We speak to Jane Lowe, the bubbly yogi and writer behind the The Yoga Connection. TYC is NZ’s beautiful yoga community forum, blog and host to all the yoga happenings around NZ.
To start Jane can you tell us a little about yourself and how The Yoga Connection started.
My background is in writing and I’d been freelancing for many years before I started TYC about three years ago. I’m not a teacher and had overheard some teachers in a studio changing room talk about a workshop. They suggested I come along too and I mentioned that we (as in students) never knew when things like this were happening. Had a little light bulb moment but was sure that someone would already have something like TYC up and running. Surely! But I googled the google out of it and couldn’t find anything and that’s how the website was born.
Your website and social media platforms are a great success. What do you believe the essence of these successes to be?
Thank you! Honestly, I think once I trusted myself to use my own voice that’s when it sort of took off. I find social media fun only when I’m totally being myself. My outlet on the website is the Blog which is mine to write whatever is on my mind — yoga, wellness along with turning fifty, making changes in my life etc.
Many small business owners struggle to find time for social media. In your experience, what is the most effective way to use social media for your business?
I understand that. It took me a while to realise just how much time social media demanded and that it is a big part of TYC, not just a little side thing I do along with running the website. It drives people to the website and that’s what makes it so important to me.
Over the past few years there have been some huge leaps and bounds in social media analytics. Do you use such tools to improve your marketing reach at all?
I wish I could say I do but actually I barely look into it. I’m in the midst of talking to someone about understanding it better and therefore using it more effectively. Better late than never…
Your opinion on how to build an authentic voice and add value when there is so much noise out there?
Be yourself. Don’t fall down the rabbit hole of comparing yourself to anyone else or copying someone else’s voice.
Over the past decade yoga — it seems — has grown hugely in popularity…. Any comments as to why?
I think with more social awareness and interest in wellbeing that yoga naturally became more prevalent as a choice over hard-out physical activity. People want to check in with themselves more, they want to slow down in this busy world and breathe. Even if they don’t realise this initially!
Do you have a regular practise Jane? What does yoga do for you?
For over three years I practiced Bikram yoga every morning at 6.30am, once for 62 days in a row! Since then I’ve calmed down a bit and practice a variety of styles and also at different times of the days. At the moment I’m really enjoying some early evening classes to put a full-stop to my working day.
What it does for me is everything. Along with age (I’m fifty), yoga has brought a self-confidence to my life that I’ve never had before. I’ve finally accepted my body, myself (faults and all) as fine just as I am. Every day I get on my mat I am so incredibly grateful to have it in my life. I’m a tad passionate about sharing that with everyone else.
Who should do yoga? What should one look for when starting at a new studio?
Everybody should practice yoga! Start with a beginner’s course if possible and don’t be scared to shop around. You don’t need fancy clothing or an expensive mat. Find a studio that you feel comfortable at and teachers that you enjoy. It’s not a cheap activity so make sure you get what makes you happy. Please don’t be worried about your size or age or flexibility. That’s what the yoga is for.
Anything else you would like to add?
I adore sharing my love of yoga and TYC is where I gather as much information as possible and highlight what NZ has to offer. It’s a blast meeting people within the community and beyond inspiring meeting other bloggers and influencers who are incredibly generous with their advice and support. I’ve come across some amazing small businesses along the way that are making products that align with how I choose to live — ethical clothing, beauty products and other brands. I feel very fortunate.
Photography: Clair Obscur