As small business owners with only one studio to support, to love and to nurture, we can be flexible about prioritizing where we focus our attention. When the wind shifts and we see aspects of the business that can be improved, we have the power to choose where we direct our vision. This is truly a gift, which you all have supported as loyal friends and students! Over the past ten years, investors, developers and students have asked us to open other locations. We have resisted because we are proud to be a single location ownership presence, with the flexibility afforded by that.
Having only one location and not being linked to a franchise creates so many benefits for us all. We are able to choose what services to offer and what prices to set. It allows us to explore the myriad modalities that provide for whole health. Henri and I benefit from massage, acupuncture, meditation and more. Soon our young child will also be able to join in the yoga classes we offer for toddlers and the mindfulness classes we have on Sundays for kids. As we grow and heal, when we find a new way of deepening our well-being we like to share those new offerings with you here at our Yoga and Wellness Center. We love having the freedom to do that. We appreciate the offerings of the other healers in our building and are committed to providing a space where they can practice and provide healing services to the greater community.
Henri, all our wonderful teachers and I, love feeling connected to our yoga students. When a student forgets his or her wet yoga shorts on the floor in the dressing room, we not only know whose they are, but we also have the best work-study angels ever, who will wash and dry them before we return them to their owner. When students refer a friend or family member who is injured (in body or spirit), we know it is not just for the yoga we teach, but also for the way that we teach the yoga for beginners and advanced yogis alike.
At BYH, we are aware of the value of and grateful for Bikram’s beginner’s yoga series. Anyone can do it and we are devoted to continue sharing that message. We will continue to teach this series to beginners and we have started the process of adding other services, which will include other types of yoga. In order to allow you to fully grow, we too must grow fully.
We are, and always have been, an independent business. Given recent events surrounding Bikram Choudhury, who created this beginner’s yoga series, we feel that it is necessary to both reaffirm our commitment to the actual yoga, and simultaneously create a clear distance between ourselves and the man himself. Fortunately, we are not a franchise and have never paid him or his company any money. We will always appreciate the elegant simplicity and need for this series of 26 poses with two breathing exercises, and we are excited to fully exercise our freedom to evolve.
Yoga is not a performance, it is a practice. We heal our broken bodies, doubting spirits, cloudy minds, and fearful hearts. What the posture looks like on the outside has no bearing on how much benefit we are getting on the inside. Yoga is not the subject; the student is the subject. In a culture where success is measured in performance, our goal at Bikram Yoga Hampden is to use the practice of yoga without judgment, to become happier with who we are, how we treat ourselves, and how we love our families. Improving our lives in these areas leads to happier, healthier people and communities. We promise to provide both safe and encouraging methods and environments wherein you can learn to improve your life on and off the yoga mat.
Sarah & Henri