Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lindsay Gordon, Co-Owner of Yogashala Wellness Centre, located in Hamilton, ON, CA .
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Welcome to a new integrated experience of wellness through yoga. We provide a safe and supportive space with various styles of asana and meditation in addition to multiple alternative healing modalities such as Osteopathy and Registered Massage Therapy.
We embrace individuality and inclusivity. Our high-level staff and clinicians enable you to have a customized experience. With an open heart, we welcome you to this community where together we aspire to greater awareness, greater knowledge and greater wellness.
The Yogashala was brought to fruition in 2013. The mission and vision from the start were to provide a safe, supportive and inclusive space. We wanted to break down the walls of intimidation that may come with beginning a yoga practice and stepping into a studio setting such as ours. A personal experience when you come into our Wellness Centre is what you will feel through the friendly staff and teachers. We welcome you with a bright smile and an open heart. We truly believe there is yoga for everyone here; our personalized approach gives you the guidance and support to find classes that suit your needs and goals.
Cheri and I are the co-owners of Yogashala Wellness Centre; our belief is to have compassion, abundance, and humility for themselves, their staff, teachers, and all people that come through the door, the community, and the world beyond us. Through the years, there has been turbulence and uncertainty; we have stayed grounded, open, and connected to the community and their love of yoga and wellness. They make it their mission to provide classes, workshops, alternative therapy, and meditation to everyone who seeks it out. Now more than ever, this is what we need for our body, mind, heart and spirit.
Our story has led us to the present moment, where we have sprouted from the ground and flourished into a beautiful, light-filled space that provides healing, support, movement, peace, clarity, abundance, and humility for all. We welcome you, as you are, in your purest and most authentic form, we see you, we hear you, and we honor you.
Our customers range greatly in age and gender; most are close, but we do have some that travel to see us. Many of our members come to us to feel better in their bodies; some have different ailments and conditions, recover from injuries, and want greater mobility, flexibility, and strength. We have seen the 40+ age range increase in membership because they want to live with less aches and pains and find greater ease in the whole body and mind. As a whole, people realize that doing yoga, stretching, and practicing mindfulness. Movement is an integral part of aging and necessary for longevity, less stress and anxiety, and a way to find more peace and compassion.
Tell us about yourself
I have been practicing yoga since 2008. The first class I attended was for the physical benefits of the practice, and my interest and curiosity immediately developed from there. I discovered the power it also had on her mind, heart and soul.
I've done extensive traveling and have become humbled and grateful for these experiences that brought me greater clarity, abundance, and awareness of myself and the world around me. These travels brought me to Nicaragua, where she developed my yoga practice and did her yoga teacher training programs. I practiced and studied with different teachers. Learning a diverse range of philosophies and styles, focusing on my preferred ones, empowered her to deepen her practice and knowledge and become more inspired to teach and pass along this ancient practice. My classes integrate alignment, breath and body awareness, core work for greater stability and strength, stretch and mobility focus for joints and connective tissues with basic poses and creative sequencing to keep it fun and energetic. Each class is designed with an overall intention to encourage students to find their honest edge in each pose while keeping the benefits consistent and their progress always evolving.
My favorite practice depends on the day and what I'm feeling. I honor my body, listen to it, and allow it to lead the way. In all styles and types of yoga, mindfulness, awareness, honoring one's body where it is sitting at that moment, utilizing the props we have, and being true to yourself is her intention when guiding a group of unique individuals.
I started working on my business in the winter of 2011. I was always drawn to Entrepreneurship and leaped when I met my first business partner. We worked for 18 months on our business plan, finding a space and all the logistics to set up a studio space. We opened in November 2013. I later met my current business partner Cheri DeMenna, and we have been together for seven years. I love what I do; I love being in an industry that surrounds me with the constant reminder that your health and well-being are important and not to take for granted. We get to offer people a place of healing in the body, mind and soul, and we also experience it. The teachers and staff working alongside Cheri and I have become family, and the members have become friends. The backend of the business excites me just as much as the front line and teaching classes. I get to be creative, take risks, and try new things, and I constantly learn with epic fails and great triumphs. We have survived a flood and a pandemic which has been horrible but has also taught me great lessons and has shown us that we can handle anything; we don't let the little things get us down. There is never a yoga emergency; everything is figure-outable!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been staying relevant and thriving during a big flood that we had in 2019, followed by the pandemic. Cheri and I stayed strong and moved through these times with humility, patience, and a lot of laughter to keep us grounded.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Being a business owner means never being able to walk away and not think about it, but I have mastered the balance of work and rest, thankfully. The other thing that comes to mind is always having to create content and keep going, keep posting, keep putting yourself out there, and stay top of mind; this can sometimes be exhausting. But in the end, I do truly love it all.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
The biggest thing is to make sure you LOVE what you are doing because otherwise, you may fade quickly. Find a business partner with whom you can divide up your strengths, have open communication and enjoy each other's company outside of the business too! And lastly, find good people to work for you and contract out the work you don't have expertise in
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I have grown in the business beyond my own expectations, and I don't think I give myself enough credit for it. I am really proud of myself and excited to see where we go from here! I also have huge respect, love, and gratitude to my business partner Cheri; she is a rock, a beautiful human, and we always have a good time!!
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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