The Inside Scoop: How Green Monkey was Born

Posted by: Myk Likhov

I thought it would be interesting to share a moment in time that I’ve never taken the opportunity to write about…the genesis of Green Monkey. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Green Monkey is a yoga lifestyle brand that I founded in 2007 straight out of Wharton’s MBA Program. It’s now one of Miami’s best known yoga businesses and although it’s no longer my baby, it was the focus of my life for 3 and a half years. Life has moved so fast that I’m taking a moment to pause and recount how it all began:

It was August of 2005 and I had recently returned from several years of working in Moscow in order to attend the MBA Program at Wharton. I was young (24) and completely clueless about what I should be doing with my life. The primary reason I applied to MBA was to get me out of Russia. I was over the parties, the excess, the cold, and being depressed. Definitely not my place.

My program started in August around my birthday and for my present, my mother decided to give me a 3 day session with two karmic astrologers in Jay, Vermont–what I have termed “astrology boot-camp.” (As an aside, I’ve got to be the only MBA who started his studies hanging out with astrologers.) I’m naturally drawn to this sort of stuff, so I went curious and open to possibilities.

The 3 days in Vermont stand out as some of the most monumental in my life. The teachers, Linda and Michael Brady, are not hippies or disconnected from reality. They are pretty practical people that use astrology and other tools to help you deal with your shit. I was led through really powerful experiences…I had the most vivid dream of my life, which involved a giant pair of eyes nested in a cliff watching me in the dead-of-night as I stood on the beach below. I recalled three of my past lives across centuries, with the same intensity as memories from childhood. I was taken systematically through every aspect of my astrological chart, from my triple Leo to issues stemming from Kairon. It was heavy, but very cool. (Btw, I highly recommend their program, if they’re still doing it).

At the end of my time, Linda and Michael sat me down for a debriefing. Apparently, I was an unusual client for them because I was healthy, had a loving family, a great girlfriend, and an upwardly trending career trajectory. Where most people who visited them were trying to fix a problem, I was looking for my life’s path. My mission. The debriefing was pretty standard, until the final few words, which unexpectedly hooked me. Linda suggested to me that since I have a natural affinity for spirituality, and given my career opportunities – could I think of some way to help healers and teachers like the Bradys to deliver their messages. Since their missions are to give/heal/teach, what could I possibly do to support them, she asked? And on that note, I caught my plane to Philly to start b-school.

It was this astrology bootcamp experience, and in particular, the conversation in its final moments, that pushed me to start Green Monkey. The initial idea went though multiple iterations over 2 years, including a submission to the Wharton Business Plan Competition and a exploratory trip to Burning Man, before it manifested as a yoga studio business in Miami. Undeniably, the company was built with a profit motive in mind, but its purpose (as it was conceived), was to help spiritual teachers and healers to do what they do best. To give.

So hats off to all spiritual teachers and healers out there (whatever your modality might be), and to the people supporting them in their missions. Wishing you all the success in your efforts to bring light to the world.


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This entry was posted on Sunday, February 5th, 2012 at 5:06 pm and is filed under What I read today.