Yogaia: Transforming People’s Lives from the Comfort of Their Homes
As cheesy as it sounds, finding the perfect balance - connecting the mind, body, and spirit in a unified whole - easily improves your quality of life.
Today, countless spiritual and mindfulness-enhancing tools are out yet none as efficient, purposeful, and mind-expanding as yoga. A century-old practice, yoga has been the deliverer of inner peace, emotional harmony, and physical strength.
Recognizing the merits of this mesmerizing practice and the world’s need for it, Mikko Petäjä decided to bring yoga and the online world together through one designated platform - Yogaia!
Yogaia is the first modern and forward-thinking platform that allows interactive training sessions for yoga, pilates, meditation, stretching, and full-body workouts.
With a wide palette of services and much-deserved praise on a global scale, here’s the story of one man and his wife, whose thoughtful platform offers millions of members the chance to turn their homes into practice studios and train live and alongside the world!
The Finnish Creator
Mikko was born and raised in Espoo, the second-largest city in Finland. Even as a young child, Mikko had always been interested in helping others live their best lives. He nurtured a love for urban living, social mentality, and the ways of life of Finnish people versus the world.
Whilst growing up in Espoo, Mikko began exploring the unknown, and dove deeper into his own creativity, spirituality, and awareness. Imaginative as he was, Mikko had always had a thing for minimalistic and simplified concepts as well as solutions that bore a purpose greater than business.
This unique approach led Mikko to become inspired by creative design and accentuate his artistic side, which got him into Torkkelin Lukio high school in Helsinki, where he graduated in visual arts in 1990. In 1993, Mikko enrolled in the Portfolio Center in Helsinki to acquire additional knowledge in the Art Direction, before continuing his education at Ba(Hons), University of Central Lancashire, where he studied communication design for three years but failed to graduate.
In the meantime, Mikko kept himself busy with designing and creating new projects, all the while boosting his professional skills and expanding his experience.
After several years of practice in the field of arts, Mikko turned to learning design management and design thinking, and consequently spent another year at school, this time at Berghs School of Communication.
To evolve his acquired craft even deeper, Mikko began looking for prosperous jobs to help him launch his career and got the chance to showcase his capabilities as an Art Director at various companies such as Hasan & Partners, Kirnauskis, Prime Advertising, and McCann Helsinki.
Productive Career, Poor Wellbeing
Having been born in fitness-oriented Finland, yoga, meditation, stretching, and other forms of exercise had always played a role in Mikko’s personal life. Throughout the years, he had strived to acclaim the ultimate inner peace and balance and what’s even better, he wanted others to join him along and witness the merits of regular practice.
When he first originated the idea of creating Yogaia, Mikko did not commit to the platform fully, choosing to instead immerse himself in a new project called Core Creative, which he both owned and creative-directed. On top of that, during that time, Mikko was already a dedicated husband and a father of three, so before he could encourage others to find their balance, he had to rediscover his own.
To do that, Mikko began practicing yoga even more passionately and did so alongside his wife and confidant, Anu. However, as their professional schedules clashed one too many times, Mikko and Anu suddenly found themselves more frustrated with yoga than inspired by it.
Noticing how time and freedom unwillingly impacted his attitude towards exercise and healthy living, Mikko decided to do something about it. The first thing on his to-do list was to design and structure the concept of a platform that would allow anyone and everyone to find the time to practice during the day without sacrificing their personal or professional life for it. Blending the best of physical practice, the online market, and palpable business, Mikko created Yogaia in 2013.
Strengthening the Mind and Body
At the time the concept of Yogaia came to Mikko’s mind, there was no similar platform to rival it. On one hand, this left lots of room for experimentation for Mikko, and on the other, he had no competitors to learn from.
Although Mikko’s wife, Anu, had initial suspicions about the success of their platform, Mikko believed that creating Yogaia was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get his hands on - and he was right!
Yogaia’s innovative concept was based on following along online coaching classes held by professional trainers, and committing to the practice one day at a time.
To make it all the more interesting, Yogaia offers its members the chance to train different practices every day and find their workout pace more efficiently and without getting bored. Once launched, Yogaia officially became the first-ever online yoga studio in the world. With the platform, users can schedule personalized training sessions monitored by a coach, 24 hours a week and in real-time.
Yogaia General Characteristics
At an interactive online practice studio, Yogaia offers consumers different and unique workout sessions that ideally fit their mindful, emotional, mental and physical needs. Aside from yoga and pilates, the platform also includes dynamic training sessions featuring meditation, kettlebells, and core boosters, as well as Thai Chi and stretching classes.
Aside from training, the platform also allows users to consult with their training professionals and learn how to optimize their overall wellbeing outside practice. If a member misses out on a live session, they can always go back and watch the recorded version of it - and train along!
One year after its launch, in 2014 Yogaia had already made impressive progress that urged Mikko and his family to relocate to London, where another office would be opened, along with a second one, based in Hong Kong. Although the couple found it hard to keep up with the upbeat London pace, they decided they were in for the long haul and stuck through thick and thin to make it all work.
Their efforts and determination paid off when Yogaia welcomed its first rounds of investment. Since 2014. Yogaia has raised a total of $4.26 million over 3 rounds. The company is funded by a total of four investors: NGP Capital, Inventure, Sanoma Ventures, and Point Nine.
Today, Mikko is still the company CEO, whereas his wife Anu is its general manager. The platform is used by eager members worldwide and serves as a way to reconnect the mind and body into a functional and collaborative union. The company quickly moved overseas as well and took the US market by a pleasant surprise.
With an omnipresence in over 100 countries worldwide and a mass of loyal followers and willing exercisers, Mikko and Anu’s Yogaia is a pure testament to their undying efforts to encourage the world to practice along, live fully, and greet every day with the power of Namaste!