The inspiration behind Urban Yoga was to create place for more people to connect with yoga. I had found through my own yoga journey over the past seven years that the experience of coming into a studio for the first time was intimidating and confusing. It was difficult to find an instructor I connected with and it wasn’t easy to find a practice that was physical enough but not over the top.
I found a consistent practice in Bikram but I didn’t like the heat or the static postures, it seemed to be the only studio I could find that had that the consistency I was looking for. This made me start to think – I bet a lot of people want that in a yoga practice.
That realisation was the key that put me on the path to thinking about what’s missing from current yoga practices and how to connect more people to the mat.
If consistency was one thing I felt was lacking in the yoga community then music and lighting was definitely another area. Music has been making its way into the yoga space over the years but it’s still very much in the background and I think that’s such a shame.
I love to move to music and think it’s really powerful so I wanted to create a practice that enables you to move through the postures on your mat with rhythm and that is so much more moving than a traditional silent practice.
The yoga space itself was another area that really inspired me. A lot of the time you find that yoga rooms really aren’t that clean, you’re really close to somebody and it’s really bright! I couldn’t figure out why the space couldn’t be beautiful, spacious, well-lit and create an experience that is inspirational and consistent. I wanted to create a safe space for someone who had maybe never tried never yoga to discover it for themselves and know what they were going to get every time they got on the mat.
So those were the three aspects that were going through my head about three years ago, and over time I began to clarify the concept in my mind. I wanted my practice to look better, sound better and feel better. I wanted it to be consistent so I made the decision to have the practices pre-choreographed and taught by all our instructors so that as a customer, you rock up, land on your mat and know the practice is going to play out a certain way. It’s going to be physical and it’s going to be in a format you can get used to so you’ll get to feel really, really comfortable in the space and for people just starting a yoga journey, I think that’s very appealing.
After that it was a matter of refining the vision. What music would we use? What visuals? How would we move to the beat? What speed? What is the sequencing? It’s taken 12 months to craft and bring together with the help a choreographer, a DJ and a filmmaker to create a complete, immersive yoga class to take people out of their head while they are on the mat.
So that’s been our journey so far. Our inspiration for it all was to create a space for people to connect to a yoga practice in a way that has never been done before and in a way that will serve the most people coming into the yoga space and ultimately expand the yoga community.
Yoga is a really powerful practice and the yoga community can be powerful in creating change. The more people who practice the more mindful we are together as a whole and that’s a positive thing for everyone. We’ve built an incredible business and we can build an amazing culture within our instructors and within ourselves around the Urban Yoga brand and create something really special for people to experience. That’s definitely my inspiration.