5 Reasons to Run a Pop Up Hot Yoga Studio

by Naomi Clark on November 25, 2014

I was having lunch with a newly qualified Bikram Yoga Teacher yesterday & asked about her future plans; if she wanted to Teach & if she was going to open a Studio. She sighed ‘I just want to go EVERYWHERE’, she said ‘I could Teach in my home town but I also want to travel, I want to stay put & learn, but I KNOW there are so many opportunities out there’ gesturing out to the world in general. I understood her indecision & also felt a little nostalgia for those halcyon days as a newly released ball of glowing yogic light – a yoga puppy. In your 20’s as a brand new shiny Teacher who has just learned to put her head on her knee, the ‘going inwards’ builds the courage & strength to blossom outwards & venture into this exciting yoga world brimming with opportunity. A new supercharged bullet-proof bomb-proof fire-proof water-proof ‘us’ means a new exciting world available TO us.
And this is common to many Yogis, we want it all, but are happy with nothing. We have learnt that the honesty and rawness of being true to ourselves whatever the cost means we will never be in a dead-end job that offers us a mortgage, a pension & 40 years of biting our tongue. Above all we cherish Freedom.
So here’s one solution I suggested to her –

5 Reasons to run a POP UP Yoga Studio


1)  Pop Up means minimal commitment – you don’t have to tie yourself to a long-term lease or loan that may tie you down in the future as your life plan & vision evolves. You may want to open a Bikram Studio but 5 years down the line wish to practice and teach Vinyasa/Meditation/Acroyoga, but there is ALREADY a Vinyasa/Meditation/Acroyoga Studio just down the road – then what? You may fall in love with a man in Vancouver & start to resent being ‘stuck’ in your London Studio, or you may want to have children down the line but your commitment to your studio doesn’t allow you time off to be with them. The ‘Pop Up Concept’ is a way of testing ourselves as Studio Owners as much as Studio Potential.

2)  Test your area – A short-term lease or monthly rental agreement will also allow you to see if an area is viable. You will need to answer certain questions eg What is the population? Bikram always used to say 450k minimum to make a viable studio. Is there enough of a potential yoga community willing to invest in developing a practice, is there competition on your doorstep, can you get there easily or is there a big commute? Testing a space for a short term will allow many questions to be answered with low risk and perhaps you will decide this is not the best area to open your Studio or the community don’t want what you have to offer.

3)  Pop Ups are Cool! The Pop up movement is HUGE. As recession-hit businesses move out of their premises in response to a web driven economy landlords are left with excellent retail, restaurant and other commercial premises empty and unloved for longer periods of time. To have a temporary business using the space & ‘Shop-sitting’ means better security & some income rather than nothing. Check out your Local Council for Property Listings & see www.wearepopup.com & www.appearhere.co.uk

4)  Pop Up Yoga Studios require less financial risk which for most people means less STRESS! Your Pop Up Hot Yoga Studio won’t need an expensive heating system (choose your space wisely eg no windows, double glazing, good insulation) – so immediately you are £25-£80k better off than the more permanent Hot Yoga Studio Owner. You won’t need a bank loan, your parents’ help (‘Mama Give me Money’) or your life savings – so if you don’t decide to stay where you are you won’t be in debt. Ok, so you may not be able to stay on long-term in your Pop Up Space but with that in mind you will limit your overheads – therefore building in ‘Core Emotional Sustainability’ (which is another blog…!)

5)  Your Pop Up is a Success! Your intuition was correct – you chose the right location, your students are loving their practice & your life is manageable & even FUN around running your temporary Studio! This gives you freedom & choice. If you want to make your Studio a more permanent place but you need finance you have a solid set of numbers to take to a bank or your investor – at least you KNOW that you have done, as they say in the US, your ‘due diligence.’
However, you may decide that it’s game over, the above factors haven’t worked out & you want to explore other areas. In which case, you are free to be in your truth & let your students know the Pop Up will shortly be ‘popping down’.

Interested to hear YOUR thoughts Yogis – what do you think of the Pop Up idea?


Naomi x

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

elisabeth November 26, 2014 at 1:00 am

great ‘pop up’ blog.
but I would have thought bikram wouldn’t like the pop up idea ?


Lucinda January 4, 2015 at 9:47 pm

This is a great idea Naomi!


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