Meraki Yoga Studio: Tips For Keeping Your Yoga Classes Full

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Meraki Yoga Studio: Tips For Keeping Your Yoga Classes Full

MEET RACHAEL BUTTS: Owner and Teacher at Meraki Yoga Studio

As a high school athlete, Rachael first found yoga to relieve pain from volleyball injuries. Her yoga journey began, in earnest, in Atlanta and after several years of practicing and experiencing the physical and mental benefits of yoga, she began her pursuit of becoming a yoga teacher. After moving to Colorado, Rachael completed her 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in the Fall of 2013. In 2016 Rachael took her professional yoga journey further and opened Meraki Yoga Studio in Fort Collins, Colorado. She continues to embrace the challenges of owning and managing a small business while teaching classes and events throughout the week.

Anna Helmin: How do you keep classes full at Meraki Yoga Studio? What are some best practices and tips you can give other studios?

Rachael Butts: Building the schedule is the key to success:

  • We are very intentional about where we place teachers, at what class times we offer and the balance of our teachers on the schedule. All of our teachers bring something different to their individual classes and we make sure that each teacher is teaching at a time of day that best suits their style.
  • We also keep the schedule diverse, we do not schedule the same teacher to teach the same format at the same time multiple days in a row. This allows our students to experience all different types of teachers if they prefer to practice at the same time everyday.
  • If something is not working, change it! You don't have to keep a class on the schedule that isn't serving your community as it once was.

Anna Helmin: Tell us about your studio and the energy it brings to the Fort Collins community. What is your goal or mission for Meraki Yoga Studio?

Rachael Butts: At Meraki we believe that how you move matters! We focus exclusively on yoga practices, choosing quality over quantity for class sizes and teaching methods. We envision a world where students feel resourced on and off their mat and understand how to maintain a sustainable lifelong practice. We provide individualized attention, elevated teaching, and a community that supports a student mindset through a culture of learning, inquiry, and growth. Our studio is unique in that we offer smaller class sizes so that our teachers can see each student and support their individual growth through their teaching. We cultivate a culture of community at our studio and want our students to feel as if our space is their space and encourage conversations pre and post class that foster friendship and growth.

Anna Helmin: What can you tell us about maintaining a sustainable lifelong practice and the future of yoga from a small business perspective?

Rachael Butts: Sustaining a lifelong practice from a physical standpoint requires that we move safely and with proper alignment. Oftentimes yoga classes are vigorous and fast paced which does not allow time for students to witness their experience, to slow down and move safely. It is in the longer holds and slower movements that we are able to become aware of our experience. The physical movement (or asana in Sanskrit) is important and it can be what initially calls us to this practice but the deeper focus, the awareness of our breath, sitting in a hard shape and calling upon our own resources to make it through are what bolster our growth off our mats. Additionally, diversity of practice is what provides longevity in our practice and lives. We offer a wide arrange of class formats and styles so that our students can take a heated vinyasa practice one day and a restorative practice the next.

Anna Helmin: What are some other key elements of your studio that enhance the practice of your students?

Rachael Butts: The practice of yoga asana is a discipline and we ask that our teachers and students treat it as such. This could look like arriving on time, holding space for quiet in the room before practice and carving out ample time for savasana. It is by holding our boundaries firm in these areas that our public classes become a safe space for those who uphold our values. Our studio is also enhanced by how clean it is. We do our best to provide a clean and clear space before each class so that our students can leave all their mental clutter at the door and arrive in serene environment to move and breath.

Anna Helmin: What kind of yoga classes do you offer at Meraki Yoga Studio?

Rachael Butts: We offer a wide range of classes our studio. We have a heated room and non-heated room complete with gas fireplace for all the good grounding vibes! For Solar class offerings we host Non-Heated Vinyasa Flow 1 for beginners and Non-Heated and Heated Vinyasa Flow 2 classes for all levels. For the students that love the traditional "hot" style we have Hot 60, Hot 45, Fusion Flow 60 and Fusion Flow 45. Our 45-minute classes are hosted during lunch hour for those with less time available during their workday. Fusion Flow combines the methods of traditional hot and elements of vinyasa flow, breath to movement. Our more Lunar offerings include Yin, Restore + Yoga Nidra, and a Lunar Flow which focuses on energetics and bhava over alignment.



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