Yoga teacher Alexandra Bruin discovered her fitness niche in a way that many businesses are born. She saw a gap in the industry, and realized she could fill it. Alexandra specializes in what she calls yoga therapy. She focuses on injuries and conditions affecting spines and joints, often for mature clients. “About 80% of my clients are over the age of 60,” says Alexandra.
A few years ago, Alexandra was setting up to lead one of her regular practices, a vinyasa flow class, when a new student walked in. The new student happened to be an amputee. “I realized I had no idea how to modify the class for her while trying to teach fifteen other people.”
Alexandra started to develop an interest in providing yoga training to students with limited mobility, injuries, and spinal conditions. “Those students weren’t being served anywhere else, and I decided, ‘You know what, I’m going to help these students.’”
She dug into education beyond her yoga teacher training, specializing in using props such as blocks, ropes, and even the walls of the studio! Using props allows her to adjust postures. As a result, her students were more able to achieve precise alignments and experience the full benefit of the poses.
Not only did she see an eagerness from students for her teachings, but she also started to see results. One student in particular, who lived with spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spaces within one’s spine), started one-on-one training with Alexandra. Over time, his modified practice began to increase his mobility. He eventually saw such significant results that he was able to integrate into group classes. And the best part? His doctors were able to confirm his symptoms were nearly gone!
Facilitates a resource library
In the beginning, “every client needed different modifications, so I had to build custom content for every client,” says Alexandra. But with Trainerize, she says, she has built up a valuable video library that’s beginning to pay off. With 15 clients in the app, all of whom she sees on a regular basis for in-person sessions, Alexandra is starting to be able to re-use modifications for new clients, and re-use that video content too. She also opened up that video catalogue to select online-only clients. Those online-only clients provide a modest, but passive, revenue stream for her business.
“Every day, I need to create more videos! I expect that from any software… there’s always more to create!” laughs Alexandra.
It’s clear that Alexandra is passionate about bringing yoga and yoga therapy to those who don’t currently have access to it. First off, her client base is largely made up by individuals who wouldn’t have the range of movement necessary for regular classes. Alexandra can use Trainerize to customize practice to serve clients of all mobility levels. For her regular in-person clients, Alexandra provides Trainerize free of charge. It’s her way for them to retain access to resources, and continue to work on their own between sessions.
The app doesn’t just allow Alexandra’s clients access to their exercises digitally. It also opens up affordable options to clients who don’t have the budget for one-on-one sessions. “I teach a few workshops per month, which come at a much lower price point than my individual sessions.” To those clients, Alexandra offers access to Trainerize for the super-affordable price of $10 a month. “For a lot of people, it’s a stretch to spend money on yoga. For this small fee, they can get the app and use my videos to practice at home,” says Alexandra. She notes that she wants to provide online opportunities to all of her clients, regardless of budget.
Modernizes fitness communication
Despite having a client base that solidly qualifies as “senior,” Alexandra says her clients love using the Trainerize app. “I always let them know I have an app and that they’re welcome to try it, and a lot of them show interest.” It’s a bit of a learning curve to set them up initially, but once the app is downloaded and the client is logged in, they’re all set.
Using Trainerize has allowed Alexandra to “open up a yoga therapy practice to those who may not have been catered to before.” Further, she saves a ton of time. “I used to create PowerPoint presentations for my clients to take home,” laughs Alexandra, noting the time and effort it took to build and updates the documents. “The app has been so much better for me than Powerpoint. The videos are me, talking them through, showing them my positioning. A resource like that is so valuable [for clients].” She also uses the app to check in on their progress, sent messages, and schedule exercises. “I like knowing if they’ve done the work,” laughs Alexandra.
Alexandra lives her mission to help others every day with her online and in-person clients. Her goal to provide accessible, valuable, and cost-effective yoga teaching is a reality. “I really want yoga therapy to help people reduce the amount of pain they are in, even as they’re aging, and live a full and active life,” says Alexandra. That’s a fitness niche we can get behind!