Teaching Yoga with a Digital Nomad Lifestyle

When Sara Bigatti, the founder of online yoga school La Scimmia Yoga, traveled in 2010 from her home in Italy to Mexico, she had no plans of becoming an online yoga teacher. But after meeting her guru and yoga teacher, she became, as she puts it, “addicted.”

It was then she knew that teaching yoga was her calling.

Back in Italy, Sara offered yoga retreats and in-person classes. The problem was she was also a globe-trotting digital nomad, traveling, studying and teaching in different countries, and she realized that to have a sustainable yoga business, she had to put her yoga business online. In 2012 she hosted her first online Vinyasa yoga class for beginners. Under the name Monkey Yoga (La Scimmia means “monkey” in Italian), she sold lessons and video––but without a membership component.

However, without the recurring revenue, automation, and scalability provided by a membership model, Sara did not have the time or resources to dedicate to growing her online yoga school business the way she wanted. This changed with Paid Memberships Pro.

Having a membership based business means recurring revenue, automation, scalability and, so important for our business, a premium paid community.

—Sara Bigatti, La Scimmia Yoga
Sara Bigatti
Banner Image for Case Study, La Scimmia Yoga

Why Paid Memberships Pro For an Online Yoga School

1. Optimized for WordPress Integration

Sara was already using WordPress for her yoga course website. Her technical advisor and developer Mirco, an experienced WordPress developer, had tinkered with Paid Memberships Pro years earlier, but had never yet had the opportunity to deploy it on a live site.

With his expertise, he and Sara found it was the WordPress integrated tool they needed to create and support a powerful, growing online yoga school.

2. All the Necessary Back-End Business Tools

The advantages of using PMPro for an online yoga school, besides integrating seamlessly with WordPress, were many. With most of her target audience residing in Italy, a detailed and finely-tuned set-up was necessary to address the complexity of taxes, invoicing, and multiple gateways. 

3. Easy Customer-Side Processes that Facilitate Conversion

On the front-end, site visitors find an easy subscription process to get into the platform, with no extraneous or unnecessary steps. PMPro is robust enough to withstand the traffic peaks the site gets at certain times of the day, so the site is always available.

An example image of new courses on the La Scimmia web site

Similarly, a highly customizable, easy-to-use one-page checkout process helps to convert customers. A PMPro Add On, Subscription Delays, also allows visitors to test the course and community before committing to payment.

4. Excellent Tech Support

Sara notes that any snags they may have run into during set-up were easily resolved with “top-level” assistance from PMPro’s staff and support team.

Info-graphic of Paid Memberships Pro's advantages

Sara does have a wishlist for her online yoga school and for Paid Memberships Pro, and is hoping to see more flexibility around multi-currency, as well as invoices and return documents optimized for the EU.

Nevertheless, she is enthusiastic about PMPro’s advantages, citing its:

  • Flexibility
  • Extendability
  • Scalability
  • Smooth Processes
  • Top Level Paid Support
  • Supportive Community

It’s simple, powerful and supportive when trying to implement our next crazy idea.

—Sara Bigatti, La Scimmia Yoga
Sara Bigatti

How Paid Memberships Pro Made a Difference

Membership Growth Times Ten

With the switch to Paid Memberships Pro, Sara now offers monthly and yearly memberships in her online yoga school, resulting in a customer base ten times the number she had enrolled previously.

Most Not-Yet-Committed Visitors Become Members

In addition, thanks to the Subscription Delays Add On, which allows users to give the course a trial run before committing to paying, two-thirds of all trial customers become paid members

Time to Focus on Business Growth and Keeping Members Engaged

The automation and scalability of the premium paid community allows Sara to focus on growing her business and adding new features and services.

Sara adds new courses to her online yoga school at least once a month or more, creating a momentum that keeps her paid community excited, enthusiastic, and motivated.

Without the freedom and extra time PMPro gives Sara via recurring revenue and automation, this would be difficult to do.

An example image of the La Scimmia courses

Sara Bigatti

We offer monthly and annual memberships to our customers. Our customer base has grown 10x thanks to the membership-based model and the versatility of PMPro.

—Sara Bigatti, La Scimmia Yoga

Screenshot of Member Profile page in La Simmia Yoga online school

Moving Forward

Currently, Sara uses ads and promotes her courses by sharing content on various social networks, including free lessons on her YouTube channel, and interviews and advice on Spotify. While attracting new members is not easy, she is looking to grow La Scimmia Yoga to twice its current membership within the next two years. Adding more features that will enhance community growth is in the plans as well, and eventually, she hopes to move the community from the social networks entirely to the platform.

Info-graphic for Sara's Words of Advice

Sara shares some words of advice and encouragement for anyone considering starting a membership-driven website:

  • Offer powerful, premium content
  • Use video
  • Do use your face to create personal connection and invite communication
  • Keep your platform constantly growing
  • Listen to your audience
  • Be community-driven

It was a breeze to integrate PMPro with the dozens of official and third-party Add Ons. If you need to create a paid LMS (learning management system), PMPro is the one way to go to protect your video contents and provide your users a smooth experience.

—Mirco Babini, La Scimmia Yoga Developer
Mirco Babini

La Scimmia Yoga Tech Stack

Here’s a list of the Paid Memberships Pro Add Ons and other WordPress tools used to build La Scimmia Yoga’s online school.

PMPro Add Ons

Other Tools

An example image of a lesson on the La Scimmia online yoga school web site

Where to Find La Scimmia Yoga Online

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