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On Wednesday, Lucita Fernandez from the Yogacita will be hosting a 40 minute Yoga class from the amazing Yogacita studio. We are over the moon to have Lucita and Yogacita involved in our very first Wellness Week! So much so that we sat down (virtually of course!) to speak more about Yogacita, how it started, ow it as evolved and where it is going!


 Tell us a bit about yourself! How & when did you start your craft? What inspired you?

Hi, my name is Lucita Fernandez and I'm the owner and one of the teachers at Yogacita in the Baltic Triangle. I first started yoga 6 or 7 years ago; I had done the odd class before then but that was the point that I really started practicing regularly. I was going through a really difficult time emotionally with the loss of my dad and I found yoga helped me get through. It really became the thing that grounded me, and gave me strength both mentally and physically. I found myself doing 4 or 5 classes a week so when I was looking for a change of career, it seemed like it was staring me in the face! I've always had a love of design and interiors so the opportunity to create a space from scratch was a major thing for me too.


How have things changed for you over the past year? What was the transition like to more online teaching?

Over the past year things have been challenging to say the least! We tried live streaming classes but it just wasn't economically viable with having so many teachers, a lower price point and technical and logistical issues so we decided to prerecord classes and have them in an on demand format. Whilst that's been great, it still isn't anything like the revenue we would bring in when we're open. I think what we do is so connected to the space, the atmosphere created in the studio, the energy you get from practicing with others. Online fatigue is real! 


How much did you plan for the current success of Yogacita?

It took nearly two years from having the idea of opening a yoga studio to actually opening the doors: everything from market research, branding, getting the funding in place, setting up the company, finding the space, negotiating the lease, designing the layout, finding the right teachers, deciding on the timetable and classes, getting social media up and running, pricing, and on and on. It's a lot! And then of course, once you're open, you're constantly reviewing what you're doing and how you're doing it to assess whether it's working. 


Do you have any exciting projects in the pipeline? Anything to get the Good people of Liverpool excited about?

Recently we've registered as a Yoga Alliance teaching centre and have started offering intensive 200hr yoga teacher training courses and CPD (continuing professional development) courses, taken by the very experienced Julia Gavin. Julia brings her wealth of knowledge and boundless energy to the task! They've gone down really well and we've already turned out some fantastic teachers. It's unusual to get an intensive program in the UK that you can complete within the month so I think there's definitely the demand there. The CPD courses are for people who are already qualified and it goes towards their ongoing development and education, so it's a great thing to be able to offer. 
New to the city and our most recent recruit is our Grounded Ape, Owen Carpenter, who brings us something different in his Animal Flow (AF) class. It's a functional flow class, with an internationally recognised format of postures so it can be taught anywhere in the world. We are looking to expand our offering outside of yoga and Owen is very much a part of that, he's also offering PT sessions through the studio as well as 1:1's. Once we're back open, we plan to run 4 week introduction courses to AF. We'll be getting Owen in to record a session for our on demand video library in the meantime!


We are all about supporting our neighbours and local independents, if you could give any advice to other Liverpool businesses, what would it be?

I think the best way to get through this time as a business is to reach out to other local businesses in your industry, support each other, find out what is working or not working for them and why, communicate with each other, even if it's only to interpret the latest restrictions. Gym owners working together gathered one of the largest petitions of the pandemic during the second lockdown and had the decision to close gyms overturned. 


Being a Liverpool based marketplace, what do you think makes Liverpool so special?

Liverpool is full of amazing independents and that's really just a reflection of the vibrant cultural life of the city, it is this that we need to fight for. So support your independents in any way you can so they can still be here in the future.


Join is at 10am on Wednesday 13 January for a yoga session that will have you feeling fresh for the rest of the week! Looking for the full weekly schedule? Just click here to see it all!

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