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Springfield, MO

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A Conversation With … Lilly McCown

Owner, Live Pure Yoga and Fitness

Posted online

You purchased Live Pure Yoga and Fitness in May. What got you into the industry?
My husband and I, along with our daughter and her husband, owned a business in St. Louis: Little Sunshine’s Playhouse and Preschool. This is my first fitness studio. It just kind of seemed like a natural transition. I’ve always been super athletic and into fitness. I’ve done CrossFit for over 10 years. I started coaching that about six years ago. Then when we sold our business, I was looking for something in kind of the Springfield-Greene County area and came across this and met with the owner [Stephanie Wubbena], who was phenomenal. And we just hit it off. I liked her view of where she saw Live Pure going.

How much have you invested in the business?
Including the cost of the business and a lot of the updates that we did, we added a lot of classes and equipment, I would say close to $50,000. Stephanie was already offering a little bit of the fitness in addition to her yoga. We just kind of expanded more so on the fitness side. We’ve added the bars for barre classes. They are a phenomenal core and toning class. We’ve added strength training, which I do, so we’ve added a lot of weight bars, dumbbells. We’re starting senior classes, as well.

What are some of the biggest challenges associated with running a fitness studio?
Obviously, there are a lot of other fitness facilities in Springfield ranging from the CrossFits to the yoga studios. Being on the east side of town, I think, is an advantage for us because some of our bigger competitors I would say are more to the west side. For us, it’s building brand recognition and awareness because I think what we offer here is unique.

What drew you to this kind of fitness?
It’s all encompassing. If you’re comparing us to just a typical gym, there’s not as much accountability. People here build relationships with the people they work out with.

What kinds of yoga do you offer and how much of your business does that encompass?
I’d say it’s a 50/50 split between yoga and fitness. We’ve got everything from “vinyasa” flow yoga, hot yoga, yin yoga, gentle flow, Buddhi yoga, which is a more intense class, and, of course, the senior yoga. If your goals are to lose fat or to tone, to build muscle mass, you’ve got to have that strength component. We’re trying to be all encompassing so you can come here, you can get your strength training and then you can stick around and you can stretch it out by doing a gentle flow yoga class.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 35 million Americans do yoga, and those numbers are growing. What’s the draw?
It’s an exercise of your emotional state. We are all under so much stress and pressure, and it seems like this world is so fast-paced. Yoga, particularly the gentle flow yoga, gives you time to stop and focus on you and just kind of reflect. A lot of people need that, whether it’s a 30-minute or hour class, they need that time to just breathe. It’s so much more than just a physical fitness. It’s an emotional and mental fitness, as well. The great Wayne Gretzky said: “Go to where the puck is going, not where it has been.” That’s my goal with this studio. Keeping up with not necessarily the latest fitness fads, because I don’t believe in following fads, but I do believe in evolving to what the scientific foundation behind wellness and fitness approaches.

Lilly McCown can be reached at lilly@livepureyoga.com.

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