There’s something special about the atmosphere of a yoga studio. The smell of calming incense wafting through the air, the soft ambient music creating a serene soundtrack, and the warm smiles of fellow yogis all create a sense of belonging, of community. At the heart of this atmosphere are our dedicated yoga instructors and the wonderful spaces they’ve created for us to explore our yoga journeys.
But have you ever paused to think about how your yoga studio sustains itself? Yes, our memberships and class fees play a part, but there’s another way we can contribute: by purchasing our yoga products directly from the studios that have a yoga shop.
By choosing to buy our yoga gear locally, we make a choice that has far-reaching impacts: bolstering our local economy, supporting our beloved instructors, and upholding the values at the core of yoga itself.
In our rapidly digitizing world, it’s easy to turn to online mega-retailers for our yoga mats, blocks, and other essentials. Yet, every time we do, we miss a golden opportunity to support our local yoga studios, the very places that provide us with a sanctuary to practice and grow.
In this blog post, I’ll delve into why it’s so crucial to buy your yoga products from your local studio, how this simple act can make a big difference and the multitude of benefits that come from supporting the local places we love.
Benefits of buying locally
When we think of the term ‘buying locally’, we often associate it with the purchase of fresh produce from nearby farms or handmade crafts from local artisans. But this concept extends far beyond the farmer’s market or the neighbourhood craft fair – it’s equally applicable when we’re in need of a new yoga mat, a set of blocks, or a yoga strap.
The first and most apparent benefit of buying locally is the economic impact it has. For every euro or dollar spent in a local business, including your yoga studio, approximately 68 % stays within your community. That’s money that goes towards supporting local jobs, funding community projects, and generally ensuring the prosperity of the place you call home. It’s a simple way of taking care of our own, something that’s deeply ingrained in the philosophy of yoga itself.
Secondly, buying yoga products from your studio can lead to deeper relationships within your yoga community. When you buy a yoga mat from your studio, you’re not just interacting with an anonymous salesperson; you’re often buying directly from your yoga teacher or studio owner. These interactions can foster stronger connections, turning what might be a simple transaction into a meaningful exchange.
Lastly, your local yoga studio is likely to offer highly personalized service and advice when it comes to purchasing yoga products. After all, who better advise you on the perfect yoga mat or the right set of blocks than a yoga instructor who knows your practice and understands your needs? They can guide you towards products that are not just good but the best fit for you.
So, the next time you’re in need of a new yoga mat or a set of blocks, consider buying them directly from your local yoga studio. It’s a small decision with significant benefits – a win for you, a win for your yoga community, and a win for the local economy.
Note: just in case your favourite yoga studio does not have a yoga shop, check other studios in town or ask your teacher for advice.
The Impact on yoga studio
For many of us, our local yoga studio is more than just a place where we practice yoga. It’s a sanctuary, a place where we can forget about our worries for a while, connect with others, and simply be present. But maintaining such a welcoming, tranquil space is no easy task – and it’s certainly not cheap.
This is where our choice to buy yoga products locally becomes crucial.
Each purchase made at your yoga studio offers direct financial support. The income generated from selling yoga mats, blocks, and other gear helps cover operating costs like rent, utilities, and maintenance. It also helps pay the wages of your instructors, ensuring they can continue to offer their guidance and expertise. For many studios, especially small ones, this additional income stream can make the difference between just surviving and genuinely thriving.
Beyond just keeping the lights on, the funds from product sales are often reinvested into the studio, enhancing the services and experiences offered. Maybe it’s a renovation to create a more comfortable, inviting space, or maybe it’s bringing in guest teachers for special workshops. Perhaps it’s investing in new props and equipment to enhance your practice. Every penny spent within the studio has the potential to come back to you in the form of an enriched yoga experience.
Finally, by buying products from your local yoga studio, you’re supporting the livelihoods of yoga teachers. These dedicated individuals have spent years honing their skills and deepening their knowledge, all to help us better understand and practice yoga. By buying from them, you’re helping to ensure they can continue this work, enriching our community with their teaching.
Remember, when we support our yoga studios, we’re not only sustaining the places we love to practice in. We’re also empowering those who make our yoga journey possible to continue their essential work.
Supporting yoga roots
Yoga is more than just a physical practice; it’s a comprehensive system of well-being that encompasses physical, mental, and spiritual dimensions. Originating in ancient India, it has travelled far and wide, evolving and adapting along the way. However, as we enjoy the fruits of yoga in our local studios, it’s essential to remember and honour its roots.
Purchasing yoga products directly from your local studio is one meaningful way to do this. Many yoga studios go to great lengths to source products that are aligned with the principles of yoga. This might mean choosing to stock eco-friendly yoga mats, ethically made clothing, or books that delve into yoga’s rich philosophical traditions. When we choose to buy these products, we’re doing more than just voting with our wallets. We’re making a statement about the kind of yoga community we want to be part of – one that respects its roots and values.
Ethical consumption is a significant aspect of this. Yoga teaches us to practice ‘ahimsa’, or non-harming, not just on the mat but in all aspects of our lives. This can extend to the purchases we make. By choosing to buy products that are ethically made and environmentally friendly, we’re practicing ahimsa and living our yoga off the mat.
Moreover, when we support our local yoga studios by buying their products, we’re also supporting the broader yoga community, both locally and globally. Many studios donate a portion of their profits to charities or foundations dedicated to preserving yoga’s heritage or making yoga accessible to more people. Your purchase could be helping someone halfway across the world experience the transformative power of yoga for the first time.
Tips on Supporting Your Local Yoga Studio Beyond Purchases
While buying products from your local yoga studio is an impactful way to show your support, it’s not the only one. There are several other ways to extend your support and contribute to your yoga community’s health and vitality. Here are a few:
1. Advocacy: Word of mouth is a powerful tool. If you love your yoga studio, don’t keep it a secret! Share your experiences with friends, family, and coworkers. Write a positive review online or share a post about the studio on your social media platforms. Every recommendation can help attract new students to the studio.
2. Attending Classes and Events: Regularly attending classes is one of the best ways to support your studio. Plus, consider participating in workshops, retreats, or other special events the studio organizes. These often serve as additional revenue sources for the studio and offer you a chance to deepen your practice and engage with the yoga community.
3. Volunteering or Donating: If you have the time and means, consider offering your skills or extra financial support. Some studios have volunteer programs where you can help with administrative tasks, cleaning, or event organization in exchange for free or discounted classes. If you’re financially able, extra donations—no matter how small—can also make a significant difference, especially for smaller studios.
4. Engaging with the Studio Online: In the digital age, online engagement is critical. Follow your studio on social media platforms, and interact with their posts by liking, commenting, or sharing. It increases their visibility and attracts potential new members.
5. Continuing Your Education: Many studios offer advanced classes, teacher training programs, or workshops on specific aspects of yoga. Enrolling in these can be a great way to support the studio while also expanding your knowledge and deepening your practice.
Remember, supporting your local yoga studio is about more than financial transactions – it’s about fostering a sense of community and connection, embodying the principles of yoga, and contributing to a space that brings us peace, strength, and joy. Every action you take to support your studio, no matter how small, contributes to the strength and vibrancy of your yoga community.
Closing Thoughts: Cultivating Community Through Conscious Choices
In the hustle and bustle of our modern lives, it’s easy to overlook the profound impact of our everyday choices. Where we buy our yoga gear might seem trivial, but as we’ve explored throughout this post, these choices can ripple out, creating waves of positive change within our communities and beyond.
Our local yoga studios are more than just physical spaces; they’re hubs of learning, growth, and connection. Each class we attend, each product we buy, and each word of encouragement we share contribute to the studio’s vitality, sustaining the people and practices that help us find balance in our lives.
As yogis, we have the opportunity – and perhaps the responsibility – to ensure our actions align with our values. This might mean choosing to buy a yoga mat from our local studio instead of an online retailer, even if it might be a little more expensive or less convenient. It’s a small act, but one that affirms our commitment to our local yoga community, our teachers, and the deeper principles of yoga.
So next time you step into your yoga studio, take a moment to appreciate all the work that goes into creating that welcoming, nurturing space. Consider how you can contribute, whether by purchasing your next yoga mat from the studio shop, attending an extra class, or simply sharing your positive experiences with others.
Remember, each of us has the power to make a difference. Through conscious choices, we can support our yoga studios, nurture our local economies, and uphold the principles at the heart of our yoga practice.