Jeana Lynn Weinberg had always been athletic—she started working out at age 15 and earned spending money during college teaching aerobics. But it took a heart-shattering divorce to prove that her strength wasn't just physical.
As her five-year marriage grew troubled, Jeana Lynn found solace where she had discovered it during other tough times in her life, in physical activity. She began training for a marathon and embraced yoga, mostly to stretch her aching runner's muscles. But after she separated from her husband, Jeana Lynn found herself more and more drawn to yoga. She began to crave the sense of peace she experienced during her time on the mat, a peace that spilled over into her day-to-day life. "It was the calm in the middle of my storm," she says.
When Jeana Lynn's divorce became final, the stay-at-home mom needed to find work to help provide for her then-2-year-old son, Jacob. She'd had jobs before, doing nutrition and weight-loss counseling, selling evening wear and accessories. But she really wanted a career doing something she loved that wouldn't take away from her time with Jacob. Yoga seemed to be an obvious fit.
After earning her yoga teaching certification, Jeana Lynn moved from New Jersey to Miami, her hometown. Starting her business from scratch wasn't easy. The fledgling yogi first focused on making house calls to athletes training for triathlons, driving most of the day from client to client, yoga mats filling her backseat. She ran with her students for hours each day in Florida's scorching heat, flopping on the floor with them afterward for yoga sessions.
"It was grueling—it wiped me out," Jeana Lynn says. Meanwhile, money was tight. Her family urged her to get a "real job"—one with benefits and a regular (and bigger) paycheck. Jeana Lynn, though, knew she was on the right path. Even if the bills sometimes stacked up, she was doing work she believed in, and was able to pick up Jacob from school every day and help him with his homework.
Now, instead of driving all day from session to session, Jeana Lynn's clients come to her, filling her small, private classes-and a waiting list-in her own southern Florida studio. The 40-year-old ("and loving it") entrepreneur is also spreading the healing power of yoga beyond her studio walls through her self-published book of yoga poses, Bliss, and instructional yoga DVD.
Twelve years since her divorce, Jeana Lynn is remarried with two stepchildren in addition to Jacob (who's into just about every fitness pursuit but yoga at age 14) and still arranges her workday to be home for dinner. Looking back, she knows it was her passion and persistence, even while struggling as a single mom, that brought her success. "It's not about waiting for the storm to come so you can find your strength," Jeana Lynn explains. "Life is going to give you a storm; it's how you weather it. Weather it with grace, dignity and a smile."