WHAT A STUDIO OWNER WOULD NEVER TELL YOU!
So as some of you reading this already know I've recently opened a yoga studio...what you don't know is this...
I have hated it! There I said it. I don't hate yoga, I definitely don't hate you guys (my students) but I have definitely had a strong dislike for opening a studio ('had' being the most important word here!) I'm going to share something quite personal with you guys, something most yoga teachers would probably never admit to but I'm sure those who've opened studios can understand and possibly resonate with.
After looking for a space to create the ideal yoga centre for over a year I had all but given up on ever achieving this dream until, just before Christmas, we came across the perfect building. After weeks of renovation, a chronic lack of sleep and telling myself that once we open the doors it will be the haven I so wanted I thought all would be good. I couldn't have been more disillusioned...
I will try to liken it to religion; not because yoga is a religion but because similar things run through both in that we have beliefs, ideas and we practice daily as best we can.
Imagine a loved one has just died, close your eyes for a moment and imagine how that would make you feel. If you're a religious person you put all of your faith in it and although you believe in it beyond a doubt part of your soul is taken away at that point, there's no explanation as to why you feel like this and you curse and scream at your god (or any other deity you so wish) and for a moment you doubt, you doubt the existence, you doubt your belief.
It is during the set up of this studio I have done exactly this, when no amount of meditation, breathing or practice will help, time spent on your mat feels like a chore (kinda like going to church, sitting in a pew and wondering what the whole point of this is). Sometimes the only way is to scream uncontrollably, sob until there's no water left in your body and curse to whomever it may be.
Sometimes what you believe in, what you practice day in day out, what you tell others to practice to enhance their lives, well sometimes this very thing can let you down. It can watch you fall (and it will) but just like religion it will still be there when it's all over, it will pick you back up, it will rebuild you piece by piece and you will once again know why your belief in the system was so strong.
This is the stage I'm at now. My personal practice is back to normal. When you enter the studio the smile that greets you no longer hides stress and upset, it's real, it's raw, it's me! I'm learning to accept that my path is to provide a yoga studio that really educates people about yoga (all aspects of it). I'm coming to terms with the fact that this involves tough decisions, marketing issues and accounting problems.
Unfortunately the world (and our studio) cannot survive on happy thoughts.
The reality of business versus the ethics of yoga. The internal pain and anxiety of a new business owner versus the happy, smiling yoga teacher at the front of class. The illusion that setting up a yoga studio would be a simple extension of the 6 years hard work spent building a student base of amazing people couldn't be further from the truth. Luckily those amazing people are still around me, provide me with love, support, laughs and for that I thank you. I thank you because what kind of teacher, or person, would I be if I'd spent so long nurturing this community of yogis to then abandon you all just when it's getting good...
The motto of our studio is “find your happy place” and I think I've just found mine xx