Studio Ownership 101

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OK…so, you’ve decided to take the leap. Congratulations! You are officially moving from yoga teacher to studio owner. This is going to be easy! Seamless, even. As if floating from Warrior 1 into Warrior 2 with grace and ease, right?! Ha! More like trying to jump back from Bakasana to Chaturanga Dandansana without falling on your face.

In our yoga practice we remind ourselves that it’s all about the process, the journey. For me, opening the studio has been the same scenario. It has definitely been a process. And a LONG journey. Most days, I feel as though I’m Dorothy walking on the Yellow Brick Road in the eternal quest for the Wizard in the Emerald City (I won’t even begin to go into the yogic connotations there!). As I began my walk down the Yellow Brick Road, I thought finding that perfect place for my new studio would be easy. Maybe if I Om’d loud enough, or meditated long enough, it would come to me like some sort of Divine Intervention. Especially, since our down-turned economy has left many buildings and suites empty just waiting for a business to breathe new life into it. Easy enough? Eh, not-so-much.

The place for my studio was out there, I just knew it. Why else would I be on this journey? I had to find that place. The place that, once I walked into it, I never wanted to leave. The place where I could breathe and be. That place to call my new yoga hOMe. It’s sort of like buying a home…you walk in and say, “oh (or should I say Om), this is the one!”

Despite the fact that I am a yogini and try to live as much by the Yamas and Niyamas as possible, I do have certain standards and likes and dislikes, just like everyone else. What can I say? I’m human. That being said, I had this (unrealistic) expectation that I would be able to find a location that would be perfect from the get-go.

In my search for the perfect place to call hOMe, there were many things that I didn’t realize would become issues in opening the studio. Dealing with out of town landlords, negotiating contracts, letters of intents, realtor fees, legal fees, business license, retail license, approval from other tenants and stringent tenant guidelines were all things that I hadn’t thought about. It wasn’t easy, and it took a long time…8 months to be exact, but I found it…in an Uhrdva Danurasana kind of way. Finding it required me to change more than just my perspective, but my whole business plan. (More on that further down the Yellow Brick Road).

If you’ve got questions about creating your own studio environment, please feel free to e-mail me: lisa@leeanncareyyoga.com and we can discuss your questions in upcoming editions of the newsletter!