, healthy (both men­tally and phys­i­cally), and pro­duc­tive life. A “bal­anced life” con­sists of pri­or­i­tiz­ing what is most im­por­tant to you, mak­ing the right choices to ac­com­plish that, and stay­ing con­nected to the ‘why’ of what you do ev­ery day.

Karen, like many Is­land en­trepreneurs, trav­elled and worked in var­i­ous places and fields be­fore re­al­iz­ing what she re­ally wanted. She dis­cov­ered her pas­sion while work­ing with Pep­siCo in Cal­gary, Al­berta. She was in sales, ex­ceed­ing all her tar­gets and on her way to great suc­cess in the cor­po­rate world.

Dur­ing this time, she was in­tro­duced to Mok­sha Yoga. Orig­i­nally drawn to the phys­i­cal as­pects and car­dio­vas­cu­lar work­out, she quickly re­al­ized it was more than a great way to stay in shape. She saw the ben­e­fits of mind­ful breath­ing, re­duced stress, and an in­cred­i­ble bliss­ful feel­ing post work­out.

In fact, the ex­pe­ri­ence was so great she wanted to share it with oth­ers. So, Karen went on to com­plete her Mok­sha Yoga train­ing in Toronto, trav­el­ling to Costa Rica in 2010 for Mok­sha Level 2. Mok­sha means pure, and the great part of Mok­sha Yoga is that it is ac­ces­si­ble to ev­ery­one, re­gard­less of age or level of abil­ity.

While in Cal­gary, she and fi­ancé John Arch Mac­Dougall be­gan to miss home and fam­ily and got the idea of bring­ing the Mok­sha con­cept to P.E.I. But, would peo­ple em­brace it?

Tak­ing a big risk, she opened in a large sa­lon near the Char­lot­te­town har­bor. She started with a team of two yoga in­struc­tors (in­clud­ing her­self) and seven spa staff. They did not know what to ex­pect, but for the first class at 6:00 a.m. on open­ing day - 17 peo­ple showed up. She now has 16 Yoga in­struc­tors, 23 spa staff, and the busi­ness con­tin­ues to flour­ish.

Mok­sha Char­lot­te­town is grow­ing for many rea­sons: the prod­ucts are all or­ganic (free of chem­i­cals), she hires top qual­ity peo­ple, pro­vides on­go­ing train­ing and per­sonal de­vel­op­ment, treats her work­ers like fam­ily, and en­sures each cus­tomer has a pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence.

As part of the in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion, she pro­vides a more af­ford­able Karma op­tion cost­ing $5. All of which gets do­nated and has raised over $5 mil­lion for human rights and holis­tic health char­i­ties.

Even with all this, Karen main­tains a bal­anced life. In fact, just set­ting up for this in­ter­view was chal­leng­ing as she did not want to take time away from her kids. She prac­tices what she teaches.

My ques­tion for busi­ness own­ers: Are you just in it for the money, or do you truly have a de­sire to help oth­ers and pro­vide a healthy bal­anced work­place for your staff?


Karen Mur­phy is build­ing a pros­per­ous busi­ness while at the same time rais­ing two chil­dren with an­other on the way.

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