Our very first creator spotlight is Sage Rountree, an internationally recognized authority in yoga for athletes, author, and owner of several wellness businesses including a yoga studio, spa, and massage school. Sage has written eight books on yoga and teaches workshops around the country. In each aspect of her life, Sage works to make yoga accessible and helps individuals feel empowered to find a balance between work and rest.

Sage uses digital platforms like her website, blog, and Instagram to help spread her engaging messages about yoga and wellness. I was able to sit down with Sage to ask her more about her businesses, books, and how digital storytelling and social media tools play a role in the work she is doing today.

Hey Sage, thanks so much for this interview! We’re excited for you to be a part of our Creator Spotlight series! Can you tell me about how you got started with yoga and your journey to become such an authority in the field?

I came to yoga as a complement to my running when I was training for a marathon. I found in that race that yoga made all the difference, and it’s not that I was busting into a tree pose in the middle of the race, but it was that I was able to stay focused when things got more intense. So I started to see the intersection between yoga and endurance sports training, I became a yoga teacher, and eventually started to teach yoga full time. A few years later I bought the studio I was teaching in with a partner and we now own three yoga studios, a spa, and a massage school.

How important was telling your story and sharing your experience to help grow your community?

It definitely helped, especially in the field of yoga for athletes because some teachers can be very well intentioned, but they aren’t runners so they don’t understand how very tight runners can be. So it was useful for me to share with people that I race, I train, I coach athletes, I really get it, I feel it, and I can help. And it has made a big difference for me.

What are your favorite digital storytelling tools?

I have a new book out called Teaching Yoga Beyond the Poses, and Instagram has been a good and receptive platform for that. My co-author and I use it as a giveaway platform and we love to see people post pictures with the book and connect with them. And that’s where Kapwing was so helpful to me, to be able to instantly put captions onto an Instagram square video was awesome!

View this post on Instagram

@alexandradesiato and I spent two full mornings filming trailers for our new book, TEACHING YOGA BEYOND THE POSES, and the online course and the in-person workshop at @kripalucenter (November 22–24!) that are both linked to it. The sound was awful—our mics were totally unreliable, but naturally never on the test clips we dutifully checked. Happily, the company was good! I loved this clip because we were having fun, and I figured it would be OK with closed captions on. Let me tell you: creating closed captions is easy. But creating them for a square format that works on Instagram is NOT easy. Once I found #kapwing, though, I got it done in under 10 minutes. (You don’t want to know how much time I spent trying to find a workaround using my limited amateur applications before I stumbled on Kapwing.) Take home: try Kapwing, and please buy the book (linkinbio)! Ya basic, and we love you for it. #teachingyogabeyondtheposes #yogateacher #teachingyoga #yoga #ytt

A post shared by Sage Rountree (@sagerountree) on

How do you use digital storytelling to share your message with others?

We use video and digital storytelling as marketing side for the business. We have a social media crew for the yoga studios and we’re soon going to have the teachers do little videos and Instagram takeovers! I’ve done some videos of those of us who teach our advance studies teacher training program, which draws folks from around the world. They can’t come here to see us but they can see videos of us which is really helpful. I’ve also made some videos of current students at the massage school to tell their stories and share what being a student is like there.

Do you have any advice for people looking to start their own businesses?

I say this to my students a lot, if you wait until everything is right for it to happen, it’s never going to happen. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good enough, and just get started. If you can make a pretty decent video with your phone, that’s great! Don’t feel like you need to hire a professional. As long as you have something of use, something that’s going to help people, don’t let the platform be the deterrent, go ahead and get that content out using the tools that you have in your pocket.

This article is part of a series that features creators, the projects they’re working on, and how they use digital storytelling tools like Kapwing to share their messages with the world. Are you a creator who’s interested in being featured in a spotlight? Shoot us an email at [email protected]