Deep Breaths and Power Poses with Mary Lyn
While I believe our first contact with Mary Lyn was through some standard blind outreach or mutual connection, our relationship with her and with the yoga practice as a whole, has truly blossomed into something amazing. I can speak for both Monica and I when I say that we are not yogis. We spend so much time in the comfort of our office working tirelessly to make FlipperSplash the smash success that we know it’s destined to be, that we rarely take time to do something for ourselves.
Enter Mary Lyn. Her spirit and enthusiasm for her practice was instantly contagious. Before I knew it, Monica had us signed up for Intro to Power Yoga at the Beaches studio. Anyone who has heard a recap of our experience can attest to the fact that we were quite caught off guard. First of all, who even knew Power Yoga was a whole genre? (Not me.) Our first INTRO class was a real a^* kicking and, although unsure if i’d ever walk again, we left feeling better than we had in a LONG time. Our instructor, Mo, was so wonderful. She made us feel welcome and comfortable in a very new experience. It was her and the other incredible instructors that kept us coming back to what we lovingly referred to as a weekly sweat fest. It was a true test to the sense of community that Mary Lyn was striving to bring to Jacksonville Beach. Well, i’m here to tell you, she NAILED it. Read below to see some of what led to the creation of Big Fish and how founder Mary Lyn made it all happen!
FlipperSplash: Are you a native Floridian? If not, what brought you here?
Mary Lyn: I’m not a native Floridian, but i’ve been coming and going from the Beaches for 25 years. My husband is a 5th generation Jacksonvillian. We moved together to the West Coast for the team. Kids and a deep listening to return closer to home brought us back 11 years ago.
FS: What or When was your “aha!” moment that led you to start Big Fish Power Yoga?
MLJ: 10 years ago, nothing existed in the world of yoga at the Beaches. There was on studio with a teacher I really liked - Joyce Savitz. And she’s still amazing! Even still, there was a white space for a strong, team-focused power yoga studio. The “aha” was that it needed to happen. So, I did it!
FS: Do you have a favorite class to teach?
MLJ: I love teaching 90-minutes on Saturday mornings at the Beach studio.
FS: Along those same lines, is there a yoga position that gives you difficulty? (They all seem to give us difficulty ..)
MLJ: One any given day, there will be a pose that challenges me. The practice is challenging. The opportunity is to love the difficulty and embrace the challenge.
FS: When you get overwhelmed as a founder, what keeps you motivated?
MLJ: I’m most motivated by knowing that this work matters. Lives are at stake. We all share the same things in life - a desire for purpose and a sense of belonging. Big fish is changing lives - not only because the physical practice is so transformational and healing, but through deep community and loving each other just as we all are — a mess!
FS: Do you have a favorite activity to do with friends and family when they visit you here in Florida?
MLJ: I love beach cruising on our bikes. The hills of San Francisco and traffic of Seattle didn’t allow for much wide open, flat spaces fit for beach cruisers! I love it on a crystal clear blue day with friends and family!
FS: If you could travel anywhere this year, where would you go?
MLJ: Really anywhere with family — but, i’m ready for Kenya.
FS: You’re having a dinner party this weekend and can invite one famous guest, who would it be?
MLJ: Oh my gosh - my forever girl crush - Jennifer Aniston. She’s still got it and I want to tell her to keep it up!
FS: Do you have a favorite restaurant here in Northeast Florida?
MLJ: The Floridian in St. Augustine or the deviled eggs with fried oysters and a glass of champagne at Marker 32.
FS: What is one piece of advice that you have for someone that is just starting out as the founder of a company?
MLJ: Work like your life depends on it. Be the one that does it all for as long as it takes. Pull great people who have a spirit of helpfulness in tight.
FS: Can you share something on your 2019 Bucket List?
MLJ: A rocking book launch! My first book is being published right now - launch date March 12th! I want my best friends from all over the country to come be with me and dance all night after this book is out!
FS: Tell us something interesting that some people may not know about you …
MLJ: I was a set designer and artist in my previous life. (I still am, it just changes form.)