Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lisa Waas, Director of Community Yoga + Wellness, located in Fernandina Beach, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are located in Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida. Community Yoga + Wellness forgoes the frills of designer apparel and Instagram posts for a practice rooted in tradition. Dedicated to fostering the community and educating both newcomers and experienced yogis, this traditional-style yoga studio promises to fulfill the role of quality yoga training in a modern, friendly, and down-to-earth environment.
We transitioned to offering online classes like many other yoga studios during the pandemic. What makes us different is how we teach our yoga classes online. We are interactive, where the students can see us, and we see them; we unmute our students so questions can be asked and feedback is given. We have approached the process with an engineers mindset; optimal viewing angles, lighting, and sound are all the best we can offer.
Beginner students will learn yoga practice in a safe and educational environment. Intermediate students will be challenged to explore new poses, find refinement in their existing practice, and be exposed to the philosophy of yoga. Advanced students will experience the full range of asana practice, including backbends and inversions, linking the philosophy and sacred yoga texts to the practice.
We also offer Gentle Yoga classes and Healing Yoga classes. Both are designed with a therapeutic approach. Even online, students report real progress, finding full relief from some conditions like back, neck and shoulder, knee, or menstrual issues. We work privately with students or, more commonly, in our general classes.
Tell us about yourself
I am a Certified Iyengar Yoga teacher Level 2, Certified Yoga Therapist, and E-RYT500/YACEP registered with Yoga Alliance. I am passionate about yoga both as a student and a teacher. The progress students make in their practice of healing their bodies keeps me excited about teaching. Sharing my experiences as a student for my students to learn is exciting. I love when they "get" what I am teaching.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My first biggest accomplishment was becoming certified as an Iyengar Yoga teacher in 2014 (which takes a minimum of 3 years of rigorous training and peer-reviewed tests) and then becoming certified as Level 2 in 2019. My second biggest accomplishment was building my business from a 400 SF room to a 1600 SF yoga building and growing my student base to fill my classes.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a professional in my field, I am continuing my training every year, taking over 180 hours of continuing education every year. Coupled with running a studio, teaching classes, and practicing, I stay fully in the yoga all year round. I have to schedule breaks for myself, or I will never read another regular book again!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Hire people to do things you don't need to do or are not really good at. Do what you do well and continue to do it well. Always look to improve your skills, be humble and continue to grow. Believe in your vision.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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