WHAT IT’S REALLY LIKE TO OWN A YOGA STUDIO IN BALI – INTERVIEW WITH JASMINE FROM RADIANTLY ALIVE
By Susanne Rieker
Radiantly Alive in Bali is my yoga home and happy place. It’s a beautiful yoga studio in the center of Ubud, offering up to 12 classes a day, multiple workshops and events each week, yoga teacher trainings, healing treatments and recently opened a café as well.
So what does it take to open such a place? To run a yoga studio and cafe in the tropics, in a place like Bali? I’m sure I’m not the only who wants to know all the details, what’s happening behind the scenes.
It’s such an important place for yogis from all over the world and when Jasmine, who owns Radiantly Alive together with her husband Rafael, agreed to share her story for this blog, I jumped at the chance. This is a long read – grab yourself your favorite drink and enjoy.
Jasmine, tell us a little bit about yourself and what brought you to Bali
I discovered yoga in Peru where I’m from, I was working in marketing at the time and wanted to get fit for my wedding. I went to this fusion class that combined fitness with yoga and I loved it. So, I started doing more yoga. And then at some point I decided that I’m going to ditch my workout class, I’m just going to go with what makes me feel better. I don’t really care if I get more or less abs. I just want to practice what feels best.
At the same time that I discovered yoga I wasn’t happy in my job anymore and quit, not knowing what was coming next for me. It wasn’t yoga that made me quit. It was more meeting my husband, who had a broader vision and was working for NGOs.
That was one of the first big changes in my life. And I had no idea was what I was going to do. But I knew that there was something more fulfilling for me and where I could have more impact.
And I felt this deep urge to become a yoga teacher. I was practicing yoga by then less than a year. I didn’t really know anything about yoga. I just knew that I wanted to do my training and teach at some point. And I knew I wanted to do my teacher training at Radiantly Alive in Ubud.
I actually won a scholarship that meant I could afford it, and off I went to Bali for my teacher training at Radiantly Alive.
I’ve been to Bali on my honeymoon and that planted the seed to come back here. We actually said at some point “wow, I think we would be truly happy in Bali”. But you know, I never thought that I was manifesting so intensely that I was going to move to Bali.
How did you both move to Bali?
At that time Radiantly Alive was looking for a new general studio manager and I told my husband that he has to come and get this job so that we could live in Bali.
It wasn’t something he had done before – I mean he was managing big projects and working with NGOs. But I can be stubborn and in the end, I convinced him and he took the job.
I think that’s why I’m so passionate about inspiring people to fully follow their dreams and follow their intuition. When we have these strong feelings of our intuition telling us what to do, which doesn’t happen every day, we can’t simply shut it down or say no. We have to follow it!
So we both moved to Bali, Rafael worked as the studio manager and I took a job as the marketing manager at the studio. It wasn’t what I really wanted to do, I wanted to teach yoga, but I just had to find a way to make it possible that we could stay in Bali.
Luckily after a few months the owner told me that I was doing a good job, but they wanted me to teach yoga because he could see that’s what I really wanted to do. So they got me a work permit for teaching yoga and then I started teaching.
How did you end up owning the yoga studio?
The previous owner was looking to sell Radiantly Alive and we were trying to make it possible that we could buy it. There were a lot of problems and struggles but a year after we came to Bali the studio was officially ours
After working there for a year, we knew what needed to be done and we started renovating right away. We worked incredibly hard, growing the business and building a bigger team. We really had this vision of what the studio could be.
We added a new yoga shala, a bigger shop and a café. We had no idea how to run a café, but we did it. I’m also so proud of the shop and I had a lot of fun picking out the merchandise.
Now after two years of renovations I feel we are more stable and can focus on evolving the business, like bringing in more international teachers and trainings.
How do you work together?
I think our roles naturally were created in a way because we are different in what we bring. Rafael is amazing with numbers. You can throw him at a business that’s a complete mess, and he’ll know how to bring it to life again.
That’s not my thing. I’m passionate about marketing and the creative side of the business, like the branding. I’m also in charge of the yoga program and the schedule. I’m never going to stop obsessing about the schedule!
But we had to set boundaries. We are both passionate and I was thinking and talking about the studio 24 hours a day. It’s important to know where to draw the line and decide to, okay, let’s not talk about the studio in the evenings. Still, I can’t imagine doing it without Rafael. We are happy and blessed to be able to share this experience together
What’s life like right now?
Right now, everything feels great. My daughter Luna is nearly a year and a half which is a beautiful age. I don’t have a fixed role at the studio, though I’m still involved of course and I’m teaching. I’m also launching our first yoga retreats and I’m really excited about that.
I’m also taking more time to study and do trainings and try not to be so hard on myself. Ease up a little, now that I have more time and things are getting easier.
Do you have any tips for yoga teachers who dream about coming to Bali?
It’s important to be professional. Don’t just send a random email without a cv. We run a studio, we need to rely on people and work as a team and that’s why we’re looking for people that are professional.
I also always look to connect to a person and see that they’re truly authentic and passionate. It has to feel right. Hmm, I don’t think any yoga studio would say something different, but that’s how it is. We have to be like, yeah, we want that person around.
Lastly, what’s your typical day like in Bali?
Right now, our mornings start early because Luna is awake by 5am. It’s just us three in the morning and we spend some time together.
Then Rafael goes to the studio to work and I either teach a class or I play and dance with Lula. Sometimes I find the time to go to class myself, maybe two or three times a week.
Afterwards I hang out in the studio, drop into the office and see what’s going on. I might have a meeting or get some work done on my computer. I have lunch at the studio and then in the afternoon I go home and spend time with Luna.
In the evening we have dinner early and then Luna goes to bed at 7:30pm. After that I have space to work on things like my upcoming retreats or sequencing for my classes.
So that’s a typical day. And Some days I also find time to have lunch with friends. Because that’s also important. But yeah, life is good.
Click here to learn more about Radiantly Alive in Bali and check out their upcoming events and trainings. You can also read a review I wrote about the studio here.