Well+Good’s monthly series Checks+Balanced was created to inspire more more openness about money. Because, for some reason, the ever-ubiquitous use of money remains a touchy subject for many—even if every other possible topic of conversation is on the table. Because of this, you may well wonder how your friend affords tri-weekly yoga classes or your colleague with the same salary as you (or so you think) can buy fancy lunches every day. That’s where we come in: By lifting the thick, tightly drawn curtain to expose how much women of varying income brackets spend on wellness, we’re spreading transparency and hopefully providing some inspo that’s possible to copy.
Here, Hope Zvara, a yoga teacher living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, shares her experience with loss of income due to injury from a concussion. Here’s how the incident impacted her career as a yoga teacher, and, in turn, her finances.
Keep reading to see how a loss of income due to injury impacted one woman’s finances—and how she’s recovering, physically and financially.
Hope Zvara, 36, yoga instructor, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Income: $120,000 before injury; $60,000 after injury; currently $100,000 per year. For 14 years, I owned a yoga studio here in Milwaukee. I was making about $120,000 per year through the studio and teaching yoga. Then, in 2016, I suffered a concussion. I was at a wedding and slipped on the floor while holding my child. I fell backward and hit my head on the concrete floor.
I was rushed to the emergency room and, at the time, the doctors were mostly concerned with stitching me up and making sure I had no broken bones. But in the days, weeks, and months that followed, I started experiencing more problems, including nausea, dizziness, and blurred vision. One time, I even almost passed out in the middle of a grocery store.
I was forced to stop teaching yoga, and I really couldn’t do much of anything for two solid years. During that time, my income dropped to $60,000. (Even though I wasn’t teaching, the yoga studio was still bringing in money, and my family also had income from my husband, who works in construction.)
I decided to close my yoga studio in July 2019, and I’ve since launched a new business called Mother Trucker Yoga, which is a video platform that teaches truckers stress-reducing techniques and yoga flows they can do in the cab of their truck. I’m on track to make $100,000 this year from the business. Even now, I still have nerve muscle damage in my right eye, (I’ve switched from contacts to glasses to help), and I still get dizzy if I stare at a screen for too long.