The Audible Yoga Story
The following is a conversation between the founders of Audible Yoga, Maureen Troy and Virginia O’Connor.
What was your first experience with yoga?
Maureen: Ten years ago, I tried yoga for the first time and found it … [laughing] well, exasperating. At the time, I was living in Bishop, California far from any real instruction and I admit the class I tried was probably too advanced for me. I gave up the classes, but even as I did I realized that I did feel better – physically and mentally – after every class.
Virginia: The first time I tried yoga was with a yoga instructor at my local YMCA in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The class was called Ashtanga and it kicked my butt. I was so sore I couldn’t breathe a full breath for days … and I loved it! I kept taking the classes, getting stronger, more flexible, and more confident each week but a few months later, the teacher moved to a remote town many miles away. The other yoga classes were not as active as I wanted them to be. I felt I’d lost my teacher – and my chance at yoga.
What inspired you to create Audible Yoga?
Maureen: Virginia and I met at a Santa Barbara meetup group for women who work at home and we instantly connected. I mentioned to Virginia that I was getting burned out on website design and would like to find a new business. One where I could use all my website and design skills but something based around a product. Even better – it would be great if the product could do some good in the world.
Virginia: I had just returned from a week-long retreat in Big Sur where I had encountered a yoga teacher who taught so clearly I was able to close my eyes and simply practice yoga. It wasn’t the first time I’d encountered this experience. I’d used recorded yoga in the past, specifically CDs from Shiva Rea. I asked the teacher if she ever recorded her classes. She responded that she’d been asked to many times but she really wasn’t sure how to go about it or how to market the classes. When Maureen mentioned a product, something that could do some good in the world, I realized that product might be audio-based yoga instruction.
Maureen: I think Virginia was surprised at how quickly I grasped and embraced the idea.
Virginia: I was surprised! [laughing]
Maureen: You see, I’ve loved audiobooks for a long time and listened to them since it meant hauling large containers home from the library – some containing 12 cassette tapes! For those too young to know what I’m talking about, go google ‘cassette tapes’.
How will Audible Yoga make a difference?
Virginia: I thought the concept of yoga-by-audio might have limited appeal – after all, it died out quickly when online videos started up. As I kept talking and Maureen kept taking notes and asking questions, the idea fleshed out surprisingly fast.
Maureen: Now, I’m a very beginner when it comes to yoga and an old soul when it comes to the Internet, so I very much wanted to join forces with Virginia to create Audible Yoga. I’ll use my considerable lack of yoga experience to try out audio yoga instruction and be the beginner yogi of the group.
Virginia: Honestly, I was shocked at the level of research Maureen was able to dig up in a week, and was even more surprised at the fact that the research indicated we were really on to something. Still more shocked that no one had done this before – or not since the CDs that is, but then again, who better to know what a yoga student wants than a yoga student?
Maureen: Exactly. While I’m not a yogi, I do recognize how wonderful it would be to have a soft voice in my ear guiding me through a yoga class – one i could do anywhere and anytime I wanted. So, I’ll use my considerable lack of yoga experience to try out audio yoga instruction and be the beginner yogi of the group.
Virginia: And I’ll use my writing experience and organizational skills to support the teachers and members of Audible Yoga. I’ll use my limited yoga experience to help the teachers create classes that give yogis that experience I had – of going inside, of listening, and simply doing yoga now.