First up, tell us a little bit about yourself and your business!
I’m a Yoga Lover. Spreading peace, love and joy is my jam and I’m lucky to be surrrounded by amazing people who feel the same way. My business, Tamara Yoga, has grown from just me in an empty church hall to now 2 huge Yoga studios in Claremont and Bibra Lake with more than 50 classes a week, 30 Tamara Yoga teachers, we’re in schools and businesses, we’ve had over a hundred Teacher Training graduates from Tamara Yoga Teacher Training and we run Yoga Retreats in Margaret River, India and Bali.
I started teaching because my friends asked me to and I still feel like I’m teaching my friends now. I love our studios, our wonderful students and the community we’re all part of.
What’s your morning routine to set you up for an epic day of getting sh*t done?
I meditate every day and teach Yoga every morning. Starting well makes such a difference to creating a flow state all day.
What does an average day look like for you?
Each day looks a little different for me but there’s always Yoga, family and friends. I meditate and teach at least once a day, I teach private classes and Marma sessions (an Ayurvedic healing treatment) at our Claremont studio. Some days I might be lecturing or marking assignments for my Yoga Teacher Training programme. Other times I’m teaching Retreats in Bali, Margaret River or at our Bibra Lake studio. I work with my management team at the studios and chat with my students and TY teachers. I’m writing a book (or three!) so that has been consuming me lately too.
When and where did you decide to start your business? How has it evolved since there?
I started Tamara Yoga when I lived in New York because my friends there asked me to teach them. It kind of just developed for me and before I knew it I was teaching large groups. Years later, I became a single mum and moved back to Perth to be closer to my family. I hadn’t lived here for 11 years. It was scary going from having so many people in my classes in New York to having no students here in Perth coupled with the urgent need to support my 3 children. I had such a burning desire to share yoga I couldn’t not teach. Getting to where we are now has taken commitment and a great deal of support.
From starting in the church hall we moved to Claremont as more people came. I guess you could say I grew into having a studio because my students wanted more classes, and asked me to teach them to be Yoga Teachers too.
I’d always had this dream of having a real sanctuary for people, inviting and warm like a family home. It’s a dream come true having two big, beautiful studios full of wonderful students and thirty Tamara Yoga teachers.
What book do you recommend to all business owners?
The E-Myth is a must read in my opinion.
What’s your secret to productivity?
I think people can get caught up in compartmentalising and labelling. We tend to use phrases like ‘work-life balance’ and we can get stressed when we feel like these separate parts cross over or interfere with each other. I think understanding that life is interconnected and being flexible is a way to increase your feeling of productivity.
Being present is profoundly helpful. A lot of difficulty and discomfort arises when we’re in one place but thinking about what we ‘should’ be doing somewhere else. I think of that as a big waste of time and a joy robber. So, when I’m in a conversation, I 100% pay attention to that. Letting go of what’s been before is a skill I teach in class because I know how important it is in life.
What has been your most successful marketing or business strategy to date?
I think it’s crucial to not get carried away by marketing and strategy if it means you’ve got no energy left for the person right in front of you.
So, what’s been most successful for us is listening and looking after our people. There is no business without relationships, so to me that’s the most important area to pay attention.
How do you stay motivated on tough days?
By paying attention to what matters.
Hearing people say that Yoga’s changed their life that they’re now pain free, and how they’ve been inspired is a feeling I can’t really explain. It’s more than motivating. It’s life-giving.
It’s uplifting having our Teacher Training graduates say they now have a meaningful career, or that it informs and enriches their work-life in ways they never could have imagined.
Hearing that we’re actually making a difference in people’s lives is huge and really helps put the tough days in perspective.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to start a business in the health & wellness industry?
Make sure it’s because you LOVE it. That you can’t not do it. Because if you’re doing it just for money or recognition, you will not be fulfilled. Check your commitment. Being in business is a lot of hard slog. And it needs your full heart and soul. No-one who’s actually succeeded has done so by half-hearted efforts.
What’s your nightly routine to wind down after a busy work day?
I like to have dinner and spend time with my family. I often do some work in the evening at home. Sometimes I’ll listen to a Yoga Nidra by my friend Mona Anand. I like to light the candles and get super cosy. Just being at home, with the people I love is enough.
What’s next for Tamara Yoga?
We’ve just launched our brand new Unlimited Membership to add massive value for our amazing students so that they can come to Yoga more often. It’s really taken off, which is very exciting!
We have Yoga Retreats planned for Margaret River, India and Bali, as well as more special guests coming to deliver Kid’s Yoga and Yin Teacher Training. We’re always looking for new opportunities so I definitely foresee new studios and more teacher training, workshops, retreats and classes. We’re listening to students and asking on a regular basis what they need to make sure we support them as much as we can.
Any final words of inspiration:
Get clear on your intention. Having a well-defined, rich intention will make all your decisions easier, surer and helps keep you on purpose.