Sadhana Live is an online yoga and movement class platform in the UK.
The platform has an extremely loyal community from all across London (Dalston and Clapham) studios not forgetting a beautiful tribe from all around the world.
Sadhana Live brings daily live-streamed and on-demand yoga and movement classes directly to you, wherever you are in the world from the Dalston studio in London.
The founder & studio Director of Sadhana Yoga & Wellbeing Sadhana Live Studios Gerry Lopez designed the studios, fusing the power of yoga and body movement with holistic therapies.
Lopez sat down to talk to us about all things Sadhana, from how he got started through to how he sees the future of holistic/fitness tech.
Sadhana’s first studio opened just under 10 years ago – how did this come about, what was your background before Sadhana and what got you into yoga?
When I was a teenager I had this big dream to be a hedge fund trader, just like in the Wall Street movie. So I dedicated the first 15 years of my career to that.
I studied business then I did a Masters in finance. I worked for a couple of international investment banks. And I realised that in my early days when I was already a trader of one of the biggest hedge funds in the world at the time, I wasn’t really that happy.
But, how could that be? I was living my dream, I should have been thrilled, so clearly something was missing.
So I figured out the two big things missing were:
1) That I wasn’t 18 anymore, I was thirty-something and I had different dreams, so the dream that I was living was one of an 18-year-old boy.
2) That I needed to do something that meant something important to me. I needed to do something that I feel I could contribute directly to my community.
And I was lucky enough, by walking into a university hall, I saw this beautiful picture of a girl doing a Siddha Yoga meditation retreat.
So I went to this weekend retreat and I found that incredibly powerful because I felt my mind was at peace, I could really channel my energy to things that I thought were important. So since then for me, yoga and meditation have become incredible tools for anything that I have wanted to achieve in my life.
I thought if these tools are so powerful they can be used by anyone – they can be used by an artist, an athlete, a businessman, anyone can use these tools to empower their mind to achieve the things that they would like to achieve.
I am a very strong believer that an empowered mind is one of the key success factors for anything that we want to achieve in our life. Hence, was my new purpose to share with as many people as I could, these great tools of yoga and meditation.
So I took a plane to LA, got myself trained as a yoga teacher, and came back to London to open the first Sadhana studio in Clapham Junction back in 2013 and that’s where the Sadhana journey started.
As a keen yogi and businessman, what motivates you to keep improving?
I believe first that life is a learning experience and we always say that we should keep growing personally and give a gift to our community.
But I have to say that when you see the benefits that you provide to the community when you hear people constantly telling you how their life is better, how they relate better with their wife, with their husbands, with their kids, how they feel a better person, how they feel less anxious, that they can control their mind, that their lower back pain is better, that they can sleep better, that they feel they can achieve the things they want. Then that really keeps you going, that’s the most inspiring bit to keep growing Sadhana, providing value to it for our community.
Now Sadhana has a virtual offering, how did Sadhana Live come about? How long did it take?
Well, Sadhana Live changed because I wanted to share what we do with more people and offer these great benefits of yoga, meditation, and breathwork. So by doing it online, we were able to give the people the experience, but they could practice from the comfort of their home, their office, or wherever they were.
So Sadhana Live was the idea of, well let’s bring more yoga to the people without the limitation of where geographically they are.
In 2019 was when the idea came along, we built it up and in March 2020 we launched our first prototype and here we are now continuously looking for ways to improve, to add more value.
Did you have any obstacles to overcome? If so, how did you go about tackling them?
We had so many obstacles to overcome. Like at the beginning from convincing the teachers, now you’re going to have people in the room and at the same time you’re going to have a camera, how do we deal with the lighting so the people in the room aren’t exposed to the camera.
They would bring this massive screen and how would you get exactly the right distance so that you don’t get flickering from the screen and you can still get the teacher.
Then when Covid came, the market got filled with the massive players. You have Apple, Google, Amazon, and you have Peloton moving into yoga.
Suddenly it was a market that became really crowded in no time. We always focused on how we are the best, we have very strong expertise in yoga, meditation, breathwork and then finding how can we keep the most value with that.
How can we personalise that and bring stronger solutions to people? So now our main focus is healing, to help people heal.
Sadhana is a unique offering but what makes it stand out for you? What’s different about it compared to other fitness and yoga platforms?
The natural healing personalisation. So now we are here to offer people solutions where they can use natural healing to overcome an issue that might be psychological or it might be physical.
So it might be how to deal better with hormonal changes like pre-menopause or it can be how to deal better with stress and anxiety at the workplace or in a challenging environment and so on.
Or physical, it can be how to relieve your lower back pain or how can you get to sleep better, heal your knee, or relieve neck and shoulder pain from sitting for long periods of time.
But here, we are getting together all these years of expertise in yoga and meditation and breathwork, to offer these solutions directly to the consumer or corporate packages.
Where does the platform sit in the fitness tech market?
We sit in a very exciting place and a very unique place because I believe at the moment there isn’t really a solution out there like the one we are offering with Sadhana Live.
It is still early days but what’s next for you and the business? Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
Well, I think it looks exciting. The aim, of our mission will always be to empower people’s minds, help to give them the tools to naturally heal, to feel empowered, to be able to take on the challenges that they want to.
And it can move in different directions. We will always learn from the people, what adds more value to them, and based on that we create different solutions to their problems, to tackle them. And then the people will tell us how useful that was.
It can be a bulb in putting the marketplace on top of the natural healing solutions so we might go into the metaverse to provide the solutions in a room where you can make use of augmented reality. It is without doubt a very exciting adventure to explore.