Whilst running Anytime Fitness I needed to find a way to reduce my stress and find some peace of mind. With a busy schedule I felt like I could not relax and ultimately it was taking a toll on my health, my relationships, and my kids. With a growing business, 1 child in primary school and a 1 year old, it was hard to find time to relax. I was also trying to fall pregnant with a 3rd child, so finding a way to look after myself and find more calm was now a major priority.
I wanted to have more time to feel fulfilled and deepen my relationships.
I decided that yoga was something that I should try.
My background has always been in fitness gyms, so naturally my first yoga class was at a local gym. I went and I didn’t mind it. I felt the pace of the class, the stillness at the end and the movement felt right. I then started to go each Sunday but 2 months in I took an overseas trip for work and lost momentum with it. I decided to get back into and to not only go 1 time, but 2 times per week.
In my beginnings at yoga I found the instructors taught such different styles, so I quickly worked out that I had to choose the class based on the instructor rather than the class description. I continued my practise twice a week and noticed that I was a calmer version of myself. I felt different when I missed a practice and quickly started to determine that it was not just the physical practice that was having an impact on me, there was something more taking place.
I decided to try a class at an actual yoga studio and found an instructor that I loved. My practice quickly became upwards of 4 times per week and I noticed that I was stronger, lighter and calmer than I had ever been. Professionally the business was still growing rapidly, on a personal level I was doing IVF in hopes for a 3rd baby. On the outside anyone could see I was busy managing everything, but on the inside I felt a calm that I had never experienced before.
In 2012 I was still travelling a lot to the US for work commitments and found some cool yoga places in LA that had included music in their practice. This to me was a missing piece. I love music, I love moving to music, and now I had a true love for yoga.
Soon after I fell pregnant with my 3rd child, moved to a new house and learnt how hard it was to find a new studio as I struggled to find an instructor that I liked.
I became really frustrated by the inconsistency of “yoga” and what studios claimed were flow. What they delivered each time seemed to be different based on what the instructor felt on the day. This was a constant challenge for me and I found that I was restricted to 2 or 3 classes per week to choose from, as I only preferred the classes of a few instructors. This made scheduling my practice near impossible with kids, business and life.
I tried a few online classes and decided that I would need to wait to get back into a solid practice as I just couldn’t get through the classes online and got bored of it easily.
After giving birth to my son in 2013 I started to practice solidly about 4 or 5 times per week as I found an instructor I liked and had a lot more available time on maternity leave. I then started to wonder why all of the studios that I visited had no music and also why the studios were so brightly lit.
I then began practicing yoga and playing around at home to music wondering if there was a way to truly practice to music. I had taught group exercise for about 15 years so I was familiar with music, movement, music tempos and moods.
In 2014 I began to play more closely with how it would feel to move to specific music. I had moved away from day to day operations of the business, had time at home with my then 3-year-old and 6-month-old so I had time to wonder, play and think about what yoga could be created that would truly be inspiring and music based.
In late 2014 the concept started to take form and I recruited people to play with music and choreography. With a clear vision of how I wanted the class to feel and how I wanted to move it was a long and tiring process, with the first class taking 8 months to create.
In Dec 2105 we opened our first studio that delivered uniquely curated yoga classes built around music.
We added elements into the studio that I found were missing. Our room lighting is dim and we have a large screen where we show a curated movie for entire class to ensure that students can zone out, be inspired by our music, move and breathe.
The inconsistency and frustration of yoga I had felt was overcome in our studio as all of our instructors taught the same choreography with the same music playlist, so all students had time to learn, refine and deepen their practice before we launched a new season.
This has been the evolution of W1LL into its current form.
Over 6 seasons we have improved our music playlist flow, our choreography and redefined our language to ensure students are offered simple, modern and inspiring yoga.
At W1LL we are proud to be unconventional and we want everyone to experience the power of a regular and consistent yoga practice.
This is W1LL