mahabis interviews // yogogirls
This week we catch up with Michelle Thomas and Debby Siegel, founders of YoGoGirls.
Self-confessed edge dwellers, this spiritual duo push the boundaries of extreme activities and balancing acts. Juggling their work as brand marketers, designers and photographers, they are also passionate cyclists and the inspiring brains (and bodies) behind YoGoGirls.
Having met each other at a triathlon training camp for women in 2012, Debby and Michelle founded YoGoGirls in 2013. Both driven career women, mothers, cyclists and yogis, they combined their shared passions to create an inspirational network for people across the world. Since launching 2 years ago, they have encouraged thousands to take to their yoga mats, take risks, and get active. Alongside their day jobs, they create impressive images and poses for their yoga art gallery on Instagram, and speak of the balance that yoga helps them to restore.
Also recent adopters of mahabis, Michelle and Debby talk to us about their downtime, accompanied by some... less than conventional #mahabisselfies. Whilst we prefer our downtime to be a little less aerobically challenging, we love how YoGoGirls have swapped the loungewear for lycra and taken their mahabis from the sofa... to the mat... to the air.
You can also check out their review of mahabis here.
Disclaimer: Do not try this at home ;)
In one sentence, tell us what you do
We are uber active artists crafting with our lens and keyboard in order to embolden others to rise to their highest calling.
How did you get into yoga? Give us a bit of background on the path you’ve taken to where you are today..
Having discovered its powers just over three years ago, yoga has since transformed each of our lives. It helped us find balance in chaos and calm in turbulence. We are both very active, single moms who own separate marketing companies. Yoga has taught each of us the power of just being, accepting what is. We continue to connect to that balance that our mat provides mentally, spiritually and physically, and love the fact that after three years of practicing, we almost daily find new strengths in our practice. We adore and admire the yoga community too. There is such camaraderie in it and so many uplifting yoginis. We will be practicing yoga until we are old and blonde.
From sunrise to sunset, talk us through a typical day in your life.
Well, as Debby’s son has aptly pointed out in the past, we are at times the only two people out of 7 billion likely doing whatever it is we happen to be doing at a given moment. But we do have some activities that can be found in our “typical day.”
Sunrise and sunset are both vital timeframes for photographers and during the warmer months you’ll find us owning one or the other (mostly sunset) with a photoshoot for us or a YoGoGirls’ client.
As single moms, many mornings begin with getting our kids off to school. Our other marketing/designing jobs consume a good portion of our days. And a most certain constant for both of us is choosing active living. Whether that means commuting by bike, finding a rock to climb on, or finding a fitness class, we choose to stay active regularly. Our mom lives allow us to hone our taxi-driving and homework-overseeing skills on the regular. And of course we have to eat each day, so we fit that in with healthy choices as well. And we can not forget laughing. That is an activity you’ll find us engaging in every single day.
Where is home for you?
St. Louis, Missouri. USA
One city you’d never tire of returning to and why?
We’ve been to Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, New York and Toronto together. We love each for various reasons, but can tell you we did two things in each city that we will never tire of; and those are cycling and yoga.
How do you keep your life/ work balance?
We return to our mat for even just minutes to find the sanity it offers. It really propels us into our multi-tasking worlds and keeps us grounded. Other than that, we have networks of friends for balancing all that is required for this 21st century living. And we rely a lot on our smart phones.
How important is downtime for you? How often do you make time for downtime?
Well, does paddleboarding count? In the summer months, you can find us enjoying sunsets on water while floating on a paddleboard. And, sleep can be downtime right?
Describe your ideal downtime, the ultimate way you’d choose to unwind.
We unwind with close friends and our kids watching movies or grabbing a bite. Of course we love vacationing and ideally we would spend it frolicking while surfing in the ocean or lounging on a beach, and we’d add the apre on a mountain would qualify as downtime too, right?
When you need to relax, or recharge your creativity, what are your go-to reads/ songs/ places?
read: funny authors like Lena Dunham or Steven Colbert
listen: We are into evening chill music, indie, and some theater soundtracks
go: We like to grab tea (Debby) & coffee (Michelle) at any local coffee shop that we can ride to. Debby enjoys live music and theater. Michelle sees movies and spends time with her boyfriend learning to juggle and watching Netflix.
Your mahabis: what’s your favourite colour combination, and when/ where do you wear them?
Debby likes her wool-lined dark grey mahabis slippers with the gotland green soles (that match her Bianchi). Michelle prefers the breathable summer version, opting for the agen aqua slipper with the ilen ivory detachable sole.
Your 25th hour: if you had an extra hour in the day, how would you spend it?
Oh, wow. That’s quite a question. First, we’d want to have access to this additional hour without anyone knowing about it, so we could truly make it all our own. And then, well… yeah… yoga or cycling.
All photography courtesy of YoGoGirls.