It has been exactly one year since I first opened my studio and it is has been nothing but a whirlwind. Emotions that come to mind are stress, exhaustion, freedom, despair, and strength.
The yoga industry is very saturated
Yoga teachers are fighting for work and yoga studios are nothing less than competitive. You have to be unique, different, offer extras, while also being affordable. People have to trust you, know you exist, and want to keep coming back.
It has been time-consuming work to provide social media content, customize the website, advertise, talk with people, post flyers, etc. The hardest part is getting new clients through the door.
The amount of free classes and workshops and TIME that I’ve given away frustrates me. I work so much that when I finally have a day off, I sleep for 12 hours, lay in bed all day, and take another nap. I even find it difficult to make myself a meal or shower or brush my hair. I’ve also had to work 2 other jobs just to survive.
Through my experiences with people, I have found that people are mostly unreliable. Whether they say they are going to come to class and not show or that they want to help and end up causing more stress, I have been left with a bad taste in my mouth too many times to count. Always have people reserve their space in a workshop or class with money not with a verbal promise!
I have learned that it is quite rare to find a person who can put action to their words, who says exactly what they mean. I have been lied to. I have been taken advantage of. This is something that I have grown to accept. And become much more vigilant on setting boundaries and being firm. The only person that I know for sure I can rely on is myself.
On the other side of the coin, I have people in my community who have done nothing but lift me up and support me. People who are loyal and actually show up when they say they will. People with beautiful hearts who have done everything in their power to help me grow.
There have been equally bad experiences as well as positive ones. There have been classes that give me a high and purpose and classes where no one shows. Owning and running my own yoga studio has been a struggle and heartache.
If it weren’t for my loyal students and my loved ones telling me to keep going, I don’t know where I would be right now. I cry a lot and get frustrated by my failures. I don’t make a profit and I am tired all the time.
What is the point then, right?
Everyone tells me that it is always the most difficult in the beginning. That being an entrepreneur is one of the hardest things. That if I can get through this, things will be better in the future.
I am not sure what will be true for me because this is my business and my story. I do feel how difficult this journey is, but I do know that I love teaching yoga, helping others, and there is no yoga like the way I teach it. I know that I am authentic and I have a big heart. I am not perfect or the best, but I work hard everyday to be better.
Owning a yoga studio is not for the faint of heart nor for the weak. I have experienced SO much rejection. I have had to deal with a lot of crazy people. I have had to invest more time and money than I am comfortable with. And I put in way more work than what I get back.
But I love yoga because it saved my life. My heart is in it. And for some reason, right now, this is my path and I will keep going until I cannot anymore.
If you wish to support me, practice with me online HERE
Check out my studio Shanti Community Yoga & Healing HERE