10 Reasons (Not) to Open a Yoga Studio.

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10 Reasons not to Open a Yoga Studio.

  1. You don’t really love your yoga practice.
  2. You have no desire to take your passion of yoga public.
  3. You feel unsure about the benefits, changes, and personal transformation yoga has brought into your life.
  4. You are unclear about just how many lives your passion could shift.
  5. You are comfortable playing small in a really big world.
  6. You have no inspiration to gamble on your wildly impressive abilities.
  7. You don’t really lie awake at night and consider, dream, and imagine what the walls of your dream yoga studio would be, could be filled with and just who you might serve.
  8. You feel happy in your current cubicle and feel no call for change.
  9. You believe that the universe is getting smaller, not bigger and that there is not room enough in the industry for your “little dream.”
  10. You feel as though opening a yoga studio may be your most hair-brained idea ever.

If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, now may not be the right time to open a yoga studio.

However, if you answered “No” and if you cannot shake this inspiring desire in your soul to take your passion for yoga into the realm of business, opening a yoga studio might be just what you need to focus your attention, ignite your joy, and shift your readiness for a great grace of experience.

I would never lie to you and detail out what a serene path this has been. I could not, if I tried, tell you that it has been all meditation, candlelight, and ease.  I can tell you, with all sincerity that opening a yoga studio has been the greatest experience of my life.  It has taught me more about myself, more about other people, and the way that a collaboration of people can weave efforts and energy to serve a flow of community that I never expected.

Opening a yoga studio was my best hair-brained idea ever.  It came at a time when I could not squelch it with focused attention elsewhere.

At the top of my game in the restaurant industry, I could not stop the call to do anything other than enter the flow of yoga in the everyday at something more entrenched than just my daily practice.

I came home crying one two many nights in a row at the sheer pressure of lunch and dinner, feeling like life and death, blubbering into the chest of my husband, “Why can’t I just do yoga all day long everyday?”

He pulled me back so he could look straight into my eyes, “You are a smart girl with a ton of passion. You can figure it out.” True, I could run a multi-million-dollar-a-year fine dining establishment and steward a $50K dollar wine inventory…but could I live on a business model that at most was going to bring in at most, $10K per month?

I had no idea.  It did not seem to matter.  My heart demanded action.

I leapt. I closed the books on my restaurant career and opened the doors of om time yoga.  om time yoga was originally supposed to be just a shop to support the 26 already existing yoga studios of the Front Range; however, it blossomed in the sunshine of my dreams and others into what it is today.

Today it writes checks regularly for over $10K, though not always with ease!  It supports families and mortgages.  It offers a sense of home to more people than I ever considered I could actually know.

My column here on elephant will be a catalog of my lessons from soup to nuts.  If you are serious about starting a yoga studio, read.  We will journey through the archtypes of the Chakras, from the roots to the crown to cover all topics from passion to leases to scheduling to marketing to building community.  We’ll use the common language yogis share of the Chakras to steep ourselves in the marriage of business and yoga.

If I have one thing to offer, it is real time experience.  I know what it is like to lose sleep over making payroll.  I have expensive mistakes to offer forward in the hopes that you will not make them.  I have ideas that are great and do not really serve my model, maybe they will enrich yours.

We will meet in this blog weekly and flow through a vinyasa of information.  At the peak of our time together, maybe your business plan will be in full swing.  Maybe you will have the courage to give your notice.  Maybe you will realize that you are not quite cut out for the level of responsibility and challenge.  Maybe it will be revealed that it is simply time to wait.

I cannot promise you that opening a yoga studio is the perfect choice for you; however I can assure you that there was nothing else I could have done that would have enriched my life as such and made me realize that I am exactly who I wish to become, an evolutionary spirit, deeply in service to making mine and other’s dreams come true.

In the service of passion, I bow to yours,


– These blogs are based on Shannon’s, Take a Comfortable Seat, An Invitation to Your Own Inspiration, A Yoga Studio Owner to Be’s Workbook Through the Chakras, Ideas and Action Steps, Available Fall 2010.

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Shannon Paige Schneider

Living fully as an author, sacred activist, motivational speaker, dedicated teacher of Shiva Rea’s Prana Flow, and founder of Anjali Restorative Yoga, Shannon is an expressive student of the symbolic nature of Tantra and mystic poetry. She interweaves her student’s unique purpose driven inspiration into the divine play of body and breath to unlock the secret wisdom held within the heart. Her classes are dedicated to a sense of mystery and wonder within a vinyasa of self-honoring, self-cultivation, and radical self-participation. Shannon is the founder and director of Om Time yoga centers, tours, teaches and speaks nationally and internationally.

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anonymous Sep 17, 2012 1:45pm

[…] wrote a great article entitled “10 Reasons Not to Open a Yoga Studio” a few years ago. What prompted it? I wrote the article about finding someone’s passion and […]

anonymous Aug 18, 2011 1:15am

[…] […]

anonymous Jun 21, 2011 9:02am

[…] was also looking for a mat that I could use in both a yoga studio with perfect flooring and support my joints properly while doing my home practice on my extremely […]

anonymous May 24, 2010 12:49am

I think it is important to note that not everyone is destined to own the studios…some of us are teachers, some are travelers, some are part-timers, some of us integrate different disciplines into our yogic world (I taught a belly dance class this year and have recently brought hypnosis fully and squarely into studio!) What matters is believing in and loving our path – your studio makes others dreams possible and we each have our part to play…One of these days I would love to come back and do an Anjali class at OMtime 🙂 Love and Light my sister! May your words guide others like you to create more spaces like OmTime so the world has as many chances as possible to lighten up !

anonymous May 24, 2010 12:48am

OH you are such a love. I have to say when I first tried the yoga studio thing I hadn't considered a few things and now that I am happily back to being my own business I have to say it is amazing. Part of it this time was the idea of trust and faith…I still think about you so much and your teachings are constantly woven into the fabric of the teacher i have become. I happily and joyously teach at several studios and am THRILLED to share and touch lives without the pressure of the studio, my private teaching and other ventures sustain me in different ways…

anonymous Apr 4, 2010 5:54pm

[…] Rooting Your Passion to Raise a Successful Yoga Studio. 2nd in a series: #1: Why (not) to Start a Yoga Studio. […]

anonymous Mar 25, 2010 11:24pm

Thanks for the inspiration, Shannon. For a while I’ve been considering getting together a plan to start the first yoga studio in the country where I live. I don’t have years to give the project so I’m looking for longer term investors, but I just realised – the longer I wait, the less time I have.

Really looking forward to this series! 🙂 Bree aka La Gitane

anonymous Mar 25, 2010 1:02am

Oh how I'd LOVE to own my studio one day! I'd do the business, marketing, promotion, and interior design, and hire all the teaches myself and create the mix of environments that I have loved over the years, infused into my space!!! And everyone would be welcome of course 🙂

    anonymous Mar 25, 2010 9:45pm

    invite them… they will come! best of luck and let me know if you need any help staying inspired!

anonymous Mar 24, 2010 7:40am

Hi Shannon! I am sooooo excited to read these as they come. I met you for tea in Estes Park in September to discuss the very beginnings of opening a studio. I was planning to move to Boulder but have decided to stay put in Minneapolis and serve my friends and community here. I can’t wait to read more from you! I know you’re filled with so much knowledge and the timing could not be more perfect!

All my best!

    anonymous Mar 25, 2010 9:44pm

    I was WONDERING if you were ever headed our way! Please, let me know if you need anything at all! You have such wonderful and fresh ideas!

anonymous Mar 23, 2010 10:46pm

What a great article!! I must say that when I did start building my yoga studio, it was "my," yoga studio. I had all the aspirations available to spread the joy of yoga. On a six year journey of building and owning the yoga studio, I learned so much that I could never have achieved without taking the leap and becoming a business woman. I also learned that the yoga studio was not "my," yoga studio, but everyone's yoga studio who wished to learn about yoga. When the time came to let it go and move on, I had become liberated in so many ways and now am happy to have my own yoga practice back again.

So much of this article is so wise and right on…. Thank you for saying it so well.

    anonymous Mar 25, 2010 9:43pm

    It IS amazing to see a DREAM grow and realize that ONE person's dreams serve a WHOLE community!!! Keep trucking sweet sister! Please, let me know if you need ANYTHING!

anonymous Mar 23, 2010 3:40pm

Great insights and sharing the wisdom of your life as a yogi and yoga studio founder/owner…..spread this word…it is gospel…

anonymous Mar 23, 2010 12:57am

From a little yellow house to an international teacher and guide to many, I bow to you Shannon, for all you
have provided me, and for the family of yoga you have created in the center of Boulder. To anyone reading,
stay tuned – this woman will help you. Much Love.

    anonymous Mar 23, 2010 3:58pm

    It is amazing that it was the little yellow house… could…. I look back with so much fondness and respect to the lessons the yoga industry has taught me. We are at such an entry point to it too. I truly feel the sky is the limit to how we can interweave our inspiration, desire for health and wellness and BUSINESS into a sustainable, life affirming career. I mean… JUST look at YOU!

    And as for helping… I REALLY hope to be of service to those who read!

anonymous Mar 22, 2010 6:32pm

Congratulations on a great article. Your passion is contagious. Write on!

anonymous Mar 22, 2010 11:19pm

you are simply the most inspirational person I have ever met. Thank you for sharing your beautiful self to ignite others.

    anonymous Mar 23, 2010 3:56pm

    and I think YOU are pretty DARN inspiring!

Bob Weisenberg Mar 22, 2010 11:12pm

Great article, Shannon.

I think you're right on with your tough-minded orientation. They give the same advice to musicians and writers and artists–don't do this for a living unless you can't imagine doing anything else. It's just too hard unless you are consumed by both Yogic and entrepreneurial passion.

You are also right on in pointing out that a Yoga studio, even though the content is health and spirituality, is no different that starting and running any other business. A lot of people miss this. You had an overwhelming advantage in that you were already running a successful business before you started your Yoga business.

I'm not a Yoga teacher myself, but most of my blogosphere friends are, and I was an entrepreneur myself for many years, so I have a great interest in this topic. Look forward to future articles.

Bob Weisenberg

    anonymous Mar 23, 2010 3:55pm

    Thank you so much for your comment! I respect our work in the work a great deal! Yes, business is business and I strive to inspire the interweaving of passion and the pragmatic… may it be of service! Bestest!

anonymous Mar 22, 2010 10:38pm

Great article! Looking forward to the series….

anonymous Mar 22, 2010 9:10pm

It's your poise as a business owner that makes the community you've helped build so phenomenal. Your sharing of creativity and community-building is what I think will most benefit anyone interested in starting their own.

anonymous Mar 22, 2010 9:03pm

Thanks Shan! This is perfect timing because I'm planning to dip my toes into these waters very soon. Can't wait to read your next installment!

    anonymous Mar 23, 2010 3:54pm

    Dear Chris! Please, feel free to let me know if you have any burning questions. I will aim to integrate them and make this series as relevant and useful as possible! Cheers to invoking YOUR muse!

anonymous Mar 22, 2010 7:54pm

Hey Shan – one of my businesses has helped thousands of small business owners in this space (including hundreds of yoga teachers) to get their businesses off the ground and successful

looking forward to reading your commentary from the perspective it's being drawn (and am sure our clients will enjoy as well)

all love

    anonymous Mar 23, 2010 3:53pm

    Thank You Soooooo much Cameron! Business is business but passion is passion and in this current climate, people are offered an opportunity to become VERY creative with their dreams! I hope to be of service to inspire people to do JUST that! Love love!

anonymous Mar 22, 2010 7:10pm

Absolutely gorgeous Shannon. Loved every point!

anonymous Mar 22, 2010 1:02pm

can’t wait to read more. very exciting times.

anonymous Mar 22, 2010 6:41pm

Thank you for this!

anonymous Mar 22, 2010 6:26pm

I love your passion, Shan! and I can't wait to read more.

    anonymous Mar 23, 2010 3:51pm

    Passion is THE first topic we will cover! It is the SOLID root of ANY business 🙂

anonymous Mar 22, 2010 4:04pm

This sounds like it's going to be a great series! I look forward to learning from your expeirences.

    anonymous Mar 23, 2010 3:50pm

    I hope so!

    Please, let me know if you have any specific burning questions and I will try to integrate them!!

    Love love!