This month’s mentor:
Laura Campbell, 33, Jo Hare, 59 and Steph O’Toole, 36 of family-run business Jasmine Yoga and Wellbeing (jasmineyogatynemouth.co.uk). Jo is studio & retreat director and mum to Steph & Laura. Steph takes the lead on wellbeing projects such as teaching in local schools, self-care initiatives and mindfulness, while Laura manages behind-the-scenes work such as the website, bookings, business plans and marketing — a true family business based in Tynemouth, Tyne & Wear.
We regularly have meetings about which classes and initiatives we will continue to nurture, and what new elements we’ll be introducing over the coming year. It’s a balancing act between sessions we know our customers love, whilst being open to new ideas and projects to expand our offering. Like many studios, there’s a seasonality to our classes and events. In the summer, it’s all about embracing our dawn classes on the roof, beach yoga and the light evenings; in the winter, we focus on lots of yin, candlelit restorative and nurturing events.
Top marketing tips?
Everything we do, we ask ourselves: is this right for our customers and our community? Will this enhance their experience or are we doing it because we think we should? It’s so easy to get caught up worrying about the marketing you’re not doing instead of remembering what our yoga studio DNA is, which is totally unique to us. We focus on introducing new people to the studio, making sure our existing yogis feel valued and check in with those who haven’t visited their mat for a while.
It’s all about being authentic. Never be afraid to be yourself; you don’t need to look a particular way. And it doesn’t matter how many followers you have. What matters is that you are connecting with your customers and you demonstrate the values that really matter to you.
At Jasmine Yoga, being personable, welcoming and inclusive is at the heart of everything we do, so on our social media we want to reflect that. For example, we deliberately don’t include fancy poses in our posts because we want our community to feel included not excluded, this is very important to us
We teach a lot of fresh air yoga! We are lucky to be located on a beautiful, secluded bay overlooking the sea, so we try to teach outdoors as much as possible to the sound of the waves. It’s magical and invigorating with that North Sea breeze! In terms of what we teach, incorporating yoga philosophy into every class is fundamental; yoga isn’t an exercise class, and we teach our students about the values of living yoga both on and off the mat in a way that’s real and relatable. Sharing yoga philosophy literally brings yoga to life; it’s the essence of our teaching ethos.
Who do you admire?
We’ve been influenced by the work and teachings of Alexandria Crow, who engages her audiences in exploring yoga in a way which respects the cultural and historical traditions, but also inspires learners to understand that one size doesn’t fit all; that individual personal uniqueness can be respected on the yoga mat. Alex teaches us to make the yoga poses fit our bodies rather than squeezing our bodies into uncomfortable or dangerous shapes. We love seeing the discussion of key yoga topics on her social media and how she is challenging ideas.
What's your secret to making a living teaching yoga?
Our secret is not so much a secret, but it’s the reason behind our thriving community: we never stop trying to improve on the experience we offer. We are always looking to grow and evolve, whether that’s additional development training, how we weave philosophy into our classes, how clear our website is, the experience someone has when they walk through our doors, we want them to feel valued and that they are special. Many customers comment that Jasmine Yoga is their ‘safe place’ — this is the best feedback that we can get!