“Community is a place where there are intentional moments and people genuinely connect.”

Michal, the owner of Camas Yoga, began practicing yoga nearly four years ago. After a sudden and painful accident, she found herself unable to do the high-intensity workouts she was accustomed to. The pain she was in forced her to discover and change her routine. Around that time she saw a local yoga studio and decided to take a class. From that day forward, she’s never looked back!

Though not even realizing the yoga class she signed up for was heated, Michal came to realize just how impactful the hot classes were. The heat proved to help relax her muscles and allowed more range of movement which not only impacted her yoga practice, but helped her recover from her injury.

Yoga not only provided for a quality workout, but it didn’t result in the same pain that other workouts caused. For Michal, this meant she could do more than one class per day without the normal muscle aches and pains that might make her hesitant to return for more.

She ended up doing 299 classes that first year.

“It feels great like you worked really hard and you did, but then I can still walk up the stairs the next day. I’m not so sore that I can’t walk up the stairs.”

Starting the Business

Michal started her career as an instructor at Camas Yoga, but people often suggested she start her own studio.Although she had the desire to eventually have her own studio she wasn’t interested in becoming competition for the studio she loved so dearly. Instead,Michal began teaching private classes and working on her business on the side.

Then one day the owner of Camas Yoga made Michal an offer. She asked Michal if she would be interested in taking over.

“Whenever people would say to me ‘you should start your ownstudio’ I would say not unless the owner moves away or something happens. Solate last year, she came to me with a crazy idea, she said ‘what do you think about buying the studio?’”

This opportunity came at the same time she was looking to forge her own path since her children had grown up and moved on. Coincidentally she was looking for something new and although going back to school to get a new degree crossed her mind, it would be expensive and she ended up deciding to dive into studio ownership head first.

So on January 1,Michal took over at Camas Yoga despite not having a background in business.Only a few short months later, COVID hit the Unites States and Michal’s introduction to being a small business owner got more intense than she could have imagined.

Challenges of Yoga Studio Ownership

When COVID-19 hit, Camas Yoga has had to close its doors just like most of the country. One thing Michal noticed early on was that her membership consisted of mostly drop-ins. Without regular, loyal members, staying profitable while moving things online wouldn’t be easy.  So with everything shut down,Michal was left with a brick and mortar business that quickly needed to go virtual.

There was a lot of work thatneeded to be done and it was an overwhelming experience. To avoid the overwhelm, Michal made sure to use mental anchors to keep her from succumbing to the pressure of her new role.

“I have to make sure I am not overwhelmed in this storm and not allowing it to just sink my ship. But I have to use different anchors, evenevery single day I might grab a different one to hold me steady and make sureI’m thinking right.

Initially,Michal’s plan was to learn on the job. However, the stay-at-home order had presented the opportunity for her to really dig in on courses, which would have otherwise been impossible with her normal schedule running the studio within-person classes.

Choosing fitDEGREE

After hearing the many complaints of other studio management softwares which had the reputation of being difficult both to use and figure out, Michal decided she needed something better. She did lots of research and found fitDEGREE.

In addition to being easy to use, what sold Michal on fitDEGREE was the fact that it was all-inclusive. And because it had everything, it helped prevent the overwhelming feeling that is so common with other softwares.

“I remember when Dan told me it was all included. I was like‘Well that’s it right there I’m sold.’ And that was the deciding factor.” 

Michal has found that not only has fitDEGREE fostered connections among students, but it has also forged connections that have helped her through the current challenges caused by COVID-19. The fitDEGREE Facebook group has reassured her that she’s not alone and that other studio owners are facing the same issues and struggles.

What’s Next For Camas Yoga?

Once businesses are able to open again, Michal plans to demonstrate her appreciation for the members who stuck with them through the pandemic. The studio will be open exclusively to members for the first couple weeks, offering them classes and giving back to them in a special way.

She’s making a difference in her community by collaborating with other studios to teach in thepark, offering a plethora of wellness options for locals who want to workout and social distance. (We’re loving the #communityovercompetition vibes!) As the studio evolves, Michal will focus on the whole being by offering more life and health coaching options in addition to Camas’ wellness classes.

Would you like to learn more about how fitDEGREE can support your Fitness Business?