There is a certain amount of tension between being a yoga student and running a yoga shala. As a student, it’s my aim (like every other aspiring yogi) to become fully present, aware, mindful of what is happening from moment to moment, accepting things as they come, equanimous in all situations.
This week I have been knee deep in growth forecasts, income projections, membership numbers at the shala and cost/benefit analysis. This is so far away from what I thought I was signing up for when (after Sharath said to me, “You go home and start teaching”) I gave up a couple of part-time music teaching jobs and started to teach Mysore-style with Suzanne.
That being said, I have actually been enjoying my foray into the world of Microsoft Excel. I’ve always been someone who likes learning new things and the whole thing is new enough so as not to be boring… yet!
The reason I’ve been spending so much time with spreadsheets and the calculator app open on my laptop is that we are faced with our latest conundrum about the future of the shala. We’ve been wondering, for a while, if we need a bigger space (as I’m sure many of you students/sardines would be happy to hear). So we’ve been trying to figure out if we can afford a bigger space and, if we can, how much can we afford.
With that in mind, we contacted our current landlord this week to ask what the cost of our next lease would be so that we could compare that to other possible places. Our current lease expires in November and we were fully expecting another fairly significant increase (long-time readers of the moon day news will remember the last lease-saga and the large increase in rent that time).
But it turns out that he has decided not to renew our lease at all, or the leases of any of the three other companies who share our building. He has decided to get rid of us all and to lease the entire four-story building as a single unit. This is all perfectly acceptable and legal, despite the fact that the some of the companies may have built up some sort of reputation in the location they’ve been in for years. Ladies and gentleman, we really are living in a capitalist utopia.
Luckily for us, our heads had already been turned by thoughts of a bigger shala, so the news wasn’t as shocking as it would otherwise have been. So we are looking around. The cost of premises nearby is quite shocking (hence the excel spreadsheets and growth forecasts) but we are working on it.
So, all this is really just to let you know that our days in 128 Baggot Street are numbered. It was great while it lasted. We might move before November or we might see out our lease in its entirety. Either way, we’ll keep you all informed. And we’ll do our absolute best to provide a great space in the same area; as close as possible to where we are now.
Now, back to that whole being-a-yoga-student thing…