By Alison Welch, Bud Class of 2017

One of the most rewarding experiences I have had while in college has been my part-time job. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true! I work at SunstoneFit, a yoga/fitness studio in North Austin. I have been with Sunstone since December of 2015, when I took a 90-minute hot yoga class with 6 of my best friends from high school. I was immediately hooked! I signed up for a membership and began avidly taking hot yoga classes for the remainder of my senior year. I loved the way hot yoga made me feel — strong, resilient, confident. I loved the heat and the sweat and the way my body was changing. I also saw improvements in my mental health during a challenging period of my life: the end of high school. My life was about to change so radically — I was soon to leave my hometown and all of my friends and my family, and I was absolutely not ready to do so. But yoga centered me; it kept me grounded and grateful for my life and health. I loved Sunstone and its classes so much that I began working there during the Summer of 2017 at one of the Dallas studios. My sophomore year, in the Fall of 2017, I transitioned to the Sunstone franchise studio in Austin so I could continue to work while attending school at UT. I was so worried about balancing work with school, and, indeed, it has been challenging — but it has also been incredibly rewarding. The people in the studio — my coworkers, the clientele — create a loving, supportive, and healthy environment and provide a much-needed respite from my chaotic life on campus.

Here’s a little about Sunstone: it is a yoga and fitness studio based in Addison, Texas. We have 13 locations in the DFW metroplex, and one location in Austin, about a 15-minute drive from the UT campus. Sunstone has a wide variety of classes, including hot yoga, HIIT (high intensity interval training), pilates, and barre. Every Sunstone studio I have been to is warm and welcoming — the teachers and Operations staff (that’s me!) love what they do and truly care about the students and their fitness goals. A typical day at work for me doesn’t even really feel like work, because I truly love spending time in the studio. My main task is to enter students into class on our computer system, and greet them/chat with them as they come in. I also conduct orientations — which consist of a studio tour and a walk-through of classes and memberships — and sell memberships to new students. It turns out I can be a pretty good salesperson when I am passionate about the product! Another important component of my job is to clean the studio — vacuuming, cleanings mats, and mopping. These tasks are all the same when I work; nevertheless, every day at the studio is unique. Every student that walks through the door has a unique story to tell, and they all bring a special energy to the class and studio. These students and my fellow staff inspire me with their dedication and passion — every time I leave work, I feel inspired to bring positive energy into my fitness routine, my school work, and my social life.

I would love to introduce all of you to Sunstone, because it has such a special place in my heart! If you ever have an itch to try hot yoga or one of our fitness classes, reach out to me.