So I’ve returned to yoga after a three-month hiatus to fix some minor medical stuff that needed time.
In the rest period my old yoga studio merged with another yoga studio so I’ve been attending classes in a new place with new teachers. This is my third yoga studio in the last six or seven years and to my great disappointment it’s merely a good studio (very clean…not all are…with great teachers so far with one caveat…see below) but not a great studio.
So why is it only merely good and not great? Management or lack thereof.
Case in point: I walk into the noon hour yoga class today about 20 minutes early to start my mediation and there are already half a dozen students in various stages of meditation or stretching and one women madly texting on her cellphone.
In this studio the yoga rooms are kept quite dark so her cellphone shines out like a beacon. I trust I made a suitable enough impression that she won’t do this again.
Five minutes later two 20-ish girls show up (might have been in their teens as it is March break) and carry on like their in the school cafeteria. After a few sharp looks they figure out that no one else is talking in the room so they start to whisper which is even more annoying.
Why do these things happen?
IMHO bad management. You inspect what you expect. The woman texting likely didn’t know nor had she ever been told that yoga studios are commonly treated as meditation halls and cellphones are to be left in the car.
If the excuse is I can’t be out of touch with my children for an hour then stay at home with your children and don’t inflict your bad behaviour on the rest of us.
Now the studio owner has admitted that they had issues with cellphones being stolen out of locker rooms and that’s no surprise. This is a busy studio with full classes (40+) most days. Thefts are going to happen no matter what you do. (Even the YMCA has had problems over the years with thefts from lockers.)
When you’re dealing with these sort of numbers you’ve got to post signs and be vigilant and act when you see people breaking your rules. And one of the signs should say “No bags (people keep their cellphones there) and no cellphones in the studios (or better no cellphones period).
In my experience over 35 years of yoga I’ve concluded that there are a lot of people who are pretty good yoga teachers (and a few I wouldn’t let cut my grass) but there are few (I’m tempted to say if any) yoga teachers who know how to run a business.
That’s one of the reasons there is such a turnover of yoga studios. None of them have read Gerber’s The E-Myth Revisited because if they had they wouldn’t allow mismanagement to kill their businesses.
Oh and one new teacher went from “namaste” directly into selling her flaky pain-relief workshops that mix a cross of Chinese medicine and electro-shock therapy during one of my classes this week. I talked to the owners and if it happens again I’ll talk to her.
The ending of a yoga class has always been for me a special moment of mediation and peacefulness and to have a quack therapy pitched at me while I’m still lying down breathing was, to say the least, deeply offensive….and, again is a result of bad or lazy management.
When my annual pass runs out, if we haven’t fixed these issues, I’ll be looking for another yoga studio in the Oakville area which actively discourages (better yet bans) cellphones and teachers who are more interested in making a buck than giving a f***.