With the rising popularity of outdoor fitness groups and boot camps, there are more and more businesses that don’t actually have a physical space—other than the great outdoors. Here at MINDBODY, we’re all for getting fit and getting outside, so what better way to celebrate Earth Day than to catch up with a couple of businesses who operate exclusively outdoors.
- Sarah Tiefenthaler, founder of YOGAqua. Bringing together yoga and stand-up paddle boarding, Sarah’s classes in the quiet waters of Marina del Rey are infused with vigorous flow and take place “where the ocean is your yoga mat.”
- Angela Parker, owner of Body Inspired Fitness, and Alyson Golditch, marketing and operations. The largest and longest-running outdoor fitness program in Los Angeles, this “anti-gym” holds workouts in Santa Monica’s scenic Palisades Park overlooking the ocean.
I love a good sweat session in the fresh air. Does being out in nature make for a better workout?
Sarah: Definitely. You’re able to disconnect and be fully present in the moment, and that’s what yoga’s all about. Also, just being out on the water is very healing. Listening to the sounds of the water, feeling the sun on your skin, listening to the birds—it sets you at ease. You experience the moment and feel like a little kid again.
Angela: There’s a lot of hard data showing the benefits of working out outside, but in addition to all of that, being outside very quickly eliminates several distractions all at once. It lets you ask, “Why am I doing this exercise?” Without televisions and screens and things that plug in, it’s so much easier to tap into your philosophy.
What’s your typical day like using MINDBODY outside?
Sarah: As soon as I show up at the beach, I pull up Express on my phone and have the students’ names in front of me. I check them in right there at the beach. It couldn’t be more perfect for what I need as a mobile, floating studio. Most of my students have the MINDBODY app on their phones, and they can confirm the night before or on their way in.
Alyson: We don’t have a front desk; we only have our phones. But with MINDBODY, the information we need is just as accessible as if we did have an indoor space with computers and paper. We don’t need any of that and can be paper free.
Awesome. So taking MINDBODY outside helps you stay green, too!
Angela: Totally. And it also helps us stay up to date and tech-friendly. When a new client arrives, instead of an archaic piece of paper, we simply hand them the phone, and they’re able to give us all their info and sign the release—which is a really cool, high-tech way for them to be introduced to us and how we run our business.
Photo by Jennifer Gregory
How else does MINDBODY help you take your business outside?
Sarah: It adds a level of professionalism. When I first started, SUP yoga wasn’t common and seemed like a trend in people’s eyes. My mission from the beginning was to say: this is a real business, we’re here to stay. Now we’re getting validated all the time with wonderful press and many loyal, regular customers—but in order to get there, I had to build professionalism through how I conducted business, and MINDBODY was an important part of that.
Also, if customers show up and we’re cash only, it’s not very credible. Or if I just took money off my website, I wouldn’t feel confident in it as a business owner, and, as a consumer, I understand not wanting to enter credit card info on any random site. My clients are comfortable signing up for class and giving payment info through MINDBODY because it’s known and trusted.
That’s great. What would you say is the most valuable thing about using MINDBODY?
Alyson: That we have our clients’ info—emergency info, notes about them, everything we need, on our phones. No matter where we are, we have all of the information with us.
Angela: We have such an intimate relationship with our clients, and the ability to call or email them at the drop of a hat is incredibly important. I’ll be thinking about a client at the grocery store, and want to follow up with something we talked about at the park that morning. Instead of going through 1,800 contacts in my phone, I’m able to pop open the app and call them right away. It’s a tremendous thing to be able to do!
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