VICKY HOLMSTOCK started her Liverpool based company, Yellow Yoga, in 2008 after a career in law in which she saw first hand the extraordinary levels of stress generated in the workplace and saw the need for stress reduction services.
From there she has grown the business from a sole trader, promoting wellbeing through yoga classes on Merseyside into a network of five self-employed teachers operating under the Yellow Yoga umbrella. She is also expanding to offer Yoga retreats internationally in 2012.
Having practiced yoga from the age of 13, Ms Holmstock started Yellow Yoga with the aim of introducing yoga to both the corporate and public sectors.
Ms Holmstock has seen her business grow from strength to strength and has also developed a programme of yoga teacher training, creating work opportunity for people with long term stress related sickness and offering a route out of benefit dependency.
Speaking from Gran Canaria, where she was enjoying a working holiday teaching yoga, Ms Holmstock said: “I’m staying with private clients who are here on holiday.”
Travel forms a significant part of Ms Holmstock’s business.
She explained: “I run retreats abroad – Turkey, Malaga, Spain, south of France.
“We use yoga centres that are typically big houses run by a couple of yogis who offer catering that includes vegetarian and organic food.
Ms Holmstock takes groups of up to a dozen people for breaks that last anything from a weekend to a full week away. These trips comprise workshops, yoga classes, guides to relaxation and yoga philosophy.
She said: “The main thing is about consciousness and energy and to reconnect with the universe.
“The original purpose of yoga was to help people sit and meditate for a long time.
“We use Maya to switch the mind off so we can connect with true, positive energy. That’s where happiness and eternal bliss reside. That’s what we are all aiming for.”
Ms Holmstock studied law at Nottingham Law School. After obtaining her degree she spent two years in a law firm working as a paralegal.
She said: “I did the physical side of yoga as a child but discovered the philosophy of it when I visited an Ashram aged 20 in the Bahamas.”
While working in a pub, Ms Holmstock came across an 84-year-old yoga teacher who could still do headstands and told her about the ashram.
“I just thought, ‘I’m supposed to be there. That’s where I have to go.’ So I took a flight a week later,” she said.
Now based in Liverpool, Ms Holmstock works mostly with private clients. She said: “Some of my students become teachers themselves.
“We teach in gyms and studios. We go into primary schools, businesses, call centres and a hospice.
“I have a network of five self-employed teachers. We use a split fee structure.
“I take care of the advertising and marketing and if it’s a corporate client I look after the contract and the teacher comes in and teaches it.”
Ms Holmstock markets her businesses through yoga magazines and online. She also uses yoga holiday directories and taps into her own database of clients. She uses online marketing techniques offered by the likes of Groupon and Living Social. She says Living Social can offer a database of 400,000 people living on Merseyside. Merseyside
Ms Holmstock said: “This year we are looking at turnover of £40,000.
“We have no real costs or overheads. Studios tend to be quite cheap and we don’t need any equipment.”