Nana Amoako-Anin, 45, had an exciting law career in New York before leaving the United States to pursue entrepreneurship in Ghana, Africa. She had transitioned from Wall Street to the field of law in Manhattan District Attorney’s Office while her husband was working in banking.
When they had their first child, Amoako-Anin wanted to settle at a place that has warmer climates. She was also in search of a “better work-life balance”. Fortunately for her, her Ghanaian husband also wanted to relocate the family to Ghana.
Amoako-Anin was born into a traveling family, therefore, relocating to Ghana did not come as a tough decision for her. Her parents retired from the UN and the World Bank. While in active service, they traveled around the world, including Rio, Geneva, Istanbul, Kenya and Zambia as well as Ghana where she has her roots.
When Amoako-Anin finally moved from New York City to Ghana almost 10 years ago, she successfully launched a variety of businesses. However, her yoga business has been the one she is most proud of. She founded Bliss Yoga Accra to offer yoga classes and teacher certification and stress relief programs.
“I started the business after moving back to Ghana from New York City. As an avid practitioner who has personally benefited from yoga as an integral part of my life, I hoped I could reach others,” Amoako-Anin explained why she started her yoga business.
Through her yoga business, she has also been able to connect with expats who have also relocated to Ghana and have described how great the country is. She said that she started her yoga business with just 15 loyal students when she first opened eight years ago but now has sold over 900 studio memberships. Bliss Yoga Accra is also one of the few full-service yoga studios credited with popularising yoga in Ghana.
The year 2019 became a pivotal moment for the entrepreneur owing to the outbreak of COVID-19. According to her, she had to shift her yoga teaching online in order to keep the business running.
“For example, having to shift our 200-HR yoga teacher training, to solely online in April, pushed us to get creative about our training offerings. It drove our ability to scale through this period and continue operations. Additionally, venturing into an outdoor class format has also been a positive shift,” she said.
Like many other entrepreneurs, starting Bliss Yoga Accra did not come without challenges. “When I started, the key challenge was building a diverse teacher base to accommodate the demand for classes. We resolved this by getting out into our wellness community and aligning with practitioners who were looking to grow their teaching skills, and be part of something magical,” she said.
Despite the challenges, Amoako-Anin is looking to stay consistent and to change the narrative on the accessibility and face of yoga.