Having My Own Yoga App Versus Working With Alo Moves

Having My Own Yoga App Versus Working With Alo Moves

I have to start off by saying that deciding to work with Alo Moves back in 2018 was one of the best decisions I ever made as far as my yoga teaching career goes. I genuinely loved working with the team that I shot with, and the experience taught me so much. Like how to teach online, for starters. Plus, becoming one of the top instructors on the Alo Moves platform also gave my classes more visibility than I would have been able to achieve on my own. 

And for all of that, I’m incredibly grateful. 

However, like many phases of our career, my time at Alo Moves came to an end as my priorities, life path, and goals shifted. I left on great terms, and still continue to work with Alo Yoga. I chose to stop filming with Alo Moves and pursue my own yoga app, instead. 

Having My Own Yoga App Versus Working With Alo Moves

Many of you reading this might know me from Alo Moves. That’s how many of my students continue to find me to this day (even though I haven’t filmed with them for over 2 years now). When I meet new students on my retreats and trainings, they often ask me about the major differences between having my own yoga app with Playbook, to filming and working for Alo Moves. 

I get asked about this so much that I thought it might be better answered in a blog post, so that  I can outline everything even more clearly. The purpose of this post is to share about my experience with working for a large online yoga platform, as well as my experience of working for myself in producing my own content on my own app. In sharing my experience, perhaps you’ll be able to better understand the most aligned path for you to choose as you start to advance your yoga career into the online world. 

Having My Own Yoga App Versus Working With Alo Moves

Pros of Working with Alo Moves 

Keep in mind that my experience was working specifically with Alo Moves. However, I’m sure this can be applied to a variety of other large online yoga platforms like Glo, Apple, Nike, Sweat, and so on. While I don’t know the ins and outs of production for other platforms, I can imagine the scope and reach is generally the same. 

Learn How To Teach Online

The greatest gift of teaching for Alo Moves was that it taught me how to teach online. This sounds obvious. You might also be thinking, how is teaching online even that much different than teaching in person anyways? I get where the confusion comes from. It’s all yoga. Who cares if it’s online or in-person? The truth is, it makes a BIG difference. 

The style of the class changes, the cues, the sequences, the timing, and the fact that you’re demo’ing 100% of the time. It’s completely different than teaching in person. Which was something that I, too, didn’t fully understand at first glance. But also something that I learned real quick once it came time to create my classes. 

All of the sudden, I couldn’t see my students’ bodies. How would I know what to cue? How would I squeeze an advanced peak posture yoga class into just 30 minutes? These were just a few of the hurdles that I needed to overcome in creating my first series, Glow Getter and the 7 Chakras, on Alo Moves. 

Grow as a Yoga Teacher

Ultimately, because I was completely out of my comfort zone, and teaching in a totally different way than I was used to- I grew as a teacher. By the time I was signed with Alo Moves, I had been teaching for about 5 or 6 years already. I started teaching retreats in the first year of becoming a yoga teacher. So I was quite comfortable in that arena already. Plus, I had a solid clientele list of both private students, and varied group classes. 

The truth was, I was comfortable. And I didn’t really even realize how much I was coasting until I shook things up in accepting the offer from Alo Moves. I didn’t realize how much I had settled. And how deeply in my comfort zone I was- until I wasn’t anymore. Once I burst out of my safe little teaching cocoon into a totally different arena, my teaching improved. I grew. 

Increased Reach

Alo Moves has a much larger reach than I do personally. Although I already had an established presence on Instagram at that point, it was nothing compared to the user-base of Alo Moves or customers of Alo Yoga. Plus, because I had never taught online before, even my own audience didn’t have access to my classes, just because they had access to ME online. 

Keep in mind, I signed with them in 2018, filmed and released my first series in 2019. This was before Covid. Before the giant exodus on in-person yoga, into the online space. On top of that, I was still living out of a backpack bouncing around the world. So my Wifi wasn’t exactly reliable at the time. Sure, I could’ve started producing my own classes on my own back then. But- to be honest- that wasn’t even in my sphere of thought. 

When I released my classes on Alo Moves, suddenly my reach doubled, then tripled. And even quadrupled by the time I left the company. 

Trickle Down Financial Gain

You’ll understand a little more about the pay once we get to the cons, which kind of tells you that- no- the pay wasn’t great for the amount of work that went into it. However, one of the major financial perks that I still see today is the trickle down effect. 

I just finished teaching a retreat last week. And most of the people on that retreat found me from Alo Moves. I haven’t released anything new on Alo Moves for several years now, yet people are still finding me because of my classes there. The trickle down effect is related to increased reach and visibility, in that more people sign up for MY offerings as a result of discovering me on Alo Moves. 

While the salary wasn’t great within the company, the financial impact in my other businesses- retreats, hotel), and now my new app– is exponentially greater, simply because I worked on Alo Moves at all. This is honestly worth a lot more than the initial upfront salary that was offered, as it continues to pay off even after years of leaving. 

Ad Spend

Alo Moves runs ads (duh) to increase their reach online. I’m not sure if they still do this, but at the time, they would also run ads for your series and classes through your account. Again, I was in the dark about a lot of this stuff at the time. And I didn’t realize how valuable this actually was, until later. 

If you have experience in running ads, then you know it’s not cheap. And it takes a skilled marketer to understand how to reach your specific target audience. Having another company do all of this for you is worth THOUSANDS of dollars, even if that money is not necessarily reflected in your paycheck. Trickle down, remember. 

Having My Own Yoga App Versus Working With Alo Moves

Cons of Working with Alo Moves

After reading the pros list, I know what you’re thinking, so why did you leave?! And, trust me, I get it. This was a choice I agonized over for a long time. And one that I was honestly scared to make. It’s scary to take the leap away from the cushy safety net that is a large company like Alo Moves. 

I had a monthly salary that I could rely on, I had a larger reach, ads, and more students than ever before. Why would I cut ties?! Simply put, it was time. I was in the comfort zone again, and I needed to take a leap. And this time, I was taking a chance on myself. 

Salary and Payment

I won’t get into specific numbers here, but I will say that now that I run my own yoga app through Playbook, I make 3x the amount I made with Alo Moves. Keep in mind, part of the reason I’m able to make three times the amount is also because I worked for Alo Moves. Meaning, I don’t think I’d make this much if I didn’t have that previous exposure. 

I will say that I got THREE raises within two years of working for Alo Moves. I was only one of a few teachers that was on a monthly salary, as opposed to being paid per film session. They took really great care of me, and I reaped the valued benefits beyond money (trickle down, reach, and ad spend). But, at the end of the day, I needed to save more money, as opposed to only gaining the perk of having an increased reach. 

It was also A LOT of work to produce a series, or even a few classes. I’m talking 8 hour grueling days of physical practice. Remember, you’re not only producing the classes themselves, but also all of the advertising, the B roll, the photos. My body would take a beating from our week-long film sessions together. And that was worth more than what I was making. 

One of the best things about producing my own content for my own app or other online classes is that I can do it from the comfort of my own living room. Yes, it can still be physically grueling, because I prefer to batch film out a ton of content all at once. But taking away the travel component of it allows me to have more energy for the teaching, and classes themselves. 

Mental Health

Let me be clear in saying Alo Moves is not responsible for my mental health. I am. And I am in no way blaming them for what I’m about to say. This is my own internal struggle that was exasperated in that environment. 

Here’s the thing, people who work with Alo are beautiful. They’re…perfect? And I found a lot of internal pressure building about my looks, particularly when it came to the way my body looked. I was also brand new to teaching online, which means I was new to being in front of a video camera, too. I had done plenty of yoga modeling. But there’s a BIG difference in static shoots to dynamic videos. 

I was no stranger to disordered eating, and it was raging at this time due to other health issues and mental health stuff going on- but it only grew stronger in this environment. I wanted to be PERFECT, and in my mind at the time, perfect was synonymous with thin. 

Honestly, I’d be curious to know how I’d do in that environment now. I really think (maybe it’s idealistic) that it would be different for me. My relationship with my body is so much stronger, and more loving. And I’m very used to moving around on camera nowadays. I don’t know, I could be wrong, but I think a big part of it was the timing of it all. 

Content Ownership

Alo Moves owns my content. That’s why you can still find my classes up on the app now, even though I haven’t worked there in years. Now, this was in the pros section, right? Because of the trickle down impact. It’s also in the cons section, because not only do I not get any sort of royalties for those classes. But those classes also aren’t even really “mine” at all anymore. 

Alo Moves is incredibly clear about this upon signing. This isn’t a secret, or something that they sneak up on you. I knew I was signing my content over to them, and ultimately, it was worth it. But it’s also strange thinking about all of the classes out there that I spent HUNDREDS of hours on that aren’t even MINE anymore. 

My current yoga app is hosted on the Playbook platform. Playbook makes it clear that they’re just a host, and that all of the content is still yours. That means at any time, I can pull everything off of Playbook, and build out my own app from scratch elsewhere should I choose. They don’t own my classes the way that Alo Moves does. 

Yoga Style

I will say that when I worked with Alo Moves the production team that I worked closely with was always incredibly receptive to my input. And it certainly felt more like a collaboration, as opposed to me working FOR them. However, at the end of the day, they’re their own brand. And you ARE working for them as a freelancer. Your content is their content, remember? Which means what you create needs to be aligned with THEIR brand first and foremost. 

Don’t get me wrong, I still stand by every single class of mine that you’ll find in my Alo Moves library. And those classes are as “me” as possible. There is still a major difference in creating completely for myself on my own app versus for Alo Moves as a brand. 

Connection to Students

One of my favorite things about having my own yoga app now is the direct connection I have with the users of the app, aka my students. Sure, on Alo Moves people could leave you reviews, or find and follow you on your socials, but it’s not the same as being able to DM you on the app itself. 

I find now that I have a more direct line of connection to my students on my own app, I’m able to create more useful content for THEM. Let’s also not forget the major value in building your email list, as opposed to building your social media following. Building my mailing list, and direct line to my students via my app gives me more streamlined access to the people who are the most stoked on showing up for me and my offerings. 

These are likely to be the same people listening to my podcast, reading this blog, joining a retreat, booking at my hotel, and so on. Although the numbers of users on my app pales in comparison to the users of Alo Moves, I find that it’s a more engaged relationship. And therefore, more useful! More useful to me, so that I can create what you need. And more useful to my students, because they get what they want. 

All in all, I would do it all over again.

I’d say yes to Alo Moves, I’d maximize the growth within the company, and then I’d branch out on my own. I don’t regret any of the choices in this particular pathway to my career, as they all brought me to this exact point right now. 

If I were you, I’d focus on building your brand while leveraging the strength of larger companies along the way. Feel into your own intuition telling you when it’s time to start, time to stop, and time to break outside of your comfort zone. 

You won’t lead yourself astray if you really take a moment to listen. 




Having My Own Yoga App Versus Working With Alo Moves
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