Yoga, schmoga! There are a million great studios in NYC, so why would someone go to mine?
That’s the question I asked when launching Sonic Yoga NYC back in November 2001. From the get-go, I knew we’d have to do things differently. We’d have to be different in a way that wasn’t just different to be different, but better.
It wasn’t enough to be the first studio in our neighborhood, others would come soon. It wasn’t enough to be a studio in a sea of gyms. We had to stand for something, appeal to someone who wasn’t being spoken to. Solve a problem in a way it wasn’t being solved.
And, so we became the first NYC vinyasa yoga studio to “preserve the power of the practice, while lowering barriers to participation.” We were yoga for people who were terrified of yoga…or at least what they’d imagined yoga was.
Over the years as the community matured and my partner, Lauren, and I evolved, the energy of the studio followed suit. Plus, being in the heart of New York’s famed theater district, we realized we’d built a community that was hands down the most talented group of singing, dancing and acting yoginis and yogis ever assembled.
And, we catered to that, bringing powerful music, free-form movement and more than a bit of crazy to the mat.
After 7 years, I stepped aside from Sonic, selling the studio to Lauren and one of our top teachers, Johanna. When you sell a business, you have to be willing to let go and trust that the new stewards will keep doing what got the business to where it was, while also owning it and taking it to the next level.
And, they’ve done just that. This December marks the two-year anniversary of the hand-off. And, along with it, they brought amazing new energy into the space.
But, that’s not all…
Remember how I said the community is wall-to-wall with the most talented performers on the planet? Kinda like Broadway meets Chennai? Borderline nutty…in a wonderful way?
Well, the crew over at Sonic decided to feature this in their just-released version of Chicago, Sonic-style. The video is a wonderful example of honoring what makes you different, then shining the light on it and giving people something to react strongly to.
Some will say:
“Oh my, this is traditional yoga treason.”
But, others on a quest for a yoga studio with great energy that doesn’t take itself too seriously will say:
“OMG, these guys are really fun, playful, goofy and different IN A WAY THAT RESONATES TO MY CORE! I NEED me some!”
Here’s the video…
So, what’s the take-away?
If you plan on starting a business, own up to who you are and what makes you and your offerings so very different in a way that will appeal to a select, yet big enough slice of the community to keep you in business.
Own your own crazy.
Not because it’s schtick, because it’s you. And, because owning your crazy will help:
- Differentiate you
- Better align you with what you’re building and offering
- Attract “your” people to you, then…
- Give them permission to own their own crazy.
And, believe it or not, giving people a place to own their own crazy is a pretty powerful way to grow a community and a business.
Curious, have you owned your own crazy yet? As a person? As a creator? As an entrepreneur?
Oh, and, what do think of the yoga-meets-broadway video by the best little yoga studio in NYC?
Share away in the comments…
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