Pre-pregnancy one of my favorite exercises was Hot Yoga. I practiced for over a year. I liked it for a number of reasons; First of all, it increased my flexibility tremendously. I was one of those gals that couldn’t bend over and touch their toes, my mum can attest to that. Now, I can place my whole palm on the floor, not just fingers, I can do serious back bending, head stands and more. Secondly, because of the heat, sweating and the shower after, my skin became amazing and glowy. Yoga also helped me develop a sense of balance. It was through hot yoga that I felt I may be pregnant. I had been holding certain poses a certain way for a while. All of a sudden, it felt different, I was a little off-balance felt a shift in my energy.
Anyways, after the move to Maryland and the baby, I decided to try a studio not too far from my new abode. 2 months after the baby, I was looking forward to a nice gentle return to something I loved. Instead I got a shockingly rude woman who was pretty much yelling at people all through class. I mean, is this Yoga? Where am I? Or is this Yoga east coast style?
First of all this lady, probably in her 60’s walked in to class in a pseudo bikini. I have nothing against her age, but I had been to many studios and had never seen anyone wear that until that moment. I got over that. Then she started leading the class. She had mentioned that she had lost about 100 lbs doing hot yoga, so she will be correcting us if she felt we needed improvements. That’s fine, but I was not expecting straight up yelling, like, “Hey, no, no ,no ,no, you, you, no, no, *your leg above your thigh, A-BOVE YOUR THIGH!”. I mean it’s ok for her to have lost weight through yoga, but everyone else in the class may have wanted to get something different out of it. People are in different places in their lives and have different needs. As a teacher, I would have preferred it if she honed in on the students and help them get what they wanted out of it, or at least create a nurturing space. I wanted a relaxing break away from my baby and to ease my body back into practice. I was looking for a gentle return to Hot Yoga. This, unfortunately, wasn’t it.
After that experience, I kept wanting to go back because I loved hot yoga so much, but it took me over a year to go back to that studio. I didn’t even want to try any other studio in the area, weary of what I may find. My mind and body were reluctant to be subjected to that level of negativity just because I wanted to practice hot yoga. That means that the studio lost about a year’s worth of income from me, due to the way I felt about one class.
This got me thinking about the energy of a place and how that affects businesses. I started thinking about all the studios that I had frequently and what drew me to those businesses and why I kept going back. The one thing that I could pinpoint was the “energy” of these spaces. The studio in Seattle I loved and joined, The Urban Yoga Spa, had great energy. I felt welcomed, encouraged and valued. I felt great when I interacted with the staff. I felt great after I worked out. I felt better after walking out through their doors than I did walking in. And so, I kept going back.
Another thing I noticed was that, businesses took on the personality of their owners. The way I felt when I interacted with the owner was the way I felt in the space. There is this studio in Seattle that is notorious for the bad attitudes of its staff. I went there and didn’t like the way I saw a staff member talk to someone. I thought it was just one bad staff member, but on another day, I saw another staff member do the same thing. I wondered who was training these people. Then I met someone who knew the owner and mentioned an encounter with him. I finally got where the attitude of the staff was coming from.
The lesson here for those who own businesses or plan to is that, the better people feel at your facility, the more drawn they are, and the more money you make. It’s that simple. People gravitate to places and people that feel good to them.
The lesson for me it that, the energy I use to create something is the energy that people will get when they receive it. No matter what I do, I want to make sure that when people receive it, it leaves them better off.
P.S: That not so great yoga studio is now under new management.
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