Alicia, found of AJ Love Yoga believes mantras are the gateway to remembering what you already know to be true, (and who can blame her?) I myself love hanging mantras on my walls and mirrors to read to myself out loud every day. AJ Love is more than just a yoga mat, it’s a beautiful reminder for all artists that no matter what you’re practicing, whether that be yoga, pilates, or working out, that there is something beautiful and strong inside of you. We interviewed Alicia on her start in yoga, mantra practice, and business. Let's hear what she has to say.
How did you personally start practicing yoga?
My journey with yoga started as a love/hate relationship. I had a knee injury that prevented me from any of my usual high-intensity workout and running regimen. I was forced to slow down. I took up yoga as a way to still keep active but it was definitely a mental battle for someone who craved the high from an intense workout. A few weeks into it a new high developed- a stillness- a peace- and I’ve never stopped doing yoga even though my knees are completely healed.
AJ Love Yoga is all about matras to live by. Why do you believe mantras are important?
I believe that mantras are the gateway to remembering what you already know to be true. Mantras remind you of your greatest power- your thoughts. The best way to transform your reality is to control your thoughts. Mantras are like a lightning bolt to get you to your dreams.
#3. How did AJ Love Yoga first start?
I dreamed of starting this brand 7 years ago. I was creating and selling custom canvases with my handwritten words on them as a hobby. I’ve always had this obsession with words and creating inspiring things. I remember looking down at my plain black yoga mat and immediately seeing a blank canvas. I knew I had to write my words, my story, my mantras on yoga mats. 7 years later I finally put all of my puzzle pieces together.
What are some challenges, as a woman, you have faced starting your own company?
I’m not sure I’ve felt challenges necessarily as a woman but definitely as a newbie to the industry. You’ll always hear 100 "no's" before you get a single "yes" when you’re the new kid on the block.
#5. What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in yoga?
Be gentle with your mind. Your body will learn to follow your mind. And find an instructor that resonates with you. Yoga is not all one size fits all- so try a few classes and instructors on.
#6. What are some of your favorite places to practice yoga?
My favorite yoga studios are a chain in L.A. called Hot 8 Yoga. I’ve been a member for years and some of the instructors have become my friends - and now AJ Love Ambassadors. TruFusion gyms are also incredible for yoga and other group classes.
If you could pick any mantra mat that you’ve created so far to be one that is your favorite, which one would it be?
My FAVORITE mat hasn’t been released yet but it’s coming soon! Right now my favorite mat is the I Am mat. There’s something about all of the words that take my mind off everything else and makes me the most present. It’s my #1 selling mat.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to turn their passion into their full-time job?
This is a tough one. The spontaneous side of me says quit your day job- spend a couple months in Bali to Eat Pray Love and go after it! (Because I did) BUT— the practical side of me says to do your research! Start small, test the waters and ask a lot of questions to every successful entrepreneur you know. Also, never substitute quality for profit. When I set out to create this brand I had to have the best yoga mat otherwise what’s the point? Create something that lasts.
What do you hope your brand can do for its customers?
It always blows my mind hearing from customers that say how my products have influenced their lives. My only hope was to create a brand with a message that meant something. I hope my brand connects you back to who you are.
Where do you see AJ Love Yoga in 5 years?
I see AJ Love expanding largely in wholesale- especially shipping worldwide. Definitely expanding our product line into other household products - not just yoga. The ideas are limitless and we can’t wait to show you what’s next.
Special thanks to Alicia for sharing all her dreams and inspiration with us. You can shop AJ Love Yoga Mantra Mats on their website. Don't forget to follow their socials listed below.