What a journey it’s been to our 5th birthday!
When people used to ask me about opening my own yoga studio, I would roll my eyes and shrug it off, laughing, saying, “ I have no interest in doing that….way too much work!” I really believed that and felt that way for many years. It really was much easier to show up to the fitness center, clock in to teach then clock out and leave- sure I had the occasional meeting and net-learning stuff but not really that big of a hassle, right!?
About five years ago, my husband and I bought the former Prospect Hill B&B looking to move his offices into that space. Initially, we were thinking maybe a cafe or small restaurant might go downstairs, but when we realized we would have to renovate the commercial kitchen, that idea was scrapped. My husband suggested one day that I should open a yoga studio and I just looked at him and my immediate reaction was “NO! Too much work!” But the seed had been planted and it started to germinate and grow.
The truth was that after teaching for the fitness center for 14 years, I was starting to feel stuck and little stale in my teaching and that job. It would have been so easy to stay and keep doing the same old over and over again because I did love the people that I taught there and most of them had been in my classes for several years. The thought of leaving that job frankly made me a little nauseous and nervous, but I started to seriously consider what that might mean for me and my teaching career. I decided to investigate and look into some options thinking things will fall into place if it is meant to be- and of course some things did and some did not!
I had worked with and been friends with Leigh-Ann for some years and I knew she had studio management experience in addition to being a yoga teacher. She was also working for my husband at the time and I know she would be in the building already which seemed pretty convenient. I had already decided if she was not in and open to doing it with me then that was a sign that I should not move forward, but as you know by now, she was all in and the yoga center started to take shape!
I had known Jerica for a while through a mutual friend and just had an instinct that she would be a great asset to have for all the back end stuff from a management perspective and she has been a rock star like Leigh Ann. The three of us starting working together and the studio really started to come together and take shape as we made what seemed like a million decisions on paint colors, software, logos, signs, mission statements and values. And just like that, my third baby, the Waynesville Yoga Center was born out of our love of yoga and wanting to bring this to our community!
And a few years into the party, Jake joined our team and Natalie followed soon after. Jake is the smiling face that most of you see every morning when you come in and Natalie is the smiling face behind the scenes like Jerica keeping the WYC machine running smoothly and efficiently! It takes a village, for sure!
Over the last five years, we have weathered a renovation, a flood from our washing machine, and Covid. My prophecy of “too much work” did come to pass on some days. What I did not anticipate, as many new parents can’t, is the joy and happiness that comes with sharing and connecting with others- something that we love so much- so that the hard work is worth it more often than not. We can do hard things and come out richer and wiser for it in the end. Just like with a new baby, the sleepless nights and long hard days are worth it as you get the privilege of watching your new baby grow and change to become themselves.
I am profoundly grateful for my staff and teachers as they have been incredibly flexible and adaptable throughout this process as we navigated some of these challenges and other growing pains. I hear all the time how amazing our teachers and staff are and believe me when I say that I am so thankful for each and every one of them. The community that we have nurtured and fed at our studio is something special and many that come through have commented that they can feel that sense of being welcomed to our space.
Our members and patrons have been the backbone of our studio, steadfast in their loyalty, and they are the reason that we are still here in business serving the community. We thank each one of them from the bottoms of our hearts for staying with us through some challenging times over the last five years. You are the reason that we do what we do and we never forget that!
Happy Birthday to us!
With so much gratitude,