With six outlets islandwide and a huge community, both yoga practitioners and newbies alike are likely to have heard of Yoga Movement.
Back in 2012 when Yoga Movement launched its first outlet, the yoga industry was still in its nascent stages, and there were only a handful of yoga studios in Singapore.
At that time, most yoga studios were subsidiaries of large fitness gyms, and drop-in classes or packages were not the norm.
Yoga Movement director and co-founder, Alicia Pan, felt that it was a pity as she had personally experienced the positive effects of yoga on her physical and mental wellbeing.
That was when she decided to start Yoga Movement with her then-partner, current-husband Peter Thew.
36-year-old Alicia told Vulcan Post that she wanted to start a “no-fuss, no-frill yoga brand” to make yoga more accessible to the masses.
Rather than being a calculated business move, the husband and wife duo just wanted to make yoga something that everybody could enjoy.
Yoga Movement then set up their first studio on Carpenter Street in 2012 with a fresh new concept.
There were just three simple options on the menu — a Single Class, a 10 Class Pack, and an unlimited pack.
To be honest, we initially didn’t have an extravagant business plan for Yoga Movement.
We just wanted to bridge the gap in the yoga industry here in Singapore, and our goal was just to make yoga accessible to anyone who was interested to join a class but was intimated by the idea.
Alicia Pan. Yoga Movement Director and Co-Founder
At the Carpenter Street outlet, the two founders hand-built most of the interior, and even turned an old door into a reception table.
Alicia also had to juggle three roles — a front-desk staff, cleaner and yoga teacher — because they simply did not have enough budget at that time.
All their efforts were not in vain. The former singer-songwriter shared that being hands-on helped the team to be “crystal clear on the ins and outs of the business, (which) was crucial to keep the entire brand at its best.”
Building On The Lifestyle Concept
Most recently, Yoga Movement launched its highly anticipated Orchard Flagship studio. Spanning 6,000 square foot, the studio is its biggest yet.
Besides yoga lessons, the outlet also has a new coffee concept called Drishti Dagger, and a patio overlooking the hustle and bustle of Orchard Road.
To date, Yoga Movement has a customer base of over 100,000 yoga enthusiasts clocking a whopping 25,000 visits a month.
It also has a team of over 120 staff, six locations, and even an app that the team built “from the ground up”.
Since its launch, the app has garnered more than 28,000 downloads and consistently scores over a million views monthly. It also got nominated “App of the Year” Finalist by the Fit Summit.
According to Alicia, the app makes up a good part of the lifestyle concept that the team is trying to build at Yoga Movement, as it places more focus on social experiences.
Furthermore, the introduction of the application played a part in a 30 per cent year-on-year sales increase.
Client Experience At The Forefront
Since its inception, Alicia and Peter have grown Yoga Movement from a bootstrapped startup funded by their own savings to one of Singapore’s most prevalent fitness offerings.
When asked how Yoga Movement differentiates itself from other yoga studios, Alicia stressed that the brand puts the client experience at the forefront.
We ensure that the experience is consistent throughout — from the look and feel of our website, app and our physical spaces, to checking in and being greeted by the front desk.
We also try not to do too much with our offerings, keeping it simple and digestible.
Alicia Pan. Yoga Movement Director and Co-Founder
Acknowledging that running a business is not a bed of roses, Alicia shared that there are “individual big and small challenges every single day.”
The year 2020 in particular, had to be the “biggest setback” for the brand so far, she added.
Due to the forced closures and heavy social distancing restrictions, the studio was not able to open for at least two months, affecting revenues.
Despite the challenges, the team stood by the value of the brand and embraced new ways to keep providing the excellent service that it is known for.
For example, like many fitness studios, Yoga Movement ran livestream classes. It also routinely runs pop-up classes with various themes to keep customers engaged.
In the long run, Alicia said that she would like to bring Yoga Movement to new markets, while also branching into other lifestyle verticals.
“It was extremely hard work navigating what the best course of action was this past year, and we’ve certainly seen a lot of businesses fall, but I would attribute our company’s ‘never-say die’ attitude to this outcome,” she said.
Featured Image Credit: The Busy Woman Project
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