Business blog The Native Society asked Yoga 216 owner Nicole to tell them all about what it’s like to run a yoga studio in NYC. Check out the full interview ASAP.
I don’t really think of it as getting into the industry. Health and wellness have been a part of my life as far back as I can remember. I come from a very yoga centered beach town in San Diego and my parents were hippies back in the 60’s. Growing up there wasn’t a “health and wellness” industry. Spirituality, clean living and physical activity were just life. Starting Yoga 216 was less about getting into an industry then deciding to share what I have learned on my journey so far.
Tell us about Yoga 216. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?
I have been practicing yoga for a long time. I received my first teacher training certificate back in 2008, about a year later a good friend of mine asked if I would help him open his restaurant. I said sure, as a bridge into my teaching carrier and out of the restaurant world I had been in for so long. 3 years and 3 restaurants later I was the director of operations for what is now Major Food (Torrisi, Parm etc.). During my time there my yoga practice was a very important part of helping me do my job well and making it to the mat was key. It was also however, over crowded, stressful getting space and frankly most studios I was going to really needed a kick in the hospitality pants.
I decided to leave the restaurant world and return to my original passion of yoga. My experience starting the restaurants gave me the guts to say YES when the opportunity to open the studio came about.
Part of what makes us really special is that we have no more than 6 students per class. It was really important to me to provide a new yoga studio experience to people. One that included attention from the teacher, space to move around, friendly staff, hospitality and a full host of sundries. Professional New Yorkers work so hard that we wanted them to feel taken care of from the moment they walked in the door, not like sardines stuffed in a yoga can