We can’t escape it any more…yoga has become a business. And a big one at that – $27 billion big.
Yoga teachers may be great at keeping their cool, but they don’t necessarily have the funds or expertise that go with running a business. NomadYOGI is a platform dedicated to helping teachers to promote their trainings without paying anything up front. Think of it as a social network for yoga lovers.
Considering how many people love both mediums: time on the mat and time with their social media, founder Joseph “Yos” Goodman might just be the new Mark Zuckerberg.
Yogis like to say they are noncompetitive, but still, yoga is a business. Where does NomadYOGI fit into this?
When did being a yoga teacher necessitate being an entrepreneur? We make it possible for those truly excellent yoga teachers to gain a following based on their insight, rather than their ability to outcompete in a crowded industry. Success as a yoga teacher should not depend on the efficacy of top-dollar SEO or an expensive marketing budget.
Tell us about NomadYOGI in a nutshell.
An individual's ability to attend a retreat really depends on their available vacation time so, if a yoga teacher has what they’re looking for, they'll find it here, easily. We allow individuals to search events based on the qualities of the retreat and the wisdom of the teacher. This way, our users find exactly what THEY are looking for, according to their budget, style, location preferences, dates and we allow these search filters to be saved to a profile, notifying the student when something comes into the system that matches their search criteria: "Yoga retreats in Mexico for under $1,200 in 2016," for example.
A student can choose based on what's available to him/her, not just what's being marketed to them. Thus, the idea of competition falls away. We open the door to finding what's right, based on a whole bunch of things coming together at the right time, not just what's available at their local studio or what's being pushed on them in aggressive marketing through social media and email campaigns.
How did such an expansive site like NomadYOGI get to where it is today?
I live for this project. I'm talking 60-80 hour weeks, for most of the last 3 years. I've written every single word on the site: every help article, every button, every automated email sent from the system. But I also have a hard working team of people across 6 countries helping me to design, develop, and code. And, a loving, supportive girlfriend who gets what I'm doing and why.
When you’re saving the world, one yoga teacher at a time, what do you do when you need to unwind and break away from your roles?
This is an interesting question. The thing I probably need to break away from the most is precisely the feeling that I need to "save the world, one yoga teacher at a time." It can't be done. But this is a lesson I'm still learning.
My asana practice has changed over the course of developing NomadYOGI. Too many hours on my devices staring at my screens, the stress of building something this big, the tech sitting for some users who are not so web-savvy, and a low back injury have all had an affect on my asana practice. But my yoga practice is more than asana. It's also about sitting quietly, exploring pranayama, reading, and learning how to find balance amidst the vicissitudes of life inside a startup.
You used to work in a corporate life. Where do you live now, and what does an average day look like?
I'm from the SF Bay Area. I was based in NYC for 6 years but even then I was bouncing back and forth to India and Thailand for about a quarter of the time. I'm nomadic at heart, and Internet technology allows me to be a part of this location-agnostic movement that embraces remote working, sometimes referred to as being a Digital Nomad. I was in Australia last month and I’m in Indonesia this month. I will be in Vietnam/Thailand next month. Then back to SF for the rest of the summer. For most of the 3 years (during NOMAD's development) I've mainly been in Czech Republic, USA, Thailand, and India (I spend 1-2 months each year in Pune for Satsang with Dolano).
Everything I do is cloud-based. We use Asana, Evernote, Skype and bunch of Google's services. The team spans 6 different countries/time zones, so the first thing I do when I wake up is review the work the team did while I was asleep. I hate being the bottleneck for progress, so I try to give approval or feedback as fast as I can. That's the first 2-4 hours of my day. Then I practice and have brunch, and more coffee. The rest of the day is determined by what country/time zone I'm in, and what problems we're currently solving. I usually go to bed late. I find that I get creative again after midnight.
What makes for an ideal yoga retreat?
When it all comes together, it's amazing and the effects last a long time: new friendships, a reinvigorated practice, great memories, and a deeper sense of community at the home studio.
Knowing that there are people out there that are making our lives easier through 80-hour workweeks makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Thanks, Yos. Make sure to head out on your own retreat once in a while!
Learn more at www.nomadyogi.com.
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