Building a business at 26: Meet Ainslie Speedy from I AM Yoga

Compared to many of us who hope to manage a team or run our own farm businesses, Ainslie Speedy from King Country-based yoga studio I AM Yoga never dreamed about running her own company despite living by her own rules. But following a degree in Veterinary Technology and a career working for someone else, Ainslie made the switch with the support of her family and partner, and started her own business at the age of 26 driven by a passion for helping others feel peaceful, strong, and empowered in body and mind. Now, she says that the amount of admin, responsibility and behind the scenes work of running her own company is made worth it by the impact she has on the lives of other women.

So why exchange a career in veterinary technology for yoga? In her early twenties, Ainslie went through a difficult journey of stress-related mental and hormonal health issues and was advised to give up the high-intensity exercise and running she was involved in at the time. But instead of slowing down to a full stop, Ainslie tried yoga. It gave her so much inner peace, stability and grounding but also made her feel strong and empowered, and after experiencing it for herself she knew it was something she had to share – especially with those who don’t normally have access to yoga classes, like rural women. That idea is what brought I AM Yoga Studio to life, to the King Country, and now online.

Ainslie now sees her little business grow and move into new communities, with a studio set up in Lake Hawea in 2022. Thinking long-term, she’s planning a tour around the country to educate people on yoga and wellbeing, and training to hold ‘women’s circles’ – a powerful form of creating and strengthening connections. 

We asked Ainslie a few questions to get to know her a bit more:

  1. What are you currently watching or listening to?

I’m listening to Adele’s new album 30 (how good?!) – I totally resonate with the Saturn return phase she talks about. I’ve just finished watching Maid on Netflix, it’s the first series I’ve ever completed because I don’t normally watch TV but it’s been great through lockdown. Now I’ve just started watching the Sex, Love & Goop series on Netflix, it’s super interesting.

  1. What’s one book you’d recommend to a friend?

There are so many, it depends on what they’re going through but The Wild Women’s Way by Michaela Boehm for embracing our feminine essence, Anchored by Deb Dana for mental health and general wellbeing, and In the Flo by Alisa Vitti for some amazing knowledge around women’s hormones and synching our cycles with our lives.

  1. When you’re in a bookshop, do you judge a book by its cover or take the time to flick through it?

If I like the sound of the title I’ll definitely flick through it!

  1. Is there something you’ve dreamed of doing or achieving for a long time?

Being a mother, I honestly can’t wait. Business-wise, it would be to get all our online tribe together to connect in-person, and hold rural weekend retreats.

  1. If you could go on holiday anywhere in New Zealand, where would you go?

Everywhere! My partner and I have always talked about doing a van trip around New Zealand, but if I was to choose one place it would definitely be the Bay of Islands. I love the heat.

Take a look at I AM Yoga and Ainslie’s online classes here.

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