Skip to main content

Meet Our June Student Ambassador: Bobby Shoe

By May 31, 2024No Comments

We are thrilled to introduce you to our Student Ambassador for June, Bobby Shoe, who has been a regular at HYA since they began taking classes in May 2023. Bobby is particularly happy to represent the studio during Pride Month, because they love spreading the word about our yoga community to the queer community!

“It’s been great to meet other queer people here and have a space where I feel very safe and affirmed,” Bobby said. “Anything to encourage more sweet queer people to attend yoga with me! If anyone ever needs help navigating the changing room, I am here for you. I’ve got my system that works for me. It’s always a challenge in general for anyone who is trans.”

Bobby moved to Asheville in 2020 from their hometown of Tyler, Texas looking for a friendly, beautiful place to transition. They moved here to work in social work at a non-profit, but Bobby has since blossomed as an artist and businessperson since and opened a store, Emote, in West Asheville.

You will find Bobby predominantly in Hot 26 classes, but the March diversity challenge also prompted them to branch out into Flow and Blast classes as well. In Texas, Bobby did a Hot 26 teacher training and taught the series for a short time, but has since decided to dedicate their time to their practice. “I’ve done a lot of different flow classes and breathwork classes,” Bobby said, “but 26 is just like magic to me.”

Read more about Bobby’s journey:

HYA: How did you get into yoga?

Bobby: There was a Hot 26 studio in my hometown and I started taking classes there. I remember the thoughts of ‘Can I do this? Am I going to finish this class?’ But by the end, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I want to do it again. That was hard but I’m curious now like I could do something I didn’t think I could.’ I did a training and taught for a little while but chose to go to grad school for a Masters in social work. And I took like a 10-year break from it.

HYA: How did you come to Asheville?

Bobby: I knew I wanted to move somewhere where I could transition and live more affirmed in my sexuality and my gender. So I was looking up beautiful places and gay friendly places and Asheville was at the top of a lot of a lot of those lists. I didn’t know anyone when I moved here, but I took a leap of faith. I said at least I have a job and I’ll figure the rest out. I wanted somewhere that was queer friendly, outdoorsy, beautiful and artistic. Asheville has been the best place I have ever lived.

HYA: Tell the story of how you opened your store, Emote?

Bobby: In 2020, I started making art to process my feelings and vending outside at markets was safe to do during the shutdown. I also had an Etsy shop. I met someone at one of those markets who wanted to open a shop and we decided would do it together. Then she backed out. I just did it on my own. I got really lucky with a lot of things. I did a TikTok video before we opened that got a lot of views and from Day 1 we had an audience and a customer base that most people have to spend years building. We paid our rent on the first day and have gotten to grow really quickly because of social media. Now I’m part of a team of 7 we are in a bigger space we just moved into. I’ve met hundreds of queer artists and my bubble has expanded way beyond when I opened up that shop. It’s been unreal and awesome. I can be my own boss. I have time to do yoga because I can set my own schedule. The business is doing good and I’m doing much better.

HYA: What draws you to Hot 26?

Bobby: What I love about the 26 series specifically is, it’s different every time but it’s the same every time. When I’m going through so many transitions, I needs to have something that is consistent to hold me. The routine and structure has helped me regulate. I love that it’s predictable, it’s consistent, it’s not going to leave me. It nurtures my abandonment issues. It does all of my attachment healing for me. It does so much more than just help my body but it definitely helps my body.