May 8

Stretching a Business Strategy

Be Luminous Yoga pivots during a time of crisis.

Like many other businesses in the Seattle community (and across the world), Be Luminous Yoga has had to choose between shutting down for good and figuring out a new way to operate. Michel Spruance, director and owner, opted to avoid a knee-jerk reaction when considering next steps at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I decided that it was important not to panic. I just pressed pause to assess the needs for our customers, and how we could provide that. The tools we have are absolutely essential to their sanity right now,” she said.

Be Luminous Yoga went from offering in-person classes to live classes online.

“A weird positive is that I have been trying to get yoga students to be able to practice digitally in a live class. We tried last summer, and it didn’t work. But after the pandemic started, we got more buy-in. At first it was ‘I resisted this’ or ‘I refused to do it for weeks,’ but now the response is more positive – ‘I’m grateful,’ or ‘now I don’t have to commute,’ and ‘I’m going to keep doing it when this is all over.’”

Michel said that this new direction has opened up her and her customers’ sense of what yoga can be.

“We are adding more strength training, power flow, and slow flow yoga. We have free meditation on Mondays, and we are working on an online course for whole teacher training. We figured that many people have the time to learn to train right now, but they can’t be in the classroom in contact people.

Michel also thinks it’s an important time to offer courses for beginners. “Right now, there’s not a lot of options for new people except to watch some videos online. We tried out a 3-week, 6-session course for beginners, and it was a great way for people to get introduced to the practice. If you’re knew to yoga, just have fun, don’t judge yourself, and do what’s healthy. After a few classes, you’ll get it. Don’t be shy, use the chat to introduce yourself to the teacher. Just like we would in physical classes, we want to be there for you as teachers.”

Check out Be Luminous Yoga’s class offerings online. If you are a first responder involved in healthcare or journalism, Be Luminous is offering free yoga classes as a thank you.

Story by Ethan Chung and photographs courtesy of Be Luminous Yoga.

At The Center

SLU is the geographical center of Seattle