It has been a long hiatus since sitting down to write. Three years ago the Studio began a journey when the “for sale” sign unexpectedly went up on the Reece and Nichols building on Shawnee Mission Parkway. We had just completed the expansion and remodel of our second studio allowing us to add a complete schedule of non-heated classes. Thus began a long and stressful journey that ended with our move to Johnson Drive in Mission. May 9th, 2015 we celebrated our two year anniversary at the new location. For those of you not acquainted with this journey the short version is: I bought a building, remodeled it in about 9 weeks from top to bottom, re-opened our beautiful new home to the background noise of work crews tearing up Johnson Drive, survived a year and a half of construction on Johnson Drive and feel like for the first time we can get back to the business of yoga full-time.
While this sounds like a journey of a million miles, I did not do it alone. I was fortunate to bring along, roughly 95%, most of my staff and over 50% of our loyal yoga students. Not only did students come to the new location, they battled their way down Johnson Drive through what at times was described as looking like a war zone to come to classes. If you have had a chance to look at the photos posted on the studio wall you can see the dramatic change from the old Easy Living Store that occupied this space before us to the brand new Yoga Studio. In those last two years we welcomed 3,091 New Members through our doors and held over 3,395 classes.
We have also seen changes in staff in these last two years. After moving to our new location we said goodbye to Mark a fixture of the early morning Front Desk shift who has greeted customers since the beginning days of Yoga Fix Studio, long before 2008 when I took over ownership of the studio from the original owners. We recently said goodbye to Michael another friendly and caring face at the Front Desk who has been with the studio since before 2008. He and his wife, Lori were regulars of the studio for years practicing yoga with us as well as being good friends and supporters of the studio. Jackie who began her yoga teaching career at Yoga Fix Studio shortly after I took over the studio was one of the first teachers trained after the change of ownership. She brought with her a love of yoga and always supported the studio. She leaves us for the sunnier climate and adventure of California. The truly remarkable thing is that, as we said goodbye to these three long-timers of Yoga Fix Studio; we have continued to be blessed with so many familiar faces.
Aaron and Shagane are two teachers who have truly seen the entire growth of Yoga Fix Studio, through its inception, to location changes and an ownership change. Christina has remained at the Front Desk and Julia has taught with us through many changes of location and ownership as well. And there are many who have come and gone and come again. The very first teacher I took Hot Yoga from and my first yoga class ever was Patricia Gray when she was in the downtown location where we trudged up an arduous flight of steps before even beginning class. The person who got me to go to that class was Lisa Uhl who I regularly took class from later when she was teaching for Yoga Fix in its tiny little studio on 39th Street on the east side of Southwest Trafficway in a basement studio not much bigger than our non-heated room. I was a regular at the Westport location as well, before disappearing for a number of years and returning to help clean and do marketing for the studio at its location in the bottom of the Reece and Nichols building before making that mighty leap in to ownership in 2008.
As we say goodbye to some and welcome others back, we also welcome new faces to the studio in both Front Desk staff and Teaching staff. Over the next weeks and months I hope you will welcome with open arms our new Hot Yoga instructors, Stephanie and Megan as well as Front Desk persons Ashley, Alison and Nate. We have seen countless faces come and go who have throughout time helped clean and keep our studio spotless for all of you to enjoy. Again I am amazed at the longevity of some of those faces amongst them Jenny and Susan. For all of these wonderful people I say thank you. For our wonderful customers, some of them dating back to the opening days of the studio in the late 90’s, I am humbled by your dedication to this practice and the continued support of this studio.
In a time when most businesses strive to grow bigger and bigger, I would like for our studio to be big enough to thrive and small enough to keep the essence of what is the heart of this studio, the personal touch that is so lacking in so many large businesses. We are more plugged in than any other time in history, bombarded with stimuli and options. That you choose to practice yoga is a testament to your character and a statement about who you are in the world. To tune-out and tune-in for 60 minutes to 90 minutes says how much you honor yourself and the world around you. Thank you to all the employees and students who make my life and all of us who are collectively Yoga Fix Studio richer. And let’s not forget our furry friends; Fred who has been with me since I took ownership in 2008 and has been the best, laid back yoga dog ever, and now Sophie who recently joined us to add a little mischief to the studio. I look forward to many more years exploring life and yoga. Thank you for your continuing support and patronage of Yoga Fix Studio.