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The Change-Up

Elizabeth Rowan trades a corporate gig for a yoga mat.

Spot this yogi at The Bookhouse Pub, The Optimist and Deka!

For Elizabeth Rowan, 33, “work” used to mean living in Hong Kong as an executive director of external relations for a private university and a daily grind around the clock across 12 time zones. Now, it means teaching various yoga classes (vinyasa and prenatal, mostly) from ATL to Aruba, writing about health and wellness for a plethora of pubs and planning exotic retreats. Say what?

“I felt I was starting to sacrifice my health and sanity for the position,” the Poncey-Highland resident says of her former gig. “While I loved it, it wasn’t fulfilling me on a deep level.” Rowan began squeezing in yoga classes during her three years overseas, fell in love with the practice, and signed up for training classes in a studio run by yoga gurus from India. Once back in the States, the New Orleans-born and Macon, Ga.-raised beauty spent two years teaching in Savannah, Ga., clocked 100 hours of training in New York last summer, and now finds herself back in Atlanta (where she briefly lived after grad school) with plans to take the local yoga scene by storm.

“It’s so much bigger than a physical practice,” Rowan explains. “Yoga shakes your soul and helps you reconnect with yourself underneath all the modern-day distractions.” While she admits the transition wasn’t easy, “I recognized what I wanted to be and where I wanted to grow in my life,” she says.

Rowan’s to-do list for this year includes heading up classes at spots like Exhale Mind Body Spa and Urban Body Fitness; collabing with Blooming Lotus Jewelry on a line of bracelet stacks; being an ambassador for brands like Plank, Juil, Splits 59 and myInsens; and planning an all-levels retreat through The Travel Yogi organization to Costa Rica on March 15-22, where sailing, rainforest hikes, surfing and twice-a-day yoga are on the docket. When it comes to her teaching style (involving creative sequencing, great tunes and a sense of humor), Rowan herself probably explains it best: “I teach serious yoga, but not yoga taken too seriously.” Namaste. @elizabeth_rowan