When I was preparing to become a yoga teacher I was aware I would be giving up a couple of things. The first being energy and the second being time. When you teach your energy is no longer yours to spend. Any energy you have goes to your students and whatever you have left over is for you. You are also hard pressed to squeeze in your own personal practice times. It’s easy to teach a class and feel like you actually went through it, but you still need to get your practice in and continue to be a student of the yoga in order to teach effectively.
But becoming a studio owner is an entirely different sacrifice. These individuals decided to put their life savings, most, if not all, of their time, and a little bit of their sanity on the line to share the yoga with new communities of people. Studio owners are a unique brand of individual and when you truly understand the business of yoga you begin to understand what fierce, hard core, kick ass yogis they are.
Here are just a few things they take on everyday to help bring yoga to as many people as possible so we can enjoy this incredibly transformative practice.
- They teach. Great studio owners teach and not just their own scheduled classes. If a teacher cannot make it to a class, they teach that class too and sometimes at a moment’s notice. Besides teaching students they also teach teachers. They are our mentor and sounding board on how to deal with situations that arise when we take the podium or while we are at the front desk.
- They are leaders. How many people do you know that want to take on creating a whole new community? Studio owners create communities, lead students and teachers to realize their fullest potential, and are responsible for bringing together people in a positive and inspiring way.
- They have to be business savvy. I know many people think they pay a reasonable sum for their yoga classes, or that yoga is incredibly overpriced, but running a yoga studio can be quite expensive, especially if it’s a hot yoga studio. The overhead on this business can be overwhelming, yet each studio owner tries to make the yoga accessible to as many people as possible while still trying to make enough money to keep the business going and hopefully profitable. They create work trade positions, run package deals and intro specials, and try to give their students a reasonable rate just so that more people can practice yoga.
- They never get a break. A yoga studio is usually open 7 days a week from the wee hours of the morning through the evening hours. They might not be always on the premises, but they are constantly fielding emails, texts, and requests from teachers and students. They are keeping track of supplies, going over the books, and working to keep the studio clean and sanitary. And I haven’t even discussed creating a teaching schedule, which involves requests to teach certain classes from 10 to 15 different people with completely different availability every single month. And if it’s a hot yoga studio, there is always concern placed on whether the heat and humidity is functioning correctly in order to give the students the best experience while practicing.
- They really care. Yoga studio owners are compassionate and understanding and are true practitioners of the yoga in and outside of the studio. They care for their students and teachers and ultimately want the best for everyone. It’s not just a small business they are running it’s a vocation and a calling.
I know that I probably did not cover everything here, but this is just what I have witnessed as a mere teacher. I, myself, have nothing but gratitude and respect for the studio owners who make it possible for me to teach. So, the question has to be asked…have you hugged your studio owner today?
Originally posted to viewsfromthepodium.com on June 4, 2014
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