Today we’d like to introduce you to Manuri Ranasinghe – Gateas.
Manuri, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Well, the funny story is that I never thought I’ll own a yoga studio. Yoga started as a hobby and a passion that slowly became a way of life. In 2005, I had an undeniable urge to find ways to practice more compassion. I became a vegetarian to practice compassion toward animals. I started meditating & practicing yoga regularly as a way of generating more compassion in myself. I noticed that actively practicing this compassionate lifestyle started creating more love for myself and then to those around me. I’ve started teaching yoga in 2010 at local yoga studios as a way to spread this compassion & love to others, all while working for the corporate world (growing FOR the companies).
I enjoyed the corporate world at that time. It gave me the freedom to unplug & travel to 25 countries. Practice yoga/meditation while traveling. I had the time & freedom for all my other passions as well: help startup nonprofits, practiced 10 consecutive days of silence & even found ways to create volunteer opportunities at work.
During my birthday in 2015, I reflected into the future (& the past) 10 years of my life. It was also the 10 year anniversary at my current corporate job since I happen to get hired there on my birthday. After reflecting, I ended up leaving the very comfortable corporate world. It was hard at first to give up the 10 years of benefits & experience to a future full of question marks!
I was left with no choice but to challenge myself to do something I never thought I could do on my own but something I always wanted. I wanted to bring all that I love together to live fully with the purpose of serving others: my love of sharing yoga, helping nonprofits & volunteer work to create a healthy community.
Doors to Soul Fitness LA opened during my birthday in 2016. This yoga studio would be no where if it wasn’t for the support of this community of teachers, friends, family, and students. Since the first year, Soul Fitness LA have been opened, it’s been voted the Favorite yoga studio in South Bay (among 9 cities) every year! All thanks to our wonderful community.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Creating a business from scratch with no location, no name, no website, no backup, no plan B was a journey to remember. When I walked into check out locations to lease, common question the leasing managers would ask me is if I have a business partner, a husband, or a boyfriend that I need to show it to first before I lease. I had none at that time by choice.
I quickly figured out that being a single women without a partner trying to open up a business required for me to build another skill set to add.
Taking a chance to create Soul Fitness LA from ground up has been THE most challenging thing I’ve done in my life SO FAR! It was also the most rewarding and humbling experience.
For the first time in my life, I felt like I was working. Working hard. Boy! Was I working? I was productive every minute of the day and even in my sleep. I had to be. I knew if I fell apart or mess up, everything will fall apart. I messed up many times along the way and paid for it each time. Every mistake I was making was costing me.
I have never meditated more before opening the studio, to keep me sane when everything was going insane.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
We’re more than just a yoga studio. We are committed to building a healthy and happy community through a variety of yoga, fitness, wellness classes & fun workshops. All while giving back to the community.
We have over 40 classes per week for students to choose from. We’re open 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We have variety of yoga styles for students of all levels and all different interests to pick from.
Vinyasa Flow, Power Vinyasa Flow, YogaFit, Sculpt Yoga, Hatha, Gentle Yoga, Slow Deep Stretch, Yin/Restorative, Prenatal/Postnatal Yoga, Kids & Parents family yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Mat Pilates, etc.
Our mission is to provide a serene, safe, and welcoming space where students can explore their own positive transformation. We help create a harmonious balance between body, mind and spirit.
Our purpose on this planet is to serve and help others. The studio is built on the principle of Dana, which means the act of giving. Soul Fitness LA is an environment where students can practice yoga while giving back to the world. We are committed to allocating portion of the studio’s revenue as well as our time volunteering to local and international nonprofits & communities.
What were you like growing up?
I grew up in Sri Lanka. I was 12 years old when my whole family migrated to Los Angeles. I grew up going to meditation retreats with my grandma at the age of 5. My grandma was the first one to plant the seeds in my head that later grew into a yoga studio in Redondo Beach. As a young adults, I wanted to have nothing to do with yoga or meditation but later in life, I incorporated meditation & yoga as therapy to create a healthy mind and body for myself. That’s why I always encourage moms to take kids to yoga. Plant those seeds as early as you can to grow later in life as they become our future.
- 30 days of yoga for $30 : New Student Special
- 1st Week for $10 : New Student Special
- Address: 1209 S Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
- Website: www.soulfitnessla.com
- Phone: 4242621348
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/soulfitnessla/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/soulfitnessla/
- Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/soulfitnessla/
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/soul-fitness-la-redondo-beach