About this project
Yoga by Numbers was born from a desire to make it simple for anyone to learn and practice yoga
We are building a comprehensive system for people to use when and where it is convenient for them. People do things that are convenient. It is that simple.
Why we are ready to KICKSTART Yoga by Numbers!
We have drawn up our blueprint, found a crew, gathered the materials, and laid the foundation! Now we need the cash to build the world's first system for learning and practicing yoga on your own terms.
Here's a summary of what we have already accomplished (for more detail, please see the Risks and Challenges section):
- Secured manufacturing with Jade Yoga, which means our mats are manufactured in the US, in accordance with all US labor and environmental laws.
- Filmed our first DVD, 10 Sessions to Yoga, with Good Life Productions, a Somerville, Massachusetts business. Good Life are amazing partners. Julia, their Executive Producer, is also a dedicated yogini, so having her on set means we benefit from her expertise in both yoga and production!!!
- Partnered with The Grommet, a product launch platform and online marketplace. We were selected for The Grommet's business accelerator program, which gives us access to a team of experts on product development and entrepreneurship. The Grommet's mission is to launch undiscovered products that help people, and help them succeed! As a member of the accelerator program, we work directly with mentors who guide us through the nuts and bolts of business development.
Our founder's story:
Our founder, Elizabeth, had no patience for yoga until she was hospitalized with a lung injury and blood clots. She found that yoga gave her a low impact way to exercise without pain while she recovered, and helped her improve her lung capacity and lower her blood pressure. But she also found it tough to practice consistently with a tight budget and a busy schedule.
Elizabeth thought people needed an option for learning yoga in the comfort and privacy of home, if they were not yet ready to make it to studios. That way, people could practice according to their own schedule and stamina. But she tried DVDs and online videos and found that as a beginner, it was hard to assess her own alignment and positioning. She realized there were many reasons people might have an easier time learning at home, if there were a system to help them. So she decided to create it.
Lots of people have heard about yoga, but haven't tried it because of barriers to learning and practicing
A market study showed there are a number of reasons preventing people interested in yoga from taking the next step:
- Classes are expensive (usually $15-20 per class) and are offered at set times, so they may not be compatible with busy schedules.
- People face logistical hurdles, such as arranging childcare so that they can attend class, or arranging transportation if they are older, have limited mobility, or live in rural areas far away from studios.
- Sometimes people are nervous to try something new in front of a room full of strangers who already know what they are doing.
- People who don't exercise regularly may have decreased stamina and may only want to exercise for 10-20 minutes at a time
Elizabeth- Elizabeth Morrow is the founder of Yoga by Numbers. She completed her RYT-200 teacher training at South Boston Yoga, and trained in Relax and Renew® Restorative Yoga with Judith Hanson Lasater. She combines her background in human rights advocacy, community development, and social entrepreneurship with her passion for inclusive health in her role as founder and CEO. Elizabeth adamantly believes that health is a human right, and is determined to help make healthy activities more accessible. Elizabeth received her BA from New York University and her MA from Tufts.
Justin- Justin Morrow is a CPA, and holds dual roles as the CFO and Director of Canine Participation at Yoga by Numbers. From a young age, Justin watched in admiration as his sister, Elizabeth, sought a career that could better the lives of others. Yoga by Numbers does just that, and Justin is thrilled to be an integral part of the YbN team. Secretly, Justin is excited to be learning yoga so that his wife, Molly, stops making fun of him for not being able to touch his toes. Justin is dad to Rosie, the Yoga by Numbers canine co-mascot (an honor she shares with Gracie the Great Pyrenees), who joined Justin and Molly's family last winter. Justin received his BA from Connecticut College and his MSA/MBA from Northeastern University.
Paula- Paula Jordan is happy and excited to be part of the Yoga By Numbers team. She has been practicing yoga off and on for over 20 years and counts her now almost daily practice of yoga and meditation to be a great source of inspiration, strength and calmness. Paula teaches restorative yoga to teens and adults and is looking forward to using the Yoga By Numbers mat with her young students.
Bryan- Bryan Sanderson is the star of Yoga by Numbers' first DVD! Bryan is an athlete and always stretched, but it was not until about a year ago he took a stress management class and learned about diaphragmatic breathing. This technique has helped Bryan manage PTSD from his time in the Marine Corps, and incorporating yoga along with proper breathing allows him to be that much more at peace.
Noelle- Noelle Janka is the Benefits Director at YbN. She a seasoned grassroots organizer and RYT-200. After years of pain and complications from chronic Lyme disease, Noelle found she could exercise some control over the way she felt everyday through yoga. It has allowed her to continue pursuing her dreams in the face of significant obstacles. She loves that YbN makes the practice more accessible to individuals who can most benefit from yoga.
David- David Vendetti is the co-owner of South Boston Yoga, where he leads teacher certification courses in addition to regular classes. His teaching is inspired by his time as a gymnast, dancer, pilates instructor and structural bodyworker. His classes integrate a clear foundation in anatomy with intelligent alignment, hands on adjustments and ever evolving flows to heal the body. David won both 2011 and 2005 Best of Boston Yoga Teacher for Boston Magazine.
(***Elizabeth wants you to know: David is not only a gifted teacher, but he creates a welcoming, supportive, and fun environment in all of his classes...most of which are packed full of people ranging from absolute beginners to people who look like they're visiting from Cirque du Soleil. That's because of his incredible skill as a teacher, and the atmosphere of inclusiveness he creates. If you are in the Boston area, you should check out his classes at SBY!)
Rebecca- Rebecca Allen is a licensed social worker, RYT-200 yoga instructor, and a former triathlon coach. She began yoga after many years participating in ice hockey, triathlons and half marathons, and decided to advance her practice by participating in yoga teacher training. Rebecca now combines her profession with her passion, teaching yoga to mental health professionals and to students at local schools.
Avery- After years of competitive sports and gymnastics, Avery Westlund came to yoga in search of something equally challenging but kinder to her body. Avery is an RYT-200 and completed her Power Yoga for Sports certification with Gwen Lawrence. She combines her MA in forensic psychology and her love of yoga to provide therapeutic yoga for people experiencing PTSD, anxiety, and depression and is thrilled to help bring yoga to diverse populations through YbN.
Gabe- Gabriel Frankel is currently a college student and he has played college baseball and pitched for both Middlesex County College and UMass Boston. Gabe has worked with The Marketing Professionals Group and Verizon as a sales associate while pursuing his degree in Business Management. Gabe is building a program to bring YbN to athletes, sports teams, and gyms because he knows the benefits yoga can have on athletes everywhere.
The Rescue Dog Rehabilitation Division
Gracie- Gracie the Great Pyrenees is the Official Yoga by Numbers Mascot, and our founder's best buddy. Her favorite pose is Seated Dog.
Rosie- Rosie keeps her dad on his toes, but she can really rock a YbN t-shirt.
Baka- Baka is YbN's international ambassador. She prefers fireside yoga.
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges posed by this undertaking are greatly reduced by the wonderful partners and suppliers with whom we have already developed relationships.
The biggest challenges we will face are logistical - scheduling video shoots with our teachers and crew, booking locations on dates that work for everyone, etc. The risks we face are more likely to be production delays rather than an inability to complete the project. Since we have already established the relationships we need (manufacturing, video production, yoga teachers) we really just need money to place orders and pay workers.
We have prepped the field and planted the seeds. Now we just need you to make it rain!!!
Here is some more detail on the challenges we have already faced, and how our team has tackled them:
1. Manufacturing: it was crucial to us to find a mat manufacturer who not only makes a great product, but also shares our values of environmental sustainability and fair labor practices. This is why we chose Jade Yoga (www.jadeyoga.com) as our supplier. Jade mats are manufactured in the US with sustainable natural rubber. In addition, Jade participates in Trees for the Future, which means that for every mat sold, a tree is planted. We love our Jade mats because they have excellent grip, which is important for practicing yoga safely, they don't harm the environment with PVCs, and we rest easy knowing they are manufactured in the US according to US labor law. Yoga by Numbers + Jade = good for our customers + good for the environment + good for US manufacturing jobs. We like this equation!
2. Video production: finding a great production team was one of our first goals, and we lucked out by finding Good Life Productions right in our neighborhood. Good Life is a dream to work with, and a well-established local business.
3. Expertise: we have an amazing network of yoga teachers, medical professionals, videographers, social workers, studio owners, professional athletes, experienced entrepreneurs, and community organizers.
We are confident we have done everything in our power to ensure we will be able to deliver our project in the timeframe we proposed. Now it's a matter of developing and filming more content. We need the capital to develop and film this content in exactly the same way we developed and filmed 10 Sessions to Yoga.
Yoga by Numbers was created because we believe fitness activities should be accessible to everyone. That's why we formed a benefit corporation, plugged away until we found a manufacturer that met our ethical standards, and have not compromised our values once. We will see this through because this is bigger than yoga and bigger than us. It's about eliminating obstacles to participation.
We are determined to build a company that will make yoga more accessible to more people. We hope you'll join us!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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