Growing Pains: Managing a Studio

Kat Robinson

My studio has been going through some changes lately. Positive changes, but even positive changes are not without challenges.

I have been teaching yoga 10 years now and have nurtured this child of mine called Active Kat Yoga. Unfortunately Active Kat Yoga has been very slow growing, in fact in some cases I have actually had to step back two steps in order for me to take one step forward. At times it gets very frustrating.

A few months ago a group of lovely women came to me and wanted to put together an exercise group and simply pay me rent to use my space. It has been wonderful to have the extra money into my studio. However, change usually comes with a price. I found out very quickly that I was like a mother hen when it came to the use of my studio, in fact quite territorial. I actually didn’t like this part of myself very much, in the scheme of things they were wonderful tenants. But I also found out that maybe it wasn’t that I was territorial as much as I was fearing the change of growth. All at once I was not just offering my own classes but I was also responsible of making sure things ran smoothly for the new group. I wasn’t just teaching, I had to run my business, that was a very different proposition.

When I was just teaching my classes, I could call the shots, classes could be whenever I wanted. I could leave my yoga mat out at night because no one else would be there before me in the morning, and if I needed something in the studio at 7 am I could just go get it. With these new changes, I have had to coordinate classes, put my mat away at the end of the day (that took some training) and I had to resolve that my own studio was not always available for me. I also have had to set boundaries, make rules, address issues that might arise such as insurance needs, in simpler words, I have had to be the owner/manager, and perform these duties that have not been easy for me. I have had to be a leader, this was for everyone’s well being, enjoyment and most of all safety, that is part of running a good business.

This was what I wanted, right? Absolutely! But with change comes adaptation, and sometimes that can be a struggle. I am thrilled that my studio is going through these positive changes and like with any relationship it is going to take some adjusting, but the moves are in the right direction.

Yoga teaches us that nothing is permanent, we are changing and evolving all the time, it is a concept that I understand, yet applying it is a little different. So I have decided that I am going to apply the principles of yoga to these growing pains and go from there. I plan to look at this adjustment in life’s asana without judgment, without ego, and with an understanding that this is business and in order for me to move forward I have to let go of that which no longer serves me. Being the lone yoga teacher no longer serves. It is much better now that my studio is having growth and I need to look at this in every positive way.

Just because something is a challenge does not at all mean it is not positive. In fact, that which is a challenge is usually worth it in the end. Just as I remember the first time I tried ardha chadrasana I was so challenged but I stuck with it, let go of expectations, learned what wasn’t working for me, corrected it and learned from mistakes. Now it is one of my favorite poses.

Just as I know the changes in my studio may be challenging, but if I stick with it, let go of any expectations, learn from mistakes, and correct what doesn’t work for me I know I will be once again like the lotus out of the muddy waters and bloom.

[tags] Kat Robinson, sharing, learning, growth, business, yoga studio, teacher, business owner,[/tags]

Author: Kat Robinson

Kat Robinson is the author of “I Almost Died! Reinventing Yourself with Yoga and Meditation After Traumatic Illness or Injury”, and the creator of “Sewing Yoga” DVD, a therapeutic yoga program designed to alleviate the aches and pains associated with…

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