Friday, June 13, 2014

Big News!

I realize that it's been over a year since I updated this blog. But I have been busy! Still loving yoga, still teaching Bikram, still practicing as much as I can. And last fall I started planning a new adventure, which I am finally ready to unveil:

I am opening my own studio!!

In fact I was supposed to sign the lease TODAY, but the landlord couldn't make it so we had to push it back to Monday. It's Friday the 13th, it's a full moon, so what did I really expect?! But contracts have been signed, applications have been accepted, loans have been approved, legal fees have been paid, and plans have been submitted to the zoning office. This thing is happening!

Quick rundown of the details:

WHERE - Bristol, Rhode Island.

WHERE?! - Ha, ha. Bristol is a sweet little Rhode Island town located about 30 minutes from downtown Providence, without traffic. It's surrounded by water on 3 sides, and its claim to fame is its Fourth of July parade, which is the oldest in America and has been held every year since 1785! Great little spot, home to a university (Roger Williams University), lots of local business, a ridiculous amount of shoreline, and NO hot yoga studios... yet!

WHEN? - If all goes well, we will start building in the next week or so and open our doors by the end of the summer! I've been saying "August" a lot, which might be optimistic, but technically summer lasts until September 21st...

GOT A WEBSITE? - Sure, though of course everything is still under construction! I got my Facebook page up and running this week, I'll add Twitter and Instagram soon (since apparently Instagram is a lot cooler than Facebook these days), and I have a home page up where you can join the mailing list.

So yeah, I've been pretty focused on this project and not had much of a chance to write about it yet. Now that the cat is out of the bag, I might sit down and write a little bit about the fascinating process of starting a new business. Or I might take the little spare time I can get to watch Netflix, cuddle with the boyfriend and the dog, and drink a glass of wine. It's a toss-up!

The funniest thing, to me, is that I'm opening a Bikram yoga studio right at this moment when lots of studios are closing or rebranding. What's a Bikram yogi to do?

Part of me just wanted to call my studio YOGA, but the name "Bristol Yoga" was already taken! But here, like in many places, many people already know what Bikram yoga is and have strong feelings about it. It's always been that kind of thing where you love it or you hate it. People going to a "regular" yoga class don't want to be tricked into taking a Bikram class - and vice versa, people who are looking specifically for a Bikram class would be totally bummed out if they wandered into a cold yoga class instead. So "Bikram" has to go in the name. I'm pretty convinced that 90% of marketing is just attracting the right students. I don't want to attract students who hate hot yoga who will bash me all over Yelp, I want to bring in the students who LOVE it!

I've done Bikram yoga for 10 years this summer, and it is still my favorite out of all the yoga classes that I've taken. I've done my fair share of vinyasa yoga, forrest yoga, iyengar yoga, hatha yoga, along with plenty of other things like dance, ballet, running, kickboxing, and aerials. They're all great, and different things work for different people, for sure. But the Bikram yoga is my jam, my special sauce, and the only one that I'm really interested in teaching. I did ballet for over 10 years, and I was never interested in becoming a ballet teacher. But after doing Bikram for a few years, I desperately wanted to be a Bikram teacher, because it's such an amazing methodology that can be applied to so many different people and bodies, with amazing results. Old, young, stiff, bendy, fat, skinny, male, female, black, white - it doesn't matter, I get to work with all of them. I've spent so much time working with amazing yoga teachers, learning to read bodies and apply the postures step-by-step in all different situations, and it just never gets old. After 4 years of teaching full-time, it's still my favorite thing that I've ever done.

The great thing about my market in Rhode Island is that (a) lots people have some idea of what Bikram yoga is and (b) people really want to try it. Two studios have opened in the Providence area in the last few years, and people love them! There's a good vibe gong on! So the folks over in Bristol county are bummed that they are missing out, and they are ready to get on board. It's all so fresh and fun, and it's made so many people feel good. Bikram yoga might have the world's worst P.R. sometimes, but here in New England I'm still proud to call myself a Bikram yoga teacher!

I have no idea when I'll be posting on this blog again, but I will be updating my Facebook and my mailing list, and I hope to start a studio blog at some point, so check those out. And thanks for still following my little yoga blog, even after all this time....