Founder Mia Tycehurst reflects on Forster Yoga Studio’s inception and growth over the past two years.
Hi Mia. Thanks so much for speaking with FOCUS. Forster Yoga Studio has achieved tremendous growth in its development over the last two years. What have been some of your highlights?
The highlight for me is the feedback! One of our students said: “I’m usually a really busy person, always on the go. I didn’t think that I could relax, but now I have learned that I actually can and how to make myself feel better.”
There are stories of depression being lifted, backs being cured, and countless friendships have been made. It’s priceless!
Because I discovered yoga while going through hardship, I grew a desire to make yoga more available to our community. Yoga taught me that I did not need to be great at work to be worth something. It taught me to stop obsessing about changing my environment. Instead, I learned how to change the way I perceive things to find my calm. That was the birth place for the studio.
Two years ago, when opening, we had five teachers; it was a struggle to get a group of teachers together. Now we have 11 and even some teachers extending their desire to move to Forster so they can be part of the studio; it’s a huge achievement!
That brings us to our next question: you have an incredible team of yoga teachers and dedicated members who contribute to making the studio the supportive environment that it is. Has this aspect always been a key part of the business model you set out to create?
Yes. At the time of opening, I had never set foot in another yoga studio. I wanted our studio to be genuine, free from language a yoga beginner cannot understand. I knew the community well; I knew that we needed a place for people to come home. I wanted to create a space away from the demands of modern society.
I’m particularly proud of our teachers and our members. Our members are all very warm and welcoming to new faces. I really love living in Forster; there is an abundance of warm-hearted people.
Our teachers are all very talented. But talent is a given with us. More importantly, our teachers must display a humble, caring attitude to yoga beginners. That’s why we keep hearing from members and visitors how welcomed they all feel on their first visit.
Many people see you as a very inspiring business woman; who or what inspires you in business?
As a woman, I found it very intimidating starting a business of my own. “Who are you opening your business with?” was a very common question, and quite honestly, it kept me questioning if I was crazy.
However, thanks to many of the inspiring books and online courses I had consumed, I knew that I can choose what to believe. If I believe I can’t do this because I’m a woman, then I won’t. In fact, there are lots of reasons why I should have failed: “There are not enough people into yoga here in town”, “I am a mother of a young girl; that’s my main job” and so on.
I had this passion burning. I felt so alive, so excited about this idea of the studio, and that became my fuel. That feeling became the place I resorted to when questioning my decisions. I chose to make the business decisions from a place that makes me feel happy and excited. This is a daily, weekly process. I come across plans or advice on what “should be good for the business”, but if it doesn’t feel good, I won’t do it.
This is important. Ultimately this is what yoga teaches us: do what feels good. You have these unique talents and gifts, and these gifts flourish when you stop questioning them and allow them to blossom. One can say thanks to my yoga and meditation practice I have learned some amazing “ninja warrior” skills that help me stay focused on joy. I’m no better or more talented than anybody else; I just have been lucky to learn these tricks.
Throughout your life, you have always been passionate about health and lifestyle through movement. Yoga is a practice that everyone can incorporate into their lives; what are some of the key benefits that yoga can offer?
No matter how strong, flexible, balanced and fit you get from yoga, the main benefit is the discovery of yourself. I know this sounds corny. What I mean is that yoga washes away all these perceived ideas of who you think you need to be in order to feel content. In fact, with enough practice yoga helps you become the super human you already are, but just don’t know it yet!
Everyone trying yoga for the first time comes out of the class feeling calm and amazing. It’s addictive.
For new people interested in finding out more about Forster Yoga Studio, how can they get in touch?
We have a comprehensive website: www.forsteryogastudio.com.au where you can browse our classes and programs. If you have questions, you can either message us via 0422 390 570 or shoot us a message on Facebook Messenger. We are also across Facebook and Instagram @forsteryogastudio. We are currently offering a one month intro pass, giving you unlimited classes for just $59.
Interview: Sarah Dunstan.