During a yearlong trip through Asia, San Diegan Larissa Miller was struck by the beautiful textiles in Bali. The inspiration turned into PIYOGA, a yoga and athleisure apparel company, which believes in comfort, as well as helping to save sea turtles through ocean conservation.
Larissa Miller, founder of PIYOGA pants
Hometown: San Diego
Current neighborhood: Normal Heights
What do you do for a living? I am the founder of PIYOGA, a yoga and athleisure apparel company.
Website/social media handles
In her own words
PIYOGA is a creative extension of my vision to empower women through flattering and comfortable yoga clothes and to save sea turtles through ocean conservation (10% of each sale goes toward conservation).
How and when did you discover yoga?
I discovered yoga for the first time at the ARC at SDSU in 2010. However, it was when I started practicing at Spirit Yoga in Pacific Beach that I really began to fall in love with yoga.
What are some of the benefits of practicing yoga for you personally?
Yoga has helped me balance so many different aspects of my life. Plus, the magical high you get after a hot yoga class puts this beautiful smile on your face that is priceless.
You were on a yearlong trip to Asia when the idea for PIYOGA pants came to you. What was the purpose of the trip, and what did you hope to gain?
Believe it or not, I was actually searching for something I could use to start a business! I was inspired by a YouTube video that showed all the great business ideas that came to life from traveling, like Red Bull from Thailand, Nike in Japan, etc.
Traveling really opens your eyes to new products and experiences and it allows you to see gaps in markets from country to country. That is where the magical playground of opportunity opened up for me and I decided to take the risk on $500 to see if I could turn a profit.
You had yoga experience, but what about fashion design and business experience? What made you take the leap to designing yoga pants?
You got me! I honestly didn’t know anything about fashion design when I started. This was a very transformational time in my life and the two things that kept me moving fast were the quotes “leap, and the net will appear” and “practice making quick and precise executive decisions.”
What makes PIYOGA pants different from other yoga pants on the market?
PIYOGA pants are boutique lounge and yoga pants that are handmade with love from tropical Bali. Our collection now includes over 60 colorful “fancy pants” that are super soft and lightweight. We call them the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Yoga Pants” because they fit everyone and they’re a must-have when traveling.
The new year is generally seen as a time of renewal and resolutions for many people. What would you suggest to a person who is new to practicing yoga, who might be intimidated to try it for the first time, but wants to make a healthy start to 2018?
I would recommend taking our 10 Day Instagram Yoga Challenge. It starts Jan. 7 so you have time to recover from the holidays. Best of all, if you participate in all 10 days, you get a pair of PIYOGA pants for free. Follow us on Instagram @piyogapants for more information.
What are some other lifestyle tips for people who want to make 2018 a healthier year?
I like to start my day right with a light healthy smoothie. Cutting down on alcohol can also benefit you physically and emotionally. Also, did you know going vegan reduces your carbon footprint up to 50%? Food for thought.
Besides yoga, what other practices do you credit for keeping your mind and body in top shape?
I love trying everything and I’m constantly motivated by the quote “be the best version of you.” I picked up skateboarding, snowboarding and the ukulele this past year. Don’t let anyone else define what you can or cannot do. You can do anything you set your mind to.
Where is your favorite place in San Diego to do yoga?
The beach yoga flows are my favorite. Every Saturday and Sunday, John Beck (@johnleebeck) teaches by Tower 5 in Ocean Beach at 10:30 a.m. and Steve Hubbard (@namasteveyoga) teaches oceanfront at the end of Law Street in P.B. at 10 a.m. Both are donation based. My favorite studios are Hapa Yoga in Mission Valley, Indie Yoga in OB and Spirit Yoga in PB.
Favorite San Diego boutiques/stores?
I love the boho fashion at Brillo de Sol (@brillodesolclothing) across from Single Fin in P.B. I also adore the cute boutique cafes like Coffee & Flowers in North Park (Communal Coffee), the Nest in O.B. and Trilogy Sanctuary in La Jolla.
What do you think is San Diego’s coolest neighborhood and why?
Tough one. It’s definitely a toss-up between Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach and Encinitas, because that’s where all my yogi friends are. I love them and the beautiful, conscious community we have created together.
Favorite San Diego restaurant?
Crushed in P.B., hands down. They are killing it with their amazing brunch menu. Shout out to Amy Consuelo for being a boss babe and straight up inspiration for starting her own business.