Cultivating Community with Alo Yoga's Natasia Lutes
If you follow me on Instagram, you already know about my Alo Yoga obsession. What started as a love of ultra-comfy yoga clothes developed into a deep appreciation and connection to the community that Alo Yoga has built. From Masterclasses at their Los Angeles locations to Alo Gives - their non-profit dedicated to bringing yoga to kids and underserved communities - I am infatuated by their consistent desire to teach the world the principles of yoga - on and off the mat.At the beginning of the year, I made it my goal to learn as much as I could about this company and set out to connect with their regional community manager, Natasia Lutes.
Bright, bubbly, and infectious happiness exuded from Natasia when I met her at the Alo Grove launch party in January. She stood at the front of the studio next to Koya Webb and graciously thanked each and every one of us for being there, for supporting Alo Yoga, and for being an essential part of Alo Yoga’s mission to bring yoga to the world. Each of us sat doe-eyed and connected to every word she spoke.
Cultivating community is something that can’t be seen - but is a tangible energy that you can feel. That day, I felt it surge through every bone in my body and I still feel it today.
Natasia is the fundamental heartbeat of the community that Alo has created on the west coast. Whether she is connecting with yogis at the stores or organizing events, she has helped to create what I believe is one of the strongest and most passionate yoga communities around.
Natasia began at Alo Yoga after living in Orange County and modeling full-time. Like many of us, she found monotony outside of yoga and ultimately enrolled in her teacher training in order to find more fulfillment in the work that she was doing. The social butterfly she is, you could find Natasia at a number of studios each day meeting, connecting, and developing relationships with other studio-goers.
Now, most of us come to yoga, roll out our mats, then shut our eyes to the outside world - but this was not Natasia. Her enthusiastic engagement with others quickly caught the attention of a friend that had been working at Alo Yoga...
“She came up one day and asked, “What are you doing?” I smiled and laughed as I replied, “Aren’t we all on this journey of life just trying to find our purpose?”
A spark lit in her eye, “ I think I have a job for you.” My face softened, ”Don’t you work at Alo?” “Yes,” she replied. “ We need someone to create community. Someone who loves people and wants to bring them together. You’re already doing it you just don’t realize it!”
As you can imagine, the rest is history.
Natasia’s love of others and creating community set her up for success at Alo Yoga. Her inquisitive approach to getting to know people breaks down walls and creates an immediate bond.
“It’s cool to bring people together with similar WHYS. It creates a deeper sense of purpose. Since I was little whenever anyone asks me what I want to do or what my dream job is, my response has ALWAYS been “to help people.” It’s amazing to see the ways in which I get to use my gift of connection to make people feel special, important, heard.”
In a time where the world feels so divisive, we could all take a page out of Natasia’s book to cultivate more community on and offline. Whether it is creating events where individuals come together or launching a blog, you can always aim to create community around a common WHY.
Natasia recommends to those desiring to create community to just start by surrendering and being yourself. While that may sound cliche, Natasia is adamant in the fact that living your truth and shining your own light attracts those into your space who want to feel the same.
“There’s a true element of surrender involved. I’ve been there: Feeling lost, alone and extremely confused. The second I let go, started breathing, and living more in the moment, accepting whatever the universe was throwing at me and seizing any opportunity presented. That’s when things started changing. A true shift took place.”
So what’s next for Natasia and Alo Yoga? You can imagine - a whole lot more community building and as Natasia says “so much more than a hot pair of pants!”
“My job at Alo excites me. I have the opportunity to let people know what goes on behind the scenes. What makes Alo, Alo. Its so much more than a hot pair of pants. Telling people about the WHY behind what we do fires me up. We’re bringing yoga to the world. That’s the mission behind everything we do and I’m so lucky to be on the forefront of getting to spread that.”