March 23, 2010

10 Reasons (Not) to Open a Yoga Studio.

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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