Throughout the years we have had the privilege of working with hundreds of yoga studios that have helped shape our business and become a part of our story. We want to give back to the yoga community and open up the floor for studios to share their stories with us. To do this we’ve launched a Yoga Studio Spotlight section on our blog. We will select a yoga studio we have worked with and invite the owners to share their story.
If you’re interested in having your studio featured please email evelyn@HeatingGreen.com We are thrilled to present Adrienne Smith, owner of Power of Your Om in Santa Barbara, CA.
- Tell us a little about your background in yoga. When did you start and how did you progress to where you are now? I started yoga at my office in 2004. I would go to yoga classes at our health center twice a week at 6 a.m. with my girlfriends. I had heard yoga was “good for you” so I gave it a try. There was one teacher I especially liked because we moved a lot and I got a little sweat worked up in a cold room. Then someone introduced me to Baptiste Power Yoga – Heated Power Vinyasa Yoga and my world was rocked.
- What inspired you to start a yoga studio? Shortly after my intro to heated vinyasa yoga, I moved away from this happy awesome yoga studio and the new city I lived in didn’t have this style of yoga so I resorted to yoga DVDs and a space heater in my basement. I kept thinking that if I wanted this, other people must surely want to do this too… so I opened my first yoga studio in Naperville, Illinois in July 2008.
- What do you think makes for a good yoga session? An inviting environment, synchronizing breath with movement and authentic teachers who empower students to play their edge offering up fun and creativity throughout the practice to challenge students and keep them engaged.
- Your studio obviously offers hot yoga. What are some of the benefits to practicing yoga in a hot environment? Think about trying to bend metal when it’s cold…it doesn’t work. Your body is the same – especially when we are becoming more and more sedentary as a culture. Adding heat gets us able to move with more ease quicker than just moving alone. It’s the same reason why all athletes “warm up” before a game or a race. We move better when we are warm.
- What advice would you give to perspective students who are on the fence about trying yoga or making the switch to hot yoga? Everyone can do yoga. You may not be “great” at it when you start, but when are we great at anything at the beginning? Progress happens quickly at first and its so fun to fall in love with that process. My advice would be to approach it like a kid would… excited and willing. Nervousness and fear is just excitement without the awareness. We all get nervous but the things we’ve all gotten nervous about usually turn into our best adventures of our life. Once you make the switch to hot yoga, you won’t go back. We are able to dive into the physical experience so much quicker when we have the external heat warming up our muscles.
- What are some characteristics you look for in a studio? Playing music before and after class to keep it fun and lighthearted. I like bright colors that awaken the spirit and lift up the energy. Wood floors are nice in comparison to concrete but heck… I recently taught yoga at a brewery and we had a blast. It’s the people that show up that make the studio welcoming.
- How did you go about planning and designing your space? I wanted to keep it simple and add things as I went. I didn’t take out a loan for my studio so I had to be mindful of how I spent my money. I picked out a decent wood floor, bright colored paint and then went to Ikea for furniture. The best advice someone gave me before my first studio was that people come for the community, not the decor.
- What were some of the biggest challenges you faced with your studio? How did you overcome them? The biggest challenge is always competition and in Santa Barbara we aren’t just competing with yoga studios, we are competing with nature. There are so many great activities (surfing, hiking, cycling, running, paddling, etc) to do in this city besides yoga that adding one more extracurricular activity to peoples’ days is almost the opposite of what they need. So giving them a great yoga class that is also a workout is important to me and what Power of Your Om provides to the community. It’s a moving meditation to get people out of their heads but it’s also a workout. We need both!
- If you had to do everything again would you make any changes? I would have moved out to California sooner and added the Heating Green heat panels earlier! Business wise – no. Every “mistake” I’ve made has taught me a lesson. Each lesson has built my character. I would have loved to never have any hiccups so that my life could be a bit easier but I trust God’s plan for my life.
- What has been the most rewarding part about the experience? Contributing to students breakthroughs on and off their mat. I’ve seen so many students reach for big goals after seeing what they are capable of with their bodies. They inspire me everyday.
- Looking ahead, what are some of the goals you have for your studio? We are continuing to grow and expand our presence in the Santa Barbara community…but not for us as much as it is for the community. We want to make yoga accessible and relevant to everyone, everywhere that they are. We have goals to bring yoga into the community with Spanish yoga classes, to offer up 2-3 fundraising events each year to support local initiatives and causes and most importantly to continue to support our teachers and students to empower them with all their biggest life goals.
- Is there anything else you would like to add? Our bodies were meant to move. Our minds were meant to be challenged. Yoga at Power of Your Om stretches both your body and your mind past what we currently think to be possible. When we add the heat, it picks up that intensity and makes it an even more powerful, palpable experience of breaking through barriers consistently. Adding our Heating Green heat panels has helped us to support that overall goal at Power of Your Om.