In my first correspondence with Sweet Surrender Wellness CEO, Ginny Sweet, I learned of her initiative for participants who may not usually have the opportunity to enjoy yoga. This piqued my interest as I thought “Yoga seems fairly easy, how can there be individuals excluded from the opportunity to appreciate it?” (Being an untried yogi myself). Was I ever in for a rude awakening.
At the time, Sweet was teaching two classes that stood out from the rest; one was a yoga class designed for students with low vision, and the other a course for those who have experienced a traumatic brain injury, both providing a guided practice customized to be a better fit for participants with a range of physical abilities.
Instantly I thought of my comments made minutes prior, and was disappointed that I could have completely overlooked the issue, and the need. I was now in for a rollercoaster ride of new information and research about the mental and physical benefits of yoga for the disabled participant, the limited options available to enjoy those benefits, and what Ginny Sweet of Sweet Surrender Wellness was doing to create a supportive place for people of all abilities to find strength, a sense of calm, a burst of energy and a sense of accomplishment from yoga.
Hailing from a background in healthcare, having worked in both a hospital and rehabilitation setting, Sweet knows first-hand the exclusivity that can be involved in mainstream physical activity. What some may consider a walk in the park (literally or figuratively) others could find excruciatingly difficult or downright impossible. This is a problem Sweet has addressed head-on in creating Sweet Surrender Wellness: giving the option of physical activity and wellness to those who need it most.
Where did this desire to help originate? At one point in her life, before she was known as a community companion to many, Sweet was in the exact same position as the clients she is helping today. Just two years before the creation of Sweet Surrender Wellness, Sweet had an injury of her own; an accident resulted in a back injury that required medical intervention. Sweet dealt ceaselessly with chronic pain and nerve damage until one day a physiotherapist suggested an ancient discipline based in deep stretching, balance and relaxation: yoga.
“I was a very active person before this and having to slow down due to an injury was very hard for me. After some time, I started to see small gains; I could bend a bit more or I could hold a pose longer. It by no means happened overnight, but with time and some help to adapt some poses, I saw changes. I was more aware of my breath during the day and how things affected me.”
Just as you’d expect your business advisor to have direct experience with the problem you are confronting, or a basketball coach to have played through exactly the tactical blind spot tripping you up; Sweet knows the hardship of recovering from injury. She was inspired by her journey from bedridden hopeful to certified yoga instructor, and this inspiration is now helping hundreds of others in similar situations across Nova Scotia
What about programs for the experienced yogis? For the veterans of meditative exercise, Sweet showcases certifications, training and knowledge to impress the most seasoned of yoga fanatics. With 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training, First Aid and CPR Health Care Professional all while being fully insured and licensed, Sweet offers all that any other Halifax yoga destination could, and then some.
Ginny Sweet came to CEED with an idea and a dream in her pocket. Coming from a background of healthcare, Sweet wasn’t at all aware of the planning processes, bookkeeping and communications work that needed to be done to even develop a solid business idea. Starting with the fundamentals of business building, CEED and Sweet quickly worked their way up the ladder towards creating a successful enterprise. With the help of an accomplished business advisor and a couple of free workshops, Sweet managed to beat the odds and come out on top, now running a business that inspires her to do the best work she possibly can.
“I did not come from a business background, at all. I had no idea where to begin, I came to CEED with a dream. That was it. Through both workshops and support from staff I have gained the knowledge to not only start up my business, but to truly get to see my dreams come to fruition. I cannot thank CEED enough for the support I have received in all areas of my business!”
When asked how her company has found success after leaving the tree, this CEEDling responded saying:
“I believe a great deal of my success has come from my passion for what I’m doing. I love having the chance to learn about what different organizations around the HRM are doing and working with them to develop a class for their specific clients. I have an open mind and really enjoy new experiences which has helped me build relationships around the city.”
And Ginny, CEED couldn’t agree more.
In her quest to help people of all ability realize their potential and health, Sweet has separated Sweet Surrender Wellness from the pack of other Halifax yoga centers. Sweet Surrender Wellness showcases a philanthropic approach to yoga, and inclusivity that can unfortunately be hard to find in the yoga community. CEED is proud of Ginny Sweet and her company for all their accomplishments, can’t wait to see what’s yet to come.