Benefits of Owning Your Own Yoga Studio

         

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You’ve taken hundreds of classes at yoga studios, you’ve even taught at several yoga studios for a while and you wonder, “How hard could it be to opening a yoga studio?” Maybe you even have a list of “Things I would do differently if I was opening a yoga studio” and one of “Things I totally want to try if I was opening a yoga studio.” You may be ready. The answer to your question is that it can pretty intense, especially for the first year or two. And like all things yoga, with intensity comes growth, even beauty and with that, joy.

You’ll have to have a crystal clear notion of your motivation and of what sets you apart to ride the waves of intensity with the grace starting a yoga business or opening a yoga studio.  And this is the first benefit: getting to set your yoga studio apart by creating something wholly unique, a reflection of your practice and life, a distinctive place for gathering community.

Perhaps you have specific ideas about the physical space for your yoga studio: lots of color, little color; lots of natural light or low light; mirrors along one wall versus no mirrors in sight; sleek and modern or deeply saturated and homey. Perhaps you have a vision of a yoga studio mecca: tea and juice bars with a DJ and private treatment/session rooms off to the side. Or maybe your passion is kids yoga studio and you want a playful, colorful, fun room that draws the children into the poses organically. Flying acrobatic suspended yoga? Great! This is your chance to create the environment you’ve always dreamed.

When opening a yoga studio not only are you creating an environment, you’ll be creating a culture. A culture that draws students and participants, and one that supports clear, open sharing by teachers.  This is the first stumbling block hidden in a benefit, because all the uptight things that yoga studio owners have foisted upon you will slowly look like reasonable, wise and sensible requests. If you start off with the “cool boss” syndrome and the “let’s just all get along, we’re enlightened after all, right?” attitude, you’ll create a festival of crossed boundaries for yourself and your teachers that would challenge Patanjali’s own cool. This is your opportunity to thoughtfully create and set boundaries or craft agreements that support clarity, respect and mentoring. Remember that whole Brahmacharya thing about precious life energy? (No, it’s not only about sex!) Creating the pay structure and rules for working and interacting is all about respecting everyone’s investment of life energy: time, study, heart, laughter, tears and soul.

What you’re really doing when you create your vision and the ground rules for your community of students, seekers and teachers is creating conscious yoga business and merging business and dharma, or your life path.  Opening a yoga studio, or going through the process of deciding whether it’s for you, is a trenchant meditation on your deepest values and an exercise in courage. Courage comes in not only to put your hard earned cash and rep on the line, but to decide what values you’re willing to stand up for, and how you’re going to take that stand.

When opening a yoga studio of your own you may want to create a training program to grow your own teachers, according to your teaching. This is either a benefit or a burden, depending on how you want to share your teaching. With a home base in your yoga studio you can offer a teacher training program to foster your students’ growth and learning. In the same way, you can host workshops and events that interest you and cohere with your vision. Always wanted that special teacher to come to town? Well, when opening a yoga studio you get to build a platform that can attract the very teachers you’ve always wanted.

Giving back becomes more effortless with a space and infrastructure of your own as well. Want to host a Salut-a-thon? You’ve got the space and the community! Want to offer free yoga to your community? Perfect place is yours! You can even build this ethic into your community with thoughtful guidelines and rewards.

When considering opening a yoga studio, dedicate even more careful consideration of your yoga business plan, values and vision than you did when you set out teaching. While feeling your way through the first few years as a part-time yoga teacher can be really groovy, your yoga business plan is fundamental to creating the community you envision.


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