Community News

Focus on Business (April 11, 2014  Monocacy Monocle)

A Tranquil Oasis

By Susan Petro

The proprietor of Glad-I- Yoga and Glad-I-Sparkle, Maria Briançon, never dreamed of becoming a yoga instructor or having her own studio when. She was an English major in college and worked as a journalist and grant writer for mostly political nonprofit organizations.

Maria started taking yoga classes when her oldest daughter was in high school. By then, she had three children with fifteen years between the oldest and the youngest. One day, her yoga in- structor and mentor pulled Maria aside after a class and asked her if she would like to be an instructor. The instructor told her she noticed how engaged Maria was and how much she enjoyed the classes and said they needed instructors who could show the clients how yoga can be cherished.

With her instructor’s encour- agement, Maria took her first instructor’s course in Hermosa Beach, California. She found it awe- some and rewarding to be taking classes right on the beach.

Once she received her certifica- tion, Maria returned to Fitness First where she taught for a few years. Then, Maria noticed that a local Tae Kwon Do business wasn’t using its mats during the day. She offered to lease the space and mats and began teaching classes in Poolesville. While teaching her classes, Maria met two ladies: one with a mar- keting background and the other who was a graphic artist. The ladies encouraged Maria to create a brand for herself, to become an entity—something Maria hadn’t contemplated before.

Maria’s daughter helped her come up with the name by ask- ing Maria to remember her favor- ite flower when she was growing up. Maria said her grandmother, who had very limited means, used to grow gladiolas and would give them to Maria for her birth- day. Her daughter first penned the name to be pronounced glad- ee-yoga after the word gladiola.

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