finding the right yoga studio is like datingby Christine Hennessey December 19, 2014 0 comments
For five years I belonged the world’s best yoga studio. It was the place where I fell in love with yoga and made my practice a permanent part of my life. I thought we’d be together forever, but things went south. I moved away, and left my too-good-to-be-true studio behind.
As I settled into my new town I started the search for a studio. I was hoping for an instantaneous connection, the kind of chemistry that couldn’t be denied. I soon realized, however, that finding the right yoga studio is a lot like dating. Allow me to explain.
The first studio I joined had a great reputation. It offered over 100 classes a week, the room was always packed, and the space was pure eye-candy. I fell hard, but after a few weeks I noticed something was off. The instructors never remembered my name. I had trouble finding a space to lay my mat. And the classes felt like they’d come off a conveyer belt. The studio had a pretty face, but that was it. I needed a relationship with more depth.
The Puppy Dog
The second studio seemed great—at first. The classes were challenging, so hot it was hard to breath. Sometimes I felt like the studio was trying too hard, but I could forgive that—until the incessant emails started. If I skipped a few days: “We miss you!” If I came regularly: “Bring your friends!” If I stopped going entirely: “Here’s a 30 day special! Pleasepleaseplease!” The desperation was a turn off. I wanted a studio that felt like an equal, not a charity case.
The Summer Fling
When I joined the YMCA looking for the right yoga studio, I was surprised to see a number of yoga classes on the schedule, and decided to check them out. Why not? They were easy, convenient, and I was already paying for them. We fell into a comfortable routine, and for a few months we were even exclusive. In the end, however, we both knew it wouldn’t work forever. The classes were causal, with people coming in halfway through and leaving early, and the Zumba music down the hall often drowned out the instructor. It was fun while it lasted, but I was ready to make a real commitment.
After so many heartbreaks, I was almost ready to give up. Then a friend invited me to a class at her studio. I said yes, we went, and there it was: the connection I’d been searching for. While we’ve only been together for a few months, I’m pretty sure this studio is the one. Small and intimate, with friendly instructors and a strong community, the studio challenges and fulfills me at the same time. You might even say it completes me.
Now that I’ve found The One, I can appreciate those other studios for teaching me things about what I need and who I am. In a way, they prepared me for my current studio, and for that I’ll always be grateful.