By Gopi Rao
Ask four different yoga studio owners or teachers what their idea of the “perfect” studio would be, and you’ll get four completely different answers. If you’re looking to open your own studio, it’s important to know what’s more important to you. Do you want a studio with lots of natural light? Is it important to fill the rooms with props for beginning students? Do you want to be downtown near the newly built condos that attract the in crowd?
One of the easiest ways to know what the “best” studio for you would be is to start slowly. If possible, lease a space or teach yoga from home so that you can know what’s truly important to you. Visit as many of your colleague’s studios as possible before you design your own. The visits will help you narrow down what you do or don’t want later in your own space.
If you are looking to start your own Ashtanga, Bikram or hot yoga studio, you will have some additional considerations. The heating and air conditioning will have to take the stress of keeping the large practice rooms at temperatures approximately twenty degrees above that of a typical office setting. That means that a prospective owner will have to ensure that the system can take the additional output of the heating, and that you can afford the extra utility bills.
Finally, what do you want your studio to look like? Are you more comfortable teaching students in a simple studio with gleaming hardwood floors? Or are you looking to attract yoga students who study for athletic reasons? Will your design and decor give students a calming feeling, or will it intimidate those new to the practice?
Think about the design of the studio. Where will students in the next class wait for the previous one to get out? Where will they put their shoes and personal belongings while in class? How much of a reception area will your studio need? Do you plan to use software when scheduling classes, or are the doors open wide to all comers?
What defines the best yoga studio is as unique to the person who is designing it. Your studio should reflect your philosophy and your teaching style, as well as the type of student you will be teaching yoga training sessions for. Think carefully about the ambiance as well as the physical space and how it will affect your students. And carefully consider your own goals as an owner or those of the yoga teachers who will occupy your studio.
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