The Myga way
Behind the brand: a glimpse behind the scenes of the new Myga mega store in Birmingham. OM catches up with co-founder Claudia Price
Earlier this year, a new yoga mega store appeared on the streets of Birmingham, the latest indication of how just big yoga has become.
Behind the debut Myga store is 35-year-old yogini Claudia Price. Born in Austria and living in the UK with her husband, Jordan, and two children, it’s the culmination of a long-held dream.
Though not the end point: like all things in yoga, this is a process and a journey, she tells OM, and there are plenty of ambitious hopes, plans and dreams yet to come.
Step inside the flagship new store in the city’s famous Bullring and you’ll enter a world of yoga goodies under one roof, from mats and accessories to water bottles — the shop sells every single Myga product.
There’s even an in-store cafe, providing coffees, smoothies and tasty vegan treats to the good folk of Birmingham, Britain’s second-largest city.
Before the shop opened this year, it began with an online retail site selling the Myga brand to the world.
"Myga is a creation of my husband Jordan and myself and it started simply with doing something together which we both love – that was yoga for me and developing products for Jordan,” says Price. The fusion of this, she says, is Myga. All of Myga’s products are eco-friendly, ethically-sourced, tested by yogis, 100% vegan and cruelty-free, whilst all packaging is 99% plastic free.
Going back even further, the new store has its origins in the founder’s initial discovery of all things yoga, dating back many years.
“I do enjoy the physical side of yoga as it keeps me fit, stretched, toned and protects me from injuries, for example, during snowboard holidays with the family. A strong body also brings automatically a strong mind.
“Mentally, the number one thing why yoga is so amazing is that it helps me to handle stress. Trying to get myself ready in the mornings with two children arguing and a husband who asks for breakfast is a good example. A minute of deep breathing and I am back on track most of the time. Learning to breathe through difficult postures can help you breathe through difficult times. Everything is connected.”
As well as the physical practice, meditation has also played a significant part.
“Yoga led me through spiritual growth and self-discovery – but only when I allowed it to be a holistic practice rather than a physical one, which dominated the first years of my yoga journey,” adds Price. “That means meditation became a big part in my life which brought me inner and outer peace and happiness.”
She and the Myga team have wasted no team in spreading the yoga love to the people of Birmingham and beyond. That includes money raising partnerships with a number of charities.
“This year we partnered up with the breast cancer awareness charity Coppafeel (coppafeel.org) – we created really cool yoga boobs mats!”
These are available online from the firm’s website as well as in the new shop. For each mat sold, the charity receives a £5 donation.
Next year and beyond there are more cool new ideas. Plans for 2020 include Myga Yoga retreats, possibly in Price’s own country of Austria in the mountains, along a ‘Yoga and Snow’ winter theme. Another Myga concept store in the UK could be in the offing and, over the next five years, maybe an expansion into Continental Europe.
“My ultimate personal dream and vision for Myga is a project which has been growing in my heart for a while – a ‘Holistic Happy Farm Retreat’, where the focus is on happiness, yoga, meditation, taking care of animals, cooking lessons with plant-based food, fun, games, connecting with nature.”
This, she says, would be a centre for everybody though especially for foster children, or less privileged families who cannot afford a holiday.
“Ideally this would be operated in the spirit of generosity, or Dana, a Sanskrit word meaning ‘giving’ or ‘gift’. It would allow everyone, regardless of their individual financial circumstances, to pay what they can afford.”
This, she says, underscores some of the deeper principles she has encountered through yoga, from giving back and helping others to sharing meaningful messages on life, love and the universe.
“The purpose of life is creating meaning in your life, no matter what you do,” says Price. “For me personally, the secret to living a meaningful life is giving. That makes life meaningful – that is yoga.”
Visit the new Myga store in Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre yourself. Find out more at: myga-yoga.com