Flo Jo is a passionate yoga instructor, alternative medicine practitioner and ethical business developer. In her eye-opening interview with LocalBini, she discusses the reasons behind her drastic career change from Business to Natural Healing Practices and Yoga. Her journey is an inspiration to anyone wishing to make a change in their life, to pursue a more spiritually and mentally fulfilling career path.
Could you please share your passion with us?
My passions are constantly evolving. I used to work in business, but then I became very interested in Chinese medicine. Wanting to look into it further, I ended up undertaking a 4-year Traditional Chinese Medicine course. During this time, my passion for ancient philosophy and cultural tradition grew. I was very eager to learn how medicine works in the Chinese culture. At the same time, going through my own personal healing journey helped me reconnect with my creative side. For some time now, my passion for music and the arts has been growing. In fact, I have recently started to explore dance, music, art, writing and poetry.
Would you say you fulfil your passion for a living?
Yes, definitely. After all, that was the main reason I changed my career path: I wanted to pursue my passions. Currently, I am running my own ethical business focusing on natural health remedies, based on Chinese medicine. I treat people by going above and beyond normal medical practices. I have a passion for helping people. At the same time, I teach yoga in an art gallery. This way, I get to have contact with artists from all over the world and deepen my exploration of the arts.
How did you manage to make a living out of your passion?
Well, I used to work in Marketing for 5 years, and before that, I had completed a Bachelor in Marketing. Even though I enjoyed my work, I always knew it wasn’t what I really wanted to do. So, I decided to make a change. I started studying Chinese medicine and I also went to India, for a year, to do a yoga training course. I then started to develop my own business, which is oriented around helping people. Personally, I feel very unsatisfied by the current health services that are available. I want to contribute to people’s wellbeing and really make a difference. That is the core principle behind my business.
But, what ignited your passion for Chinese medicine in the first place?
In the past, I used to have long periods of stress because of work, and I was always feeling tired. I tried some normal health remedies, pills etc., but nothing really worked. Then, I went to see an acupuncturist and was completely blown away. Before I went in, all my muscles were tense, and when I came out, I felt like my whole body had been massaged. I never knew needles could be so powerful. I was so impressed that I decided to do more research on it, and eventually went on to acquire a diploma in Chinese medicine.
And what about yoga? What motivated you do go to India to do a yoga training course?
It is similar to the reason I become interested in Chinese medicine: it was a way of managing stress at work. Once I started doing it, I realised that I was actually quite good at it. I decided to train as a teacher so that I could potentially turn it into a career. I did a lot of research on good yoga schools and eventually decided to go to India where yoga originates from.
What do you love the most about yoga?
Yoga enables you to really focus on yourself, something which you may not always make the time for. When you do yoga, you are in a particular meditative state and you become in tune with your body and its movements. You learn to listen to your body and its capabilities, even if that means accepting that there is a particular move you can’t yet do. I think this is very useful for learning to accept that there are things you cannot do in real life. Doing yoga means slowly working towards becoming more flexible, both physically and mentally.
What are your plans for the future?
Right now, my main occupations are natural health remedies and yoga. But, now that I have reconnected with my creative side, I would ideally like to combine my passions for natural healing remedies, yoga, and the arts. I would like to open a multi-disciplinary centre that will include organic farms, as well as venues for concerts and exhibitions. This centre will use only organic products and all of its activities will be sustainable. It could be a place for people to work on their sculpturing, to do their yoga, to do some gardening… There are a few creative centres doing this in Paris and Australia already. It’s a long-term project, but it is definitely something I plan on looking into more.
How do you define success and how do you measure up to your own definition of it?
Success is about doing what you love. Life is too short to just focus on making money and doing things even if your heart isn’t in them. And I don’t think success is always about doing your best; it’s about having the courage to follow your dreams. You don’t have to be successful at every step of your journey. You just have to keep going after what you love.
What tips or advice would you give to someone trying to fulfil their passion for a living?
I would say just work towards it. It can be challenging, and it definitely won’t happen overnight. But try to bring yourself one step closer to your passion every day. Little by little, you will get there.
Does your activity involve travelling or meeting people from all around the world?
Teaching yoga in an art gallery gives me the opportunity to meet artists from all over the world. But I also want to do a lot of travelling myself. I want to go to China some day, to develop my Chinese medicine practice. I would also like to set up yoga retreats all over the world. I have so many ideas and plans, most of which involve travelling.
How much do you value travelling? What does it mean to you?
I think that it is really important for people to see as many different places as possible. When I was nine years old, my parents and I moved to Thailand and lived there for 3 years. This opened my eyes to a new culture that was distinctly different to the one I was used to. Moving at such a young age, from a small suburban town in the UK to a big noisy city with lots of traffic, was a big change for me; it helped me grow as an open-minded individual. We took advantage of the opportunity to visit all of Thailand’s remarkable places: beaches, mountains, famous monuments, even jungles. Travelling is really a chance to lose yourself, to be daring and bring yourself to do things you wouldn’t normally do just for the experience of it.
At LocalBini, we believe that the people you meet are what you remember the most. They are the ones who can turn your trip into a memorable experience. Who are the people who have had the greatest impact on you in your travels?
I met a lot of remarkable people during my yoga training course in India. Some of us rented mopeds together and went around Goa for a few days. It was amazing. We were all so comfortable with each other; it was as if we had known each other for years. In the end, it all comes down to the human connection. To this day, we remain friends and still keep in touch through Facebook. I believe that everyone you meet has an impact on you in some way. Especially when it comes to people you’ve spent a lot of time with and have learned a lot from. Even though I have been living in Paris for quite some time now, I still consider myself a foreigner. I get to meet a lot of amazing people at the art gallery I work in, and they all play a part in enriching my Parisian experience.