Give it all you’ve got
All you’ve gained
And all you’ve lost
Yeah that’s a lot
The past ten months I had the opportunity to lead and manage at two yoga studios. One of them was the largest yoga studio on the East Coast and the second largest within the company I worked for.
Friday was my last day managing my studio so I wanted to share with you what this journey has looked like and share some tips on managing a yoga studio.
You know how they say yoga isn’t for the flexible, it’s for the willing?
Well, managing a yoga studio is for the willing. It is real life and then some!
I lost 10 pounds. My hair turned white.
I grew two studios from unprofitable to profitable.
I hired and trained a brand new staff. Twice.
I got keys thrown at my face once.
I have experienced the depths of hell that MindBody can provide for a business to the point that if you called me in the middle of the night I would be able to figure it out for you while I’m still asleep. Unless it crashes then reset the WiFi and wait 30 minutes and pray to the yoga gods that it all works out!
I learned that managing is all about trial and error. Then trial and succeed!
I experienced women bashing women often.
I experienced women supporting women occasionally.
Someday’s I worked 630am-930pm. Then I would wake up and do it all over again.
I messed up sometimes and definitely pissed off some humans, but taking ownership of it is what made me a better manager and human.
I didn’t get in trouble often, but when I did it was for being honest.
I stopped a studio from flooding in 15 minutes.
I got a concussion.
A bench fell on my foot.
My vision board was thrown into the trash. I pulled it out.
My former boyfriend broke up with me then the same day I was asked to manage the second largest studio within my company. I felt like Beyoncé that day.
I folded blankets, cleaned dirty mats, scanned papers, sent emails and sold memberships like my life depended on it.
There were moments that were so soul damaging that I would take days off to travel to find myself again.
My leadership was questioned often. I was criticized. I was called sexist names. I had people telling me how I need to lead and who I need to be all the time.
Clearly, there were some haters.
But, there were also lovers.
I became dear friends with the creator of Roger Rabbit.
I learned to not only lead within my team, but to also be a leader for my fellow managers. I love those women dearly and if you haven’t met them, you should!
I supported teachers and students and truly took the time to get to know my community.
I found out that doing little things can actually make a big impact.
I learned that first impressions mean nothing and that giving someone a second chance can actually go a long way.
I made the effort to take a different teachers class almost every week, because yoga teachers need to be supported in their place of work. Period.
I met beautiful souls from all walks of life and from all parts of the world who truly changed my life for the better.
I told my team thank you often, got them treats and gave them prizes when they met goals, because my front desk team are the ones running the yoga studio. They deserve the entire world and to be paid more than minimum wage.
My team dressed up as ninjas for Halloween and it was spectacular!
I survived on jolly ranchers, vegetable soup from Panera and chocolate chip cookies which is not a complaint. I like all of these things.
I learned that joy is asking someone how their day was and truly listening or when Julie would show up to the studio with her delicious baked goods or reading a thank you email after a long day or being given tickets to the circus so I could spend an afternoon with my family or the way a student would light up when I remembered their name or any celebration that involved eating cake.
I learned that it’s okay to ask for help and that asking for help makes us better leaders.
I learned that if I need to be pushed to my edge then I need to take Vito’s Strength and Structure class or Elliott’s Ashtanga class (I was sore for three days).
I learned that if I need to soften and find self love then to take Erica’s Black Light Yoga class (with the occasional DJ Sprino).
I followed through on everything I promised and genuinely put my whole heart into my studio community.
I learned that being a leader means being a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves and to use my voice loudly even if it offends those who need to hear it most.
I learned that leadership has nothing to do with the word “I”, but has everything to do with listening, providing support and letting a community shine.
The day that I told my team of my notice, I reminded them that managing a yoga studio and leading in a yoga community isn’t about how many memberships we sell (although it does keep the money flowing).
It’s about showing up, doing the work, and holding the space.
And if we’re doing that then we’re impacting lives and that is what leading in a yoga community is.
I write this with tears in my eyes as I am SO PROUD of my community for the growth they all chose to do and show up for during our time together. YogaWorks Boston is a community that will keep growing regardless of who their leader is and what obstacles come their way because they are Team Boston.
I love you Team BB!
Keep shining and always follow your heart!
Brytta is a world traveling yoga instructor from NYC. She is a lover of glitter, SUP Yoga and climbing waterfalls. When she's not adventuring around the world and teaching yoga, she's writing about her adventures and coming up with new ways to take her yoga off the mat and into the world! When she's not doing any of that, she's outside studying constellations and making wishes on shooting stars. A big fan of discovering new poetry, her current favorite poets are: Rupi Kaur, Jeff Brown and Carlos Andres Gomez.