January 1st 2009 we opened a small sweet donation-based studio in the attic of our home, it named itself Ashtanga Yoga Club Durham.
The City of Durham has rules and regulations concerning the running of business in your home. Since our little studio was in a residential setting the whole enterprise had to stay on the down low. The main stipulation when operating a “home-based business” is the class size is limited to 5. Needless to say, we often bent the “Rule of 5”. We had plenty of parking in the back so as to not LOOK like there were more than 5 people. It was a club, like a book club, right? It was donation, so that is not really a business, right? Our little studio served us well for almost 7 years, but then our classes doubled in size. And then they doubled again.
About a year ago, in the midst of our growth spurt, we were cited for breaking the “Rule of 5.” If cited again within a 2 year period it was a $500.00 fine PER DAY. We could no longer keep YogaClub on the down low. As a stop gap measure, we rented a big beautiful room from another yoga studio for our weekend classes. Since the morning mysore was still holding steady at 5 (or 7 or 8… ) we continued our weekday classes in the attic.
It surprised me how liberating it was to be “off campus” on the weekends. Every single one of our students could show up at exactly the same time and it was fine. And it was wonderful knowing my neighbors were not going to hear everyone coming and going. Just because ashtangis think 7:30 AM is sleeping in, does not mean the family we share a driveway with is on our weekend warrior schedule.
After we were cited for having too many students in class, I began the hunt for a space to move our studio. Operation “find a studio” took a lot of time and energy: too far away, too expensive, too small, too big, too late! someone else got it!, no parking, no bathroom, no light, Nikos does not like it, crazy landlord…. Funny, I spent so much time and energy looking for a studio, making appointments, looking at spaces, driving around looking for spaces that were not yet listed, it was Nikos who found our space.
One of Nikos’ jobs is keeping our vehicles in working order, so he frequents Advanced Auto Parts on Roxboro Street. He walked a few steps around the corner from his car parts store to check for any possible spaces for us, and there it was. There was no for rent sign, but the space was clearly not being used. We both saw the potential of the space even though it was a mess. Tracking down the landlord was no small task. Did you know that most landlords of retail real estate live either in the mountains or out of state!
We did make contact with him, negotiated a contract, and signed the lease May 1st, but he could not find the keys, the keys were lost. After more than a week of waiting for keys, we got permission to get the locks changed. Once we had keys we began the work of changing a neglected, leaky roofed, moldy, smelly, run-down space into our yoga studio. We paid for and did all of the tenant improvements in our typical fashion…full speed ahead. We had a few arguments, missed a few weddings of dear friends, had about 19 nervous breakdowns and spent a great deal of our style quality time.
We did it.
We opened an “off campus” real life, big girl pants, yoga studio June 3rd 2017.
It is way better than I had imagined.
I love teaching and practicing, and being in our studio.
In September 2017 AYCD is:
- adding a Tuesday PM beginner session class
- switching over to a succinct class pricing policy
- Monday – Thursday 6:30-8:30AM
- Thursday Evening 5:00-7:30PM
- Sunday 8:00-11:00AM
Led Primary Series
- Friday 12:00 Noon
- Satruday 9:00AM
AYCD accepts cash and/or checks made out to Suzanne Faulkner
DROP-IN: $20 (due for each class at the time of each class)
5 CLASS PASS: $75
10 CLASS PASS: $130
1 MONTH UNLIMITED: $120 🏆
1 YEAR UNLIMITED CLASSES: $1,000
Pass cards expire after 3 months from date of purchase.
Head Coach Ashtanga Yoga Club Durham