Thoughtful Application Of Technology Fosters A Spirit Of Inclusion
Job Title: Founder, Root 2 Rise Yoga
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
Drawn to yoga to rehabilitate from a dance injury, Michelle Chua witnessed its power to align body and mind with the unconditional love that lies within, eliciting benefits beyond physical healing. During 15 months of volunteer teaching in Ghana, West Africa, and later in Costa Rica, Michelle developed a regular yoga practice.
Upon her return to the USA in 2010, she graduated yoga teacher training and transitioned from credentialed school teacher to a life path sharing yoga with diverse communities in her current hometown of Los Angeles, CA, and beyond. She is the founder of Root 2 Rise Yoga, through which she facilitates Hike + Yoga, Soul (free flow) Movement, and wellness retreats locally and abroad.
What Are The Key Elements of Planning Successful Retreats?
Timeline planning • Selecting your venue • Itinerary & program design • Sustainability considerations • Marketing • Financials & profitability • Legal forms & liabilities • Insurance
How Has COVID-19 Impacted Your Business?
I’ve been spurred to revisit my online offerings, teaching yoga, and facilitating community. I had initially undertaken these endeavors 6 years ago but allowed them to fade through discouragement. It’s heartwarming to feel solidarity from people in such diverse locations, near and far. The crisis has been a catalyst for being more resourceful and committed to sharing what I love and trust others will genuinely benefit from, especially during this time.
In What Ways Has This Changed Your Perspective?
There are plenty of resources for business owners transitioning to online delivery of services, but I feel there needs to be sensitivity toward making the process digestible for all segments of my community. Being a former elementary school teacher, I may over-communicate by posting various tutorials and step-by-step instructions to accessing the services online, both on my website and social media. But, there are some clients who may feel stranded in the transition if they don’t feel very comfortable with technology and the Internet. So, I try to be proactive in emailing individual clients to follow up on how they’re doing in the process of setting up their Zoom log-in, for example, for live stream yoga classes.
Put yourself in the shoes of your clients, and be compassionately proactive.
What’s Your Current Business Outlook?
As some full-time yoga instructors might relate, my business was only a side job for the past nine years, as I felt I needed the financial security of teaching yoga for other institutions, too, in order to earn a practical living. Having lost most of those other jobs now, I feel empowered to focus more energy on my business and the larger community it serves (e.g., through my online classes).
Although I’ve canceled my April 2020 Ojai Retreat and am uncertain that my June 2020 Bali retreat will be able to proceed as planned, I’m inspired to find useful ways to serve our greater international community right now. For years, I had envisioned enjoying greater autonomy and ability to share yoga with more freedom and personal flavor. Now is the time to step into my power and help others feel empowered too.