We are pleased to spotlight our resident Yoga Instructor Liz Laneri of Liz Laneri Wellness
Upon returning to Rochester from Boston in 2016, Liz has been teaching at Tru Yoga as well as private and group classes at Rochester businesses and homes. Previously, she taught in Boston for more than a year at JP Centre Yoga, Commonwealth Sports Club, the Cambridge YMCA, as well as several corporations and private yoga sessions. Currently, she is taking new clients at a massage office in Brighton;
When did you begin business and/or teaching?
LW: I started Liz Laneri Wellness business a few years back in Boston. I wanted to combine my massage therapy practice and my yoga teachings. I started teaching yoga 3 years ago after completing my 200 hour yoga teaching certification at the Boston Yoga School with Ame Wren.
Where did you get the inspiration for your business brand?
LW: It’s just based on my name, nothing crazy. I wanted it to be simple. However, I am currently developing a new business name (coming soon). This new business name will be revealed in the coming month. It’s name and focus is on connecting people inward.
What makes you want to teach/do your business?
LW: I love watching people grow. For example, teaching the beginner class at 540WMain is interesting for me as I get to watch people come in their very first class, learn all new poses and foundation and then see them week to week. Seeing them progress is pretty cool.
For you how does yoga relate to wellness?
LW: I want to provide a space where people can become more aware of what they’re feeling and experiencing in their body at a more conscious level. Becoming more receptive in how you’re feeling allows folks to clearly see and understand what they need, and perhaps seek out other wellness opportunities that may work for them.
How do you stay healthy?
LW: I do yoga 5 times a week, ride a bike (commuter style) and take walks with friends. I also get bodywork done at least once a month – acupuncture, massage and chiropractic adjustments – usually via trading services. But most importantly I try to get outside without my phone as often as I can. I can usually be found laying around Highland Park with my book and bike, often with friends.
What do you feel is the most challenging aspect of your career?
LW: The most challenging aspect is not allowing myself to rest enough. When you work for yourself, it’s hard to stop working. I do a lot of admin work when I’m not teaching or massaging (or working at the Owl House). And on my days “off” I often sub yoga classes. I have to set boundaries with myself and say no sometimes because I need a day off.
Another challenging aspect is being the newbie in Rochester. I moved last May from Boston to Rochester. I didn’t know many people (let alone studios); it posed a challenge at first in getting yoga gigs. It is/was hard to ask yoga studios to hire me when they don’t know me. Studios have seniority, combined with little movement from teachers coming and going, so there aren’t many new teachings slots that open up. The good news is that I’ve found other ways to continue to teach – like at offices and restaurants (for staff). My friend and I are also starting a yoga & food business.
When you aren’t teaching classes what do you like to do?
LW: I’m also a licensed massage therapist which I love just as much as teaching. Again, it goes back to helping people with an inward conscious connection to their body’s. Besides health & wellness, I love going to see bands & plays. I enjoy traveling so I can experience new foods, culture and sights
What is it that inspires you to keep going as entrepreneur.
LW: I draw a lot of inspiration from being an entrepreneur – the autonomy is a huge one….and that my business is people-driven. I can make up my own schedule and be my own boss. Meeting and working with new people on a regular basis is a dream for an extravert like me. I feel like in my year of being in Rochester, I’ve already gotten to know so many people, which I love! A lot of that has to do with the yoga community – teaching and taking classes – it’s a friendly environment. Same with massage, I continue to meet more and more people seeking wellness and it’s pretty cool to see growth happen there too.
What are you working on now?
LW: Right now I’m mainly working on seeking clients for my massage business. I was an LMT in Boston for 5 years and became licensed in NY State only a few months ago. I love massage and wish that more folks could see the benefit of regular sessions. I’m trying little by little to help educate – one person at a time what it means to take care of yourself.
I’m also, as mentioned above, starting a new business with my friend/co-worker from the Owl House. More to come soon!
What’s has been your best experience thus far in your business?
LW: My best experience thus far is watching my students advance in my yoga classes. For massage, it’s watching my clients take an interest in their well-being.
What has been your biggest challenge as a company? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
LW: I think the biggest challenge is that every class is different. It’s actually something that I love though too. I come to a class with a loose plan in mind but end up throwing it out the window as soon as I see and speak with the students in that class. It keeps me on my game and non-complacent.
I think the other biggest challenge for me right now is that I’m still newish to Rochester. I’m trying to join an already established group of people in the wellness field here. It is human nature to stick to what you know and not seek out change. My style of teaching while similar to some, is a bit different than some of other styles here. I also tend to give a lot of hands on assists in my classes, whereas I’ve noticed there is less of that offering in yoga classes here in Rochester. It could be because I’m a massage therapist, but also in Boston my teachers assisted students in almost every pose. So for me, the challenge lies with offering students a different style and hoping they’ll be open to it. I think everything just takes time.
What advice do you have for others interested in pursuing their own business?
Pursing your own business takes patience, that’s my advice. Building a business, clientele and public awareness – all of that does not grow over night. In the business of health & wellness, it’s all about referrals. If you’re good at what you do, people will come and see you. While it is necessary to have an online presence, just know that having a high number of likes or followers on social media doesn’t necessarily yield large results —unless you’re trying to build celebrity status. I think this is a huge misconception.
Just because someone likes a post, doesn’t mean they’ll show up to your yoga class (or insert any business). I rarely post a picture of me doing a yoga pose, unless it’s to announce a new class I’m teaching. I think if people want to come to a class, they will seek it out on their own – I don’t want to be pushy. Plus I believe that seeing me do a fancy pose can be intimidating to a new student and might deter them from showing up