Tips from the experts to help you grow the yoga business of your dreams

This month’s mentor:

Lisa Duong of The Pretty Sweaty Stuff, Birmingham, Jewellery Quarter (

Lisa Duong

Does teacher training set you up for running a business?

I think it depends on what your training is on and how much depth there is on the topic. My 200hr YTT set up the foundational skills for everything and then my 300hr YTT explored the business of yoga and made me really think about what I wanted from this career, and how to get there. To be honest, everything I learned from my 200hr YTT is a blur! It set me onto the right path, but essentially it was through my own teaching throughout the years that taught me how to run my business.

Do you have a business plan?

Initially, no formal business plan, I just focused purely on growing my classes and 1-2-1s. In the future, I’d love to run my own teacher trainings and retreats.

What’s your niche?

Currently I am the only one qualified to teach Strala in Birmingham. I chose to study it when I was recovering from a wrist operation and when I had just given birth. Strala combines yoga and the healing elements of Tai-Chi together so it’s an incredibly soft, modern and easy going practice. During recovery, I couldn’t do much but craved movement that made me feel me again. It really encourages you to move your whole body in harmony without focusing on how you should be in a posture. Sometimes I just want to move and not be told how to be.

What’s your secret to making a living teaching yoga?

Get to know everyone who comes to your classes. I remember every name, face, career and, maybe most importantly, their body type and injuries. They are not just ‘students’ they are great friends that have given you the responsibility to guide them. I am so grateful that people continue to practice with me in person and/or online.

Lisa Duong

Self-care tips?

I run my yoga studio at The Floating Spa. It is the first and only sensory deprivation spa in Birmingham and the benefits of teaching there is that I get to jump into one of the pods for the ultimate one[1]hour meditation! Floatation therapy really encourages you to just be and lose all your senses. Free from gravity, sensory deprivation is great for everything and anything ranging from general aches and pains, to anxiety, meditation, sleep deprivation and arthritis. So whenever I feel burnt out, it is a great place to reconnect, rejuvenate and restart the body and mind.

Hardest lesson?

When I first started out, I was based in Worcester and no one would hire me so I set up my own classes. I never had more than four people attend my first year of classes but I never gave up. When I relocated to Birmingham, I found it really hard to grow my studio at first because I was doing everything myself, but then eventually, through time, it grew and so did my schedule. So remember: just like everything, your business needs patience, dedication and commitment. Oh, and don’t compare yourself to others. People who love your teachings will always come back for you.

Written and compiled by Claudia Brown (

Om Magazine

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