I left you last at the point where I said goodbye to corporate life and hello to teaching Yoga full time.
Here's some real truth: Running your own business can be both liberating and terrifying! Four years ago when I decided to teach full time I only had a loose plan of what that would look like. Without owning a studio, the only way to make money as a Yoga teacher is to teach classes. To pay the bills, that meant I had to teach A LOT of classes.
I began to build my business and my brand, seeing private clients at my home or theirs, and going to different locations and businesses to teach. To continue to build community, I began partnering with local businesses to do hold Yoga events that combined Yoga with good food, drink, and shopping. The plan started to come into focus.
I was teaching an average of 25 classes per week. This is a lot of classes to prepare, especially for private clients that you are seeing weekly or bi-weekly. For anyone that is thinking of teaching full time, know that to do it well requires a lot of careful planning and thought-make sure to consider the preparation time each week when scheduling classes. The other thing I learned along the way was to make sure I was leaving enough time between clients and classes to travel, eat, make notes, and clear my head. When you teach 6 classes a day you need time to regroup!
To supplement my income, I ramped up my side business, Soflea-a vintage furniture and knick knack business with some interior design thrown in. In Summer, when people are less interested in their Yoga practice and more interested in being outside, Soflea helped me continue to earn income. Depending on where you live, it is often hard to pay the bills on Yoga alone, and there is no shame in taking on additional jobs to make it all work. It is far better than the alternative-going into debt and living beyond your means.
Three years went by and things were getting better each year. I was consistently busy, and my small group classes had wait lists!
Then, just last year at this time, my life changed again. A new relationship, and more career growth brought me to the next phase in this story. It was time to find a commercial space to accommodate all the people that wanted to learn more about Yoga.
It was a long search, and with the help of friends, my former next door neighbor, and a lot of help from Steve, I found the perfect location for Syracuse Yoga.
That is how Syracuse Yoga came to be. There are many more details to share, like how difficult it was to part with the studio I was teaching at, how to navigate all the craziness of opening a business, how to manage my current clients while building a business...we'll save these topics for another day!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend! I am off to teach Yang Yin at 5:30 PM at Good ol' Syracuse Yoga!