Yoga Tree was founded in 2007 by Debbie Fung and Jason Lu, (partners in business and in life), with the intention to share the physical and mental wellness of yoga with the community. At the age of 23, these two visionary entrepreneurs took their savings, quit their corporate jobs and headed to the bank, requesting a small business loan to open their first studio in Thornhill. Their vision was to create a yoga community that openly embraced and acknowledged the different benefits from the array of yoga lineages; hence the name Yoga Tree. Their mission was to connect students via offering various styles of yoga and to make classes accessible to practitioners of all levels.
At that time, the bank only approved a fraction of the construction costs, so to make their dream possible; Debbie and Jason had to build the studio from the ground up, this included installing drywalls, installing the floors and building the custom furniture at the studio to save costs.
Including Jason, Thornhill opened with only five instructors. Yoga Tree Thornhill stayed true to the goal of creating a place that allowed students to generate their own physical and mental healing. As Yoga Tree Thornhill began to flourish under the steadfast guidance of Debbie and Jason, combined with the integrity and commitment of both their staff and students, it was only a matter of time before it was clear they needed to expand.
By 2008, a second studio was opened in Richmond Hill. They responded to student’s feedback, and this space now offers a balance of heated and non-heated classes throughout the day.
In 2011, their passion and dedication to Yoga Tree motivated them to expand to the downtown Toronto market. Debbie and Jason continued to refine their studios to suit Yoga Tree student’s needs. In 2012, they opened their 4th studio at the heart of Yonge and Eglinton. To accommodate the growing needs of the original studio in Thornhill, in 2013 Yoga Tree relocated the original Thornhill studio and was renamed Yoga Tree Vaughan an expanded 8,000 sq ft studio. The 5th and largest Yoga Tree flagship studio opened its doors in Fall, 2014 at the corner of Bay and Dundas (across from Eaton Centre). Yoga Tree is now one of the largest chains of yoga studios in Toronto, with five locations across the Greater Toronto Area and a dedicated team of over 100 yoga instructors and yoga advisors.
In 2014, Debbie Fung was named one of the Top 100 Female Entrepreneurs in Canada in the PROFIT/Chatelaine W100 ranking and awards program. As well, she was the recipient of the Top Young Entrepreneur Award presented by Chatelaine magazine in 2014.