Sophie Schwarz is a Berlin-based yoga teacher with little previous experience teaching online before joining Strydal.
In fact, when she joined the platform at the end of October 2020, she'd been an accredited yoga teacher for just three months.
But she had a vision: to create a “safe space” for everyone who’s interested in the healing power of yoga, no matter their body type or background:
Without judgement or criticism,
Without pressure to perform,
Without weight issues,
Without the compulsion to move.
With this vision in mind, and some helpful advice from other teachers she met during her yoga teacher accreditation course, she started building her Instagram profile.
@sophies_safespace was conceived as a community for yoga enthusiasts with self-acceptance as a core principle. Since launching in the summer of 2020, it has already amassed nearly 4,000 followers (as of December 2020).
For "doing nothing".
This was followed shortly after by the launch of her website, and the decision to start teaching online. Without a background in marketing, or much experience as an instructor.
In fact, prior to launching with Strydal, the only classes she’d done online were a regular 30min slot on Monday evenings, done for free on Instagram Live (#omdaysmitsophie):
Yet while Sophie is modest about her success on Strydal, she's already become one of the most successful teachers on the platform. No mean feat.
Speaking to Sophie, it’s clear that she was willing to roll up her sleeves and do the work needed to make this project a success. She describes this as having Bock, a German word meaning "determination".
"In the end it mostly comes down to this: consistency, authenticity, intuition and fun"
She began by defining her teaching niche, optimised her Strydal page, crafted two or three compelling memberships, added on-demand videos, and created a launch campaign for social media.
Then she tested the platform fully, and made sure she showed up consistently for her students, week in and week out.
“In the end it mostly comes down to this: consistency, authenticity, intuition and fun,” she says. “I just try to stick to that.”
So why did Sophie choose Strydal for her online yoga studio? Well one of the reasons was that the company's based in her hometown of Munich, Bavaria.
But of course, there were solid business reasons why she chose the platform: “I like the uncomplicated, clean design,” she says.
“It’s intuitive, clean and easy to understand. Plus a huge ‘thank you’ for making Strydal free during the current Corona lockdown. That helps a lot, too.”
And having already made such a good start with her online teaching business, what plans does she have next?
“It depends. I have to figure this out. Of course I have various plans in my head, but teaching online will probably always play a part in ‘Sophie‘s Safe Space’.
“That wrapped around a ‘social yoga’ vision is my niche. I think online yoga can help people’s bodies and mental health well during this pandemic. And also afterwards.”