I'm back in Ann Arbor from a weekend getaway trip to Toronto. I went with a really good friend and I find it's always nice to explore a foreign city with someone who's extremely familiar. I've known my friend since we were both 11 years old. We've gone to places in Europe together numerous times, but aside from Michigan this was a first in exploring North America.
We went to a yoga studio in Toronto (which shall remain nameless) and though my friend doesn't practice yoga regularly, she was kind enough to join me early Sunday morning for a brief visit to one of Toronto's most popular places. Afterwards, we had a lovely breakfast at Niche and discussed the aforementioned yoga studio over Eggs Benedict. As an actual practitioner, I felt oddly intimidated by the students at the Toronto studio. My friend said she felt the same--to a terrifying degree. She said had she walked into such a studio on her own, she would've, "Walked right back out."
Not only did everyone look like a gymnast straight out of the Olympics, sadly there was an air of superiority as well. I smiled at a girl and she gawked back, almost offended. This studio was clearly well-invested... amazing hardwood floors, gorgeous murals of Laxmi, lavish statues of Hindu dieties lined all the windows which were hidden behind Chiffon curtains. A slight pedastal was built in the center of the room, surrounded by tea-candles. Our instructor did all of her Asanas in such a graceful manner, right on it. Glowing amidst the candles, it was all undeniably beautiful.
Nevertheless, neither my friend or I felt even remotely comfortable.
My own space is very limited and holds no fancy decorations, paintings, etc. but I hope it is welcoming.
This has made me wonder--what can I do as an instructor to ensure 100% of my clients will feel a warm, fuzzy feeling in their hearts upon setting foot inside Take Five Yoga?? If anyone has any ideas, please don't hesitate to contact me with ideas!