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Life and Work with Heather Wiest

Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather Wiest.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
In 2001, I stepped into my first yoga class at a local gym. I was faithful at working out to stay in shape, and to relieve stress from my social work career, but something about the dimly lit yoga room drew me. I was feeling a significant shift at 30 years old. Priorities were changing as my husband and I were thinking about starting a family. I longed to try something new and willingly said “YES” to the still, small voice inside.

The yoga class was powerful, sweaty, and challenging. I totally felt at home! As I focused inward and tuned into my breath, every unnecessary layer of the outside world vanished. During the final resting pose, savasana, I experienced a sweet connection—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I sensed God with me and His still, small voice whispering, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” It was love at first savasana!

Now, in 2019, I celebrate 18 years of practicing and seven years of guiding holistic yoga sessions and classes. This evolving practice continues to be my moving meditation as I center, connect, and receive daily on the mat. It enhances my marriage of 26 years and my parenting of two amazing teenage daughters. My life reflects an expanding inner experience as I encourage others to say Y.E.S.—Yield, Experience, Shift — to savasana, and all its insights. Let intrigue guide you to something new. Embrace change with joyful anticipation, and most importantly, always trust the still, small voice inside.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Let me encourage you by sharing a special part of my life journey. I am a firm believer that everything we go through is for a powerful purpose. Take some time to personally reflect on the takeaways and journaling prompts at the end of this section.

I’m Heather Taylor Wiest. And I am a miracle. A testament of God’s unrelenting love and grace. A chosen instrument (Jeremiah 1:5 AMPC). I am the youngest of five biological siblings—and the only one to live past infancy. Every breath of my life has a purpose.

My mother divorced my father when I was seven, and the years to follow were especially turbulent. Home life breathed constant chaos propelled by mental health issues, addiction, abusive relationships, and domestic violence. I’m sure some of you can relate. I recall attending eight different elementary schools before the 6th grade!

However, through all of this, I knew a Divine force was with me. God revealed Himself to me in the darkness. I witnessed visions and glimpses of light. I learned about Jesus and His unconditional love, saving grace, and mighty power. His character and teachings transformed my heart and gave me hope.

At the age of 12, I entered a new home in Phoenix with a brass door knocker—a symbol of new beginnings. I began junior high, created close friendships, and established a unique life of my own. My mom and step-father tried to get their lives together, but the chaos continued. Two years later, upon returning from summer vacation with my biological father, I walked up to the house, and this time the door knocker had a white note taped to it with my name on it. It stated we did not live here anymore. This door had slammed shut.

My mom and step-dad reached the pinnacle in their domestic violence history while I was away. What was later determined self-defense, my mother had stabbed my step-father in the heart with a kitchen knife. He had been air transported to the hospital, near death, and my mother arrested and placed in jail for a week.

The next few months were a new season for mom and me. We rented an apartment, I began high school, and she attempted sobriety and employment as a single parent. Within a year, my mom hit rock bottom in her addiction and found herself in another abusive relationship. At the age of 15, with the support of my father and dear friends, I left home and began life as an independent teen. Tough love encouraged me to establish safer boundaries. I cautiously tapped another door knocker—one of release, hope, and opportunity. This space was free from substance abuse, instability, control, and violence. Emotions were openly expressed, and communication clear. I began the long journey to healing and wholeness.

God supernaturally strengthened and comforted me, speaking to me, “Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” The Divine gave me an undeniable purpose to help others as I pursued an education and career in social work. My life verse confirmed to me at age 18, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Corinthians 1:4, NLT)

I am continuing to learn to say YES to the still, small voice inside. Trusting the divine visions and glimpses of light. Embrace change with hope-filled anticipation and I encourage YOU to say Y.E.S.—Yield, Experience, Shift — to your heart and soul’s deepest longings. “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7, NLT) Not all doors open upon knocking, but those destined to unlock are certainly divine life shifters.

Take Aways and Journaling Prompts:

✯ Each and every one of you is a miracle—a chosen instrument!

✯ Every breath of your life has a purpose.

✯ A Divine force is always with you.

✯ Door knockers represent new beginnings, whether the door opens, or slams shut.

✯ Say Y.E.S. to the still, small voice inside. Yield—Experience—Shift to your heart and soul’s deepest longings.

✯ Keep on knocking and doors will open for you in Divine will and timing.

✯ Who in your tribe opens or closes doors for you—physically or metaphorically?

✯ Is there another door knocker to be tapped?

Please tell us about Love Serve Inspire.
I am beyond blessed to LOVE, SERVE and INSPIRE my family and community as a Christ-centered Yoga Teacher E-RYT®200, RYT®500, YACEP®, Retreat Leader, Holy Fire® III Karuna Reiki® Master, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and contributing author. My busy life as a wife, mother, and guide encourages me to find the pause — embracing every moment of connection, presence, and peace. A passionate, yet simple girl at heart, you can find me breathing in another radiant Arizona sunrise or sunset.

All of my life experiences and professional training help create who I am today, and how I instruct my classes. I hope to create memorable experiences. I believe the holistic yoga sessions I guide are engaging and rejuvenating, leaving students feeling balanced, connected, and inspired. I specialize in teaching Restorative Yoga Nidra, Pre and Post Natal Yoga, and a fun, yet challenging Slow Flow practice. Customized private yoga and reiki sessions, as well as public workshops,  are also a joy to facilitate. All of my class themes and readings are accessible as blog posts on my website, as well as a collection of FREE audio guided meditations and relaxing Yoga Nidra recordings. Questions, comments, and suggestions are always welcome! This is how we grow and evolve into more effective teachers and guides. One of my favorite testimonials received stated, “When I’m in your classes I feel like I’m under a huge umbrella of compassion; when I leave, I want to share it with the world!”

Training Acknowledgments and Offerings:

As a mental health professional, I was first drawn to complete Yoga Nidra/Guided Relaxation Technique facilitator certification with Jane Mayer, and additional Restorative Yoga training with Mary Bruce in 2012. In 2013, I added Pre and Post Natal Yoga training with Desi Bartlett and Yin Yoga training with Joe Barnett. My exploration continued in 2014 with the completion of Second Degree Reiki with the International Center for Reiki Training, Mini Yogis® Yoga for Kids Certification with Shana Meyerson, and SmartFLOW® Yoga Teacher Training with Annie Carpenter. Furthermore, Advanced Reiki Training/Reiki Master Certification was awarded in 2015, Holy Fire® II Usui Reiki Master/Holy Fire® II Karuna Reiki® Master Registration in 2016, and Holy Fire® III Reiki enhancement in 2019. I joyfully partnered with Hanan Palz in 2017 to co-create and guide amazing International Yoga Retreats. As a certified Connection Coalition Instructor, LoveYourBrain Yoga Teacher, and StreetLightUSA Volunteer, I combine my social work and yoga training to participate in community outreach programs. With over 26 years of marriage experience, my husband and I offer premarital coaching and marriage mentorship as Certified SYMBIS Facilitators. Forever a student, I continually learn the most from my children.
“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.” — Mark Van Doren

Do you think there are structural or other barriers impeding the emergence of more female leaders?
I believe there are amazing female leaders in the health, wellness, and healing industries! So many of my teachers and mentors have been strong, grounded, confident women. I believe our biggest barrier to leadership is being vulnerable and developing a solid sense of community through a personal support network. Finding your tribe and loving them hard. For me, it is crucial to appreciate those true friends who love me unconditionally, yet challenge me to the next level. It’s important to realize this support system shifts and evolves through the different seasons of life. My husband and close prayer warriors, who frequently lift me up in all ways, prove to be my most treasured supporters and confidants.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Aiwei Deng, Baylee White, Christine Wiggins, Margaret Planeta Photography, Rainbow Love App and Jon Wiest

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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