“Your yoga is always changing. It’s more then just your level of experience, but rather it incorporates how you are holistically in that present moment – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.”
First things first, tell us a little bit about your service and where you got this modern idea?
To know our service, it’s important to first know Our Purpose. The Mission of Wellnest is to cultivate a healthy, compassionate, and joyful world through community engagement, mindful living, and the practice of yoga and other healing arts. Coming from this place, we created an app-based marketplace to easily and affordably connect students with yoga teachers for personalized one-on-one or small group sessions in their home, office, hotel or other location of their choice. The “On-Demand” economy is here, where a person can pretty much get any good or service delivered to them at their fingertips. As our Mission states, we want to use this technology to better the world around us, and making yoga accessible to the masses is one of the best ways to do that. In addition to the benefits of making yoga readily available to tens of millions of people, we are committed to creating more jobs for yoga teachers as there is a massive oversupply of teachers to studio jobs available. We see ourselves as a bridge between these gifted practitioners and the people who would love to work with them, creating a platform as easy to use as Uber, Etsy, or Airbnb
What are some of the benefits of having a teacher come to your home, either one-on-one or in a small group?
The most obvious benefit of having an in-home private session is the ultra-convenience of having it completely based around your schedule – you pick the day, time, and location. For many people that is reason enough to book in-home sessions, but the reality is that working one-on-one or in a small private group with a yoga teacher is an entirely different experience then a class or public session. The key differentiator is that when you go to a studio you are doing the teacher’s yoga, but when the teacher comes to you they are doing your yoga. And your yoga is always changing. It’s more then just your level of experience, but rather it incorporates how you are holistically in that present moment – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Beyond having a session that is completely tailored to fit your exact needs, another key differentiator of in-home sessions is that you get a full hour of adjustments! In a studio class you are lucky if you get one or two adjustments from the teacher, but in a private session the teacher is there to make sure that your form is correct in every single pose. It’s not even about the significant adjustments, as the slightest positioning shift of your hands, feet, arms, shoulders or even gaze can mean a world of difference for getting the full benefits of that pose. Also, there is probably nothing more enjoyable than having a savasana adjustment at the end of the session, with the teacher giving a gentle push down on your shoulders and rub across your brow. Good luck getting that in a studio!
Why is making yoga more accessible for people important to you?
I truly believe that yoga can and will play a significant part in healing the world and raising our collective consciousness. What yoga does is connect people to their breath. When they connect to their breath, they connect to the present moment. When they connect to the present moment, they dissolve their guilt of the past, fear and anxiety from the future, and can come from nothing. What can be created when you come from nothing? Anything! So much of our pain and suffering is a result of feeling disconnected – both from our environments and from ourselves. This disconnection can lead to depression, hopelessness, chemical dependencies, and a myriad of other low vibrational and destructive states. We want to make yoga as accessible as possible so that everyone can have the opportunity to be empowered, enlivened, inspired, and connected back to their Divinity – namely, their ability to create a healthy and joyful world for themselves and all those around them.
Tell us a little bit about your community, who are the people you’re hoping will use your service?
Everybody! It doesn’t matter your age, shape, weight, gender, size, flexibility, experience, race, nationality, etc – If you can breathe then you can do yoga. We want to break through the common misconception that a yogi has to look a certain way, as that false narrative is literally keeping millions of people away from the benefits of this sacred practice. By sending teachers into people’s homes, anyone can learn and practice yoga in a safe and comfortable space without any fear or concern of being judged. We have teachers of all skill levels so we can deliver the perfect experience for you, whether you’re a hard-core yogi looking to take your practice to the next level, or just yoga-curious and wanting to try it for the first time. As for the community aspect, that is a major factor in why we created Wellnest. In-home private sessions are awesome for families, couples, neighbors, mommy groups, bachelorette parties etc. It’s a beautiful practice to share with the ones you love, and it’s only possible to have that created in a private setting. We’re also committed to bridging the yoga community together, so we have regular community events where teachers can meet teachers, students can meet students, students can meet teachers etc. It’s all part of creating connection, building relationships, and healing our hearts and our planet.
In December you ran a promotion where 100% of profits went to yoga- based charities. We love that! How did it go?
It was great but of course we would have loved to given more! There are many groups that do not have access to ours or any other yoga services, but we don’t want that to prohibit them from receiving the significant healing benefits. Through Wellnest For All, we give 10% of all our profits to organizations that provide yoga and mindfulness services to underserved and underprivileged communities like juvenile halls, homeless shelters, rehab centers, and schools.
What is coming up next for Wellnest? What are you looking forward to?
We have a lot of plans to continually enhance the product and provide more value to our students and teachers, and there are a couple of those coming out now that I’m really excited about. The first is our latest release which allows students to invite friends to join their session directly from the app, and be able to split the payment without any additional cost. This means you can book a session for as low as $35, invite four friends to join, and you’re each paying only $7! So you’re getting a private session at the time, date, and location of your choice, sharing it with people you love, and paying a fraction of what it would cost for you to drive to a studio for a group class. This is all part of our commitment to build community and make yoga as accessible as possible. The second thing I’m super excited about is that we launched our Corporate Wellness Division! Now we can go into offices and provide not only yoga classes, but also meditation, sound therapy, nutrition and other healing practices. As the company grows we will integrate these modalities into the app as well so that anyone can book these services.
What are some challenges you’ve faced or are currently facing?
The biggest challenge we face is getting people to try the service for the first time. No matter the business, it’s a challenge to break through all the noise for someone to discover your brand and try out the product, but we know that once they experience the benefits of a Wellnest teacher coming to their home they’ll want to continue the practice and share it with their friends.
What are the ways in which you’ve been spreading the word about your service?
Any and every way we can! Community events, social media, online advertising, strategic partnership relationships, emails, referrals – you name it we’ve probably tried it!
How do you feel marketing practices integrate with yogic philosophy? Is there a particular approach to spreading the word that you feel naturally resonates with yogis or potential yogis?
Our company was built by yogis and yoga teachers for yogis and yoga teachers, so the most important thing for us is that our message is always authentic and integrous to our brand and our mission. We’re not looking to “sell” anyone, we’re just trying to connect with people and offer a service that we know will provide benefit and joy to their lives.
Do you have an ultimate goal in mind? What would bring you the most joy in terms of growing and improving Wellnest?
My ultimate goal is pretty simple – heal our bodies, our hearts, and our planet; remove our chemical dependencies; end all wars; and spark a revolution of Light and benevolent creativity that elevates the global consciousness to one built on compassion and connection to ourselves and the world around us. My joy comes with every step along this path that gets us one step closer to this becoming a reality.
We want to thank and honour Eron Zehavi, CEO and founder of Wellnest, for taking the time to speak with us. His openness, inspiring goals, and views around what’s possible when we use technology to create positive space truly light up our hearts. We can’t wait for Wellnest to reach us in Canada! Namaste, Eron