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The Thrills & Shrills - of opening your own yoga space

The doubts, limiting beliefs, and imposter syndrome can be real. But, I once heard on a podcast that you know you’re doing the right thing when you feel this - “believing that you are undeserving of your achievements”. When you don’t feel like this could be your life or that you have no pedigree to be living the life you dreamt, that’s what imposter syndrome feels like. That’s when you know to keep on because that’s the real-life pursuit of making your dreams your reality. When you start living your dreams, it sure feels like you're still dreaming!

It’s all like waiting in line at the amusement park for that ride you've anticipated to ride, finally buckling up in that seat, and going for a ride up and down, & up and down. Then you unbuckle, step foot on the stable ground with some not-so-stable legs and possibly still a queasy stomach and… waalaa! Your business is open and you may or may not have any students that first day.

For us at Habitual Yoga Space, we filled up the studio with 10 students in the first class on that first day! Our maximum capacity in the Space is 10 students, we have 10 mats and accompanying equipment like blocks, bolsters, and blankets for all students. The Space has limited ‘space’, and we like that here. That means, we can really foster a feeling of personal connection with each student as they enter, during their practice, and as they leave. Packing heaps of people into a class is definitely not our jam. Plus, the physical space has nothing to do with the ethereal space we create in each class or session.

Six months into being open as a business on Water Street in the historic Old Towne neighborhood of Eau Claire, WI we have learned more about what are jams are or are not. Sometimes in life you have to experience what you don’t like, in order to truly know what you do like. Thus, the small class size and non-heated yoga space was birthed. Yoga has taken on many westernized faces and has travelled far from its original roots. At the Space, we honour where yoga has come from, how it’s evolved in it’s modern-day application (for better or for worse), and do our best to acknowledge and not appropriate the teachings of yoga. Did you know that breath-work and meditation are already a part of yoga? They are not separate to a practice of yoga, and at HYS you will notice the pure essence of yoga taught within our walls.

Learning and unlearning customs, traditions, and ways of teaching is a forever journey, especially when taking the responsibility to teach these to a room full of people. Students are like sponges absorbing every word and soaking in every cue that’s said (or not said), which leaves a ton of responsibility for the teacher and the space to cultivate a container that’s honouring and edifying. We also acknowledge at the Space the traditional caretakers of the land on which we meet - the lands of the Dakota, Ojibwe, and Ho-Chunk people on the confluence of waters, land, and air. We pay our utmost respect to their elders past, present and emerging. An acknowledgement knowing soveirgnty was never ceded, and we are privileged to be able to utilize and meet on this land, breathe this air, and witness the flow of waters.

This acknowledgement and these teachings are what support me to come back to my core, back to my values, and back to my source of knowing why I opened the Space. Coming back to the roots and those feelings I want to foster in others enables that imposter syndrome to settle. The doubts of making it as a small-business are relieved by believing in the essence of yoga and how it's enhanced my own life. Those limiting beliefs can be breathed through and expelled out, but also seen as a guide to understanding where strengths may need to be amplified... right? That roller coaster ride doesn't seem so scary anymore, in fact it gives that thrill of being alive.

What do you look for in a space of wellness? What needs need to be met and how do you want to feel? Love-heart and comment below - then share this article with your friends. :)

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