Is it me or has quite a number of yoga studios changed ownership recently? I have noticed quite a few of them closing, or being sold off and re-branded as something else in and around London. I have also noticed quite a few new studios opening outside London which is fantastic as it is becoming more and more accessible. Along with these changes can sometimes come with different styles of yoga classes being offered, different teachers and a completely different vibe.
Recently, I walked into a previous Bikram Yoga studio which has now turned into a fitness studio offering a combination of gym, HIT classes and a couple of hot yoga classes a week. The reception, lighting, décor, space and general atmosphere have all changed and it no longer feels like a yoga studio. I felt a little sad as I liked it for what it was. Those fantastic yoga teachers are no longer teaching there. Where would I go and practise in their classes again?
On the other hand, I have also visited a well-known yoga studio recently which used to have strict rules such as ‘no water in class’. I don’t normally drink water in class, but I always felt a bit intimated by the rules, hence I never visited before. This studio is now under new ownership and re-branded. I decided to go and give it a try and what a lovely space it is! I really enjoyed my class and the teacher was very experienced and welcoming.
Not all of us adapt to change easily. Once you get connected to a yoga studio and feel part of the community, it might feel like a real shock when these changes take place. I know how attached I get to yoga studios and yoga teachers’ style of teaching.
Whether it’s the yoga studio you love most changing, or your yoga teacher moving onto a new path in their lives, here are my 3 tips in handling this change:
1. Be open to options
It might be easier said and done. I know that.
If the yoga studio you used to go to has transformed into something different, why not give it a try? They need to have a healthy number of students to survive in business so they might have attractive introductory offers to entice you in. You never know, you might like the new teachers and classes after a while.
If a yoga teacher you really like is taking another path in their lives, ask them to recommend similar teachers so that you can continue your practice. Every yoga teacher has something unique about them and you might really enjoy the new things a different teacher can teach you.
2. Go with your gut feeling
After trying out a new studio or new teachers’ classes, you are likely to know if you enjoy them. If it doesn’t feel right, try something new and somewhere else and don’t give up on it altogether.
Ever since I started practising, so many people tell me how they used to go to yoga but the teachers changed or the studio changed so they haven’t been back since. They no longer have as much energy, don’t sleep as well as they used to, get angrily easily, etc. etc.
There are so many yoga studios and teachers offering different classes now, more than ever before in the UK. Keep looking and you might find a new place offering classes you enjoy.
3. Try out private lessons
If you can’t find a yoga studio you like but you are able to contact a teacher that you like, why not give them a call and ask them if they will teach you privately? I know private lessons sound a lot more expensive than going to a yoga studio but you might be able to get some yoga friends round and all take part in a class. It might be too cold now in November to practise outside but you don’t need a lot of space to get a couple of friends together at home, lay your mats out and do a bit of guided stretching. This might save you time to travel back and forth and you get to catch up with your friends before and after. It might be a win-win.
No matter what, practise safely and be kind to yourself. It is your practice after all, so go with what makes you feel good.
Have you ever had to adjust to a change in yoga studios, classes and teachers? I would love to hear your experiences: