Elodie Gythiel of Live Yoga Teachers tells us about a platform connecting teachers and students, for online and studio yoga classes.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Live Yoga Teachers.
Elodie Gythiel: I have always been interested in “democratization”. I used to be a country manager for low-cost airlines, which made air transportation affordable to everyone in Europe. Then I specialized in SEO which allows startups to access markets for a small investment. I co-founded Live Yoga Teachers in July 2020.
What impact did Covid have on your activity?
Elodie Gythiel: I have been practising Iyengar yoga for many years. So, in March last year, I remember going to my last yoga class begging my favourite teacher to look into giving classes on Zoom.
And luckily, they did! I ended up practising a lot of yoga, a lot more than if I had to physically go to classes. That’s when the idea of this startup came up: I was struggling to pay the teachers in their bank account, I would miss classes because I didn’t have access to the teacher schedule, I would be late in a class because I couldn’t find the right email with the meeting number and password… So, I decided to create a platform to help teachers organize their yoga classes on Zoom.
How does Live Yoga Teachers innovate?
Elodie Gythiel: Live stream yoga is a new way to practice yoga. Of course, nothing can match an in-studio experience, but live streaming is very close to it: the teacher is watching you, so it motivates you to keep up with the class momentum, and you end up practising long and intense classes. One of the benefits I find is the fact that you’re more focused on your own practice, with less disturbance from other class participants.
But the main advantage of this type of yoga is that you don’t need to commute to attend a class, and the price is a little lower than what you pay for a class in a studio. So, it allows people to practice more often or to practice with teachers who live far away.
How do you finance your startup?
Elodie Gythiel: At the moment, we are not raising any money. It’s just 2 of us; my co-founder Sebastien and myself. We have the skills to launch the platform, and we hope to be able to generate enough cash to fuel our growth. But we don’t mind if it’s slow growth.
What’s your business model?
Elodie Gythiel: We take a percentage of sales. We don’t ask for monthly fees or sign-up fees. Any teacher can join the platform and tell their students to follow them, so they can book and pay online. It’s a bit like a marketplace for yoga teachers.
Yoga teachers have been struggling to make enough money from their activities, and we are hoping this platform will help them.
Elodie Gythiel: Covid has taught us a new way of practising yoga. I hope it’s going to stay!
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