Best of the Triangle-Some Thoughts
April 27, 2016, updated April 14, 2022
As you may know, Loving Kindness Yoga School is one of the finalists for this year’s Best of the Triangle (BOTT) from the INDY Weekly. When I got the email from the INDY informing me of that fact, I read it a couple of times, checked the email address it came from, and basically scoured it for any hint of it being some kind of scam email. I couldn’t believe it! But turns out that yep, it’s true.
I have friends and fellow-business owners who have and do annually and deservedly receive this award, but I have never put myself and “my” business out there for it, to try to get it, because we are just a small yoga studio, and though in “MY” mind what I and we are offering here is in many ways unique and excellent, BOTT is basically a popularity contest, right? I can totally understand why Franklin Street Yoga, Carrboro Yoga Co. and Triangle Yoga (which was the first Yoga studio in the entire Triangle and which sadly closed in 2020 as a result of the Covid) are on the list of finalists! If you’re packing 40 or more folks into a class regularly, and maybe even have 2 rooms, it makes number sense how they could get a high number of votes.
In our space, a really HUGE class lately is 18, and AVERAGE class size is typically around 8-9, and this is how it’s been for the 10 years of Loving Kindness Yoga School! Our yoga teacher training here is also very small and personal, with lots of one-on-one and small group interaction with the teacher. It’s not a yoga teacher “factory.” And we only have 496 Likes on FB (compared to between 1771 and 3030 for the others). I never figured that our little studio could “compete” (=get enough votes) to get noticed, so never made any effort in that direction. So then when I got that email, with no effort on my part, it pretty much blew my mind. (I still don’t totally believe it though I TOTALLY appreciate all of you who nominated us/me for this award!) To see Loving Kindness Yoga School on the ballot with the bigger name places, warmed my heart.
One of my long-time, off-and-on students told me once a few years ago that he tells people that he goes to a small, exclusive yoga studio. Isn’t that true (those of you who attend classes here)? We have what I think is a really amazing thing going on here, and who knows… maybe it IS the best of the Triangle: small classes with a lot of personal attention by donation! Go to many other yoga classes in this town and you can get big classes without so much personal attention and for more money, or small classes with less personal attention or less-experienced teaching for more money. You also can get all of the above with the instructor doing her/his own yoga practice with you! But not here. (The downside, of course, is that if you want to disappear into a crowd and be anonymous and not meet your fellow yoginis and yogis, then you can’t do that very easily here.)
At other studios you can also get yoga from a teacher who maybe you like but who will not be teaching (or teaching there) in another year (or two or a month), but here you get a person (me) as the founding and main teacher who has been teaching in Carrboro, almost the same class schedule times, for the past 26 years! Add onto that that he (I) has been deepening and intending to intensify his own yoga and other spiritual practices (not mere book study) for that whole time (and more)! As a result of that practice and experience, I have students and fellow yoga teachers who bring their questions to me from their own personal study or from confusion about teachings they received from other teachers and even from traveling yogis they have taken workshops with. One of those students/fellow teachers even told me the other week that sometimes something shifts for her in her practice… but only here.
All that said, I can see why people might vote for me or Loving Kindness Yoga School for the Best of the Triangle. But it still blows my mind that even with the small student population here, somehow we had enough popularity, or at least recognition from the community and from all of you, to get in the top 4 finalists. (In the post-Covid Yoga-world, making the cut now makes more sense, with less competition and all the Yoga studios having taken a hit during the pandemic.)
So, if you are motivated to vote for Loving Kindness Yoga School for BOTT, please do! It only takes a couple minutes. (See how below.) If it gets more people in the door and they continue to attend, then great! We can keep going with this ever-deepening yoga experiment going for–God willing–years to come, and the benefits of yoga can continue to be experienced individually and to be spread through our community and out to the larger world.
And in case you are worried that voting for Loving Kindness for BOTT, or telling everyone you know about your experiences here and encouraging them to check it out or to join you for class, may jeopardize the amount of personal attention you get in class, here is my business vision if classes ever get consistently big: Maximum of 18 people per class, sign up in advance (Don’t worry! First dibs for longer time folks). (Can you imagine any of the other local—or anywhere—studios doing that? I like to think of this idea as a kind of “mission statement” akin to what Jerry Maguire wrote—“fewer clients, better quality service!”)
With that maximum, I feel that I can give good PERSONAL attention to everyone but have it comfortably full. I need to make a living from my endeavor, of course, BUT my priority in teaching is PERSONAL ATTENTION and service to my students. As I’ve written before and as many of you were there for, I’ve taught big classes, and it’s fun and there’s good energy, BUT the quality of service suffers. Many have found their Yoga being able to go to a (quantum!) deeper level from some focused, expert attention. I intend to keep that going, God willing!
HERE’S HOW TO VOTE: Go to https://vote.indyweek.com/health-and-body/best-yoga-studio-in-orange-chatham-county. Once there, if that’s not exactly what you need, on the upper right there’s “Browse” and then pick the Group “Health & Body” and scroll down to the Yoga Studio/Orange&Chatham County (it’s alphabetical). And vote for other great things that you like, too! (like Vimala’s! for example).
Thanks for your continued support, whether by voting or by attending classes or sending your prayers or whatever!