How Luke McLeod is making meditation more accessible with the Soul Alive app
May 9, 2022
We chat with Soul Alive founder and meditation guide, Luke McLeod about his mission to normalise meditation and make it both more enjoyable and accessible — now with the help of an app built with Movement.
As the founder and head meditation guide at Soul Alive, Luke McLeod is on a mission to ‘normalise’ mindfulness and make it as accessible and enjoyable as possible.The transition from a slow-paced, rural upbringing to Australia’s busiest city (Sydney) initially led Luke to seek a grounding practice in meditation. Five years on, a series of events upended his personal life — driving him to the foothills of the Himalayas to deepen his practice and study meditation.
Upon returning to Australia, he has dedicated his life to teaching meditation and mindfulness to others – showing how the practice can be a wonderful companion to living a wonderful life.We caught up with Luke to learn more about the powerful online community he’s created and how he plans to expand his mission with the new Soul Alive app.
Hey Luke! Tell us a bit about yourself and your business.
I grew up in rural New South Wales and moved to the concrete jungle (Sydney) when I was 23. It wasn’t long before I was in need of something to keep me ‘level’ and balanced and that’s when I looked into meditation as a tool to use to keep me clear and calm. Then, after a series of things happened in my personal life that really rocked me, I turned to my meditation practice to help me get through it all. This led me to India to study and learn the teachings and techniques at a deeper level.
Since then, it’s been my mission to ‘normalise’ meditation and try to make it as accessible and enjoyable as possible for others and that’s where Soul Alive comes in.
Soul Alive is a virtual meditation studio where we deliver live-streamed meditation & mindfulness classes. It’s the missing piece of the puzzle in the meditation app space. A place you can come to for greater guidance, engagement and community.
Have you noticed a shift in society’s perception or focus on mental health over the course of your career?
Yeah absolutely! There’s still a bit of scepticism but that’s mostly around the ‘how’ component not the ‘what’ any more. Whereas when I started out, a lot of people just thought it was just for hippies.I think the pandemic over the last two years has really shone a light on mental health and how important it is that you’re investing some time and effort into looking after your mental state.
What do you think people could gain from being more mindful?
There’s too much to list. But the biggest one is just enjoying life more, because you’re actually living it. Not just letting it slip by on auto-pilot or even worse, in an unknowingly stressed state.
We know you have a great social media following on Instagram. How important has an online presence been to your business?
For my business, Soul Alive, it’s been quite important because we’re really trying to encourage and show people how technology can be used for good. Most of us spend a lot of time on our phones and of that time, the bulk of it is on social media — so it makes sense that we’re there doing our bit, trying to make a difference.
What tips can you give for building a following online?
It starts with really finding out what lights you up. For me, I genuinely get excited to meditate and learn about how the mind works, and what this ‘soul’ side of us is all about.
Once you’ve found your passion, it’s a matter of sharing that consistently with others in a way that either educates, inspires or entertains.
How have you built your online community, and what have you learned in the process?
Doing the above consistently is a good starting point. Tapping into media opportunities when they arise is also a good idea. This could be looking at what is trending in the news and how your passion/what you do can add, alter or challenge that narrative. Then, once you have a bit of a community around you/the brand, it’s a matter of really looking after them and empowering them to spread the word.
So you’ve launched an app, and it looks great! What made you decide to create an app, and what are your goals for it?
Thanks!! As I touched on earlier, I really want to make mediation as accessible and relatable as possible to as many people as I can and an app just made sense if I was going to do this. Up until now, I‘ve been delivering content via a private members-only Instagram account.
I’m hoping my app with Movement will make the experience more seamless, engaging, and overall, a lot more of an enjoyable, valuable experience.
As far as goals go, I’d love to first see Soul Alive be the go to place for Australians to practice meditation and mindfulness. If that goes well, then who knows… the sky’s the limit :)
What do you hope subscribers will gain from using your app?
I simply hope they feel like a better, more healthy and happy person.
Do you have tips for those thinking of creating an app?
I think for anyone starting out I would recommend trying to do as much of it yourself as possible. It may take longer this way but in the long run it will be worth it and so much more satisfying.
Looking at an app builder option (like Movement) I think is a great option for someone wanting to create an app.
Will you be integrating your app with your in-person teaching?
I actually don’t do much in-person teaching now, unless it’s with a corporate or event of some type. But yes, I’ll absolutely be encouraging all my corporate clients to join the Soul Alive app!
Have you used or were you considering other platforms to build an app or online community?
To date, we’ve been using Instagram to deliver the classes and build the community. When I was looking to build the app, I was looking at everyone/everything that was out there haha. I think I’ve made the right choice though!
What do you like most about the Movement platform, compared to other software you’ve seen or used for a similar purpose?
Firstly, I love that it’s an Aussie company started by a couple of really nice guys.
When it comes to the tech side of things, I think Movement is really clean, easy and affordable. There’s also some key customization options that other builders weren’t offering which were important to me.
How are you planning to market your app and get it out there?
We’ll be doing a great introductory offer when we launch that anyone can take up and try. Social media will play a big and important part in getting the news out there, along with tapping into the media. Then lastly, hopefully people love it and they’ll want to share/talk about it with their friends and family, as there’s nothing more powerful than good ol’ positive word of mouth.
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