I've been all about the yoga lately so I thought I'd write about how I selected Being Yoga, the local studio that I’ve joined. There was no Groupon or Living Social deal that prompted this decision. This decision was made as a direct result of listening to my body. My muscles were tight and shortened. I started feeling sore after short 6-milers. I could barely touch my toes. All bad signs that I knew would eventually lead to injury.
All summer I’d been saying I was going to do more strength training and yoga. Neither really came to fruition the way that I wanted it to. I decided that it was time, once and for all to make an investment and commit to it. It was the only way I was going to see the results I long for.
Once the decision had been made I did a Google search for local studios. I'm not a huge Yelp user, but the Google search results included Yelp reviews. I read through the feedback on a few local studios and picked 2 that had the most promising reviews.
I started the research process by reading through their web sites and calling both studios to ask questions that the Web sites did not answer.
I called the first yoga studio about 5 times during different times of the day and each time only received an answering machine. That was a red flag. Just how staffed was it? I also watched a video on the web site and the studio itself did not seem very uplifting or inspiring.
The second place I called, Being Yoga, answered the phone on my first call and answered all the questions that I had. They were very helpful, friendly and most of all, inviting.
Next, without mentioning that I had already contacted Being Yoga, I asked my trainer, yoga instructor from the gym, and chiropractor if they knew of any good studios in the area. Each one of them recommended Being Yoga. Gee, how was I the last to know about them?!? :)
I looked at the prices and liked introductory offer of 30 days of unlimited yoga for $30. I thought this was a sufficient time period to fully evaluate the studio and classes and determine if it was a match for me.
I made a list of things that I and have found that Being Yoga meets each one of them:
Cleanliness The front desk area, studio, bathrooms, changing rooms are all extremely clean. I have no qualms about walking barefoot in any of the areas. And I've seen them clean the studio after class (important after a Bikram class).
Reputable Not only did they have favorable and reputable reviews; they are celebrating their 13th anniversary. Crappy places do not last this long.
Location Their location could not have been better for me. It's located between home and work; 10 minutes from home and 6 minutes from the office. So really, there is no excuse for me not to go on weekdays or weekends.
Convenient Schedule They offer early morning, mid-day and evening classes, 7-days a week. Since their proximity is so ideal for me, I can go to most of the classes they offer. In fact, I took a lunchtime class today. Taking a mid-day class definitely calmed my mind, helped me focus and I had quite the productive afternoon.
Class Offerings They offer several different types of yoga. So far I have taken Bikram, Gentle, Yin, and Vinyasa. Previous to this experience, I had only taken Vinyasa classes. I have really enjoyed learning and experiencing the others types of yoga classes.
Web site Working in high tech, I am a bit of a snob when it comes to Web sites. Their web site has all the pertinent information, is easy to user and visually interesting. The one thing I love about their Web site is that the class schedule is up-to-date. It's not a PDF (take note Crunch Fitness), and you can register online in advance of a class. I don't think pre-registration is required, but by doing so, I feel more committed to attending the classes.
I also like that you can purchase memberships, packages and classes online. And immediately after making a purchase, you receive an email welcoming you to the studio. It provides you with all the information that a newbie would need - including studio and class etiquette. I think that is one thing that can intimidate people about trying something new. Knowing protocol beforehand helped me feel more relaxed and comfortable going to my first class.
I took my first class on Saturday, September 3rd. It was my first ever Bikram class. And since then I've taken:
4 Bikram classes 1 Gentle Yoga class 3 Yin Yoga classes 2 Vinyasa Flow classes
10 classes in 13 days! I'm hoping to finish my 30-day package by taking at least 25 classes (ambitious, but doable). And I have already decided to continue my studio membership beyond that. I can't believe that I've never known about Being Yoga until now, but I'm so glad that I've found it. I always thought it was a waste to join a yoga studio since my gym offers yoga classes, but the gym only offers a limited amount of yoga classes most of which doesn't meet my schedule. I'm glad to now have more options to choose from.
For the first time, I am actually feeling a connection between mind and body. I am excited to further explore this powerful connection and experiment on the impact it can have on all aspects of life.