Beneath the walls of the beautiful new Pranalife studio, instructors Asia and Lindsay have built a strong foundation upon the philosophy of valuing community and the idea of “don’t just come to yoga – come to life.”
As ZenGirl would say “In Marketing, Social Media Rules.” Twitter gives yoga professionals a way to reach out to other professionals, hear tips on running their business and hear exciting news! After reading a tweet from Pranalife about the new studio I reached out to Social Media Manager for Pranalife Melissa Meinzinger to do an interview focused on the new studio.
This is a new chapter for entrepreneurs and instructors Asia and Lindsay as they team up to build a business around their passion for yoga. This is also a new chapter for the surrounding community, one which both Asia and Lindsay are committed to engage and build. Pranalife will offer a variety of classes as well as instructor trainings.
About Pranalife Yoga
Pranalife Yoga was started in 2006 by Director and Advanced Yoga Instructor Asia Nelson. In the past 4+ years it has expanded from energizing Ashtanga-based yoga classes and private yoga sessions to include: retreats, specifically Yoga+Cooking in Tuscany (informally re-named ‘Buzzed and Bendy’ – Tuscany = Chianti, fyi) and Yoga+Surfing in Costa Rica Vine&Vinyasa events (Yoga+Wine) our innovative and popular Pranalife Yoga Teacher Training our new Uptown Waterloo studio, owned and managed by Lindsay Gulanes.
The Mission of Pranalife: “Don’t just come to yoga – come to life”
Pranalife Yoga’s tag line is “come to life” because we truly believe that practicing yoga means living yoga on and off the mat. Don’t just come to yoga – come to life. We do a lot of sweating, growing, and laughing in our classes. “Pranalife Yoga is the premiere destination for evolving yoga practices.” We focus on the lifelong evolution of a yogic lifestyle. Our studio offers open classes for drop-ins and people new to yoga, which we love, but we specialize in progressive, closed classes that allow for more challenge not limited by having an open range of abilities in the room.
Picking the Perfect Location
That’s a movie, but the trailer is that we were being swept down a fast-flowing current, getting in over our heads with what looked like the ‘perfect’ space when we put on the brakes and re-committed to living yoga – a balanced sense of inner stillness surrounded by integrity – off the mat in the business. We let go of that ‘perfect’ space and within days the space we are now in was offered to us. Everything from the moment we said “yes” to that space until now has had that sense of ‘living yoga’ to it.
Tips For Instructors Thinking of Opening a Studio
1. Build a client base first. Get that email list, THEN create a space for everyone to come to you.
2. Don’t do it alone. Build a sangha – a community – that holds the same values as you. Business is rewarding but it’s not easy, especially if you’re doing it alone.
For the first 4 years of this business, Pranalife = Asia Nelson. I had to go from ‘me to we’ to not become the bottleneck to the business’s growth. Fortunately, I’d fostered a great tribe of Pranalife Certified Instructors through the teacher training so I felt I could trust them with my baby – Lindsay, obviously, being the most prominent player as the studio owner. Letting go of that control has been the steepest learning curve for me thus far.
Moving from a completely different industry, and having to learn the ins and outs of running a business. And paperwork, my goodness. Let’s have a moment of silence for the trees.
Managing the New Student Rush
The funny thing about New Year’s Resolutions is that most of them are broken within a week of being set. We focused more on the client base that had built up around Pranalife over the years, staying true to our mission statement to foster evolving practices rather than make the mad dash for the impulsive purchasers. That being said, we did have a guerilla campaign running for 108 days before the studio’s opening: Within the uptown core where our studio’s located we put up posters with a vivid, fun image that simply said, “Come to life in [__] days. www.pranalife.ca” to build intrigue toward the opening day. Also, we tapped into social marketing asap – Twitter and Facebook in particular.
Choosing the Right Instructors
Our studio only hires Pranalife Yoga Certified Instructors, so all of our teachers have the same foundational training and are well networked through the Pranalife community. I am pretty selective about who gets into my teacher training; consequently, we have an amazing group of skilled, enthusiastic, supportive teachers who always seem to step up when needed and are able because of their comparative skill set and experience.
Marketing Strategy and Channels
We’ve redesigned our website (www.pranalife.ca) with the help of a pro so it’s properly decked out with analytics, SEO, etc for better back-end tracking and searchability. We also do a combination of radio ads, posters, social networking (primarily Twitter: /pranalifeyoga and Facebook: Pranalife Yoga page and My Yoga Instructor is HOT group) Facebook and Google ads, and getting out into our community so people know us.
Number of Students Per Month to Break Even
120. Ideal would mean sold out, so 384/wk regularly (our studio holds 16 max), but 240/wk would put a smile on our faces.
Tools and Technology to Keep the Business Running Smoothly
Quickbooks, Access, Google Docs, Chase Paymenttech, um does caffeine count as a tool?
Come to the studio at 10 Regina Street North, Unit 3 in Uptown Waterloo, ON
Call 519 208 4224