This week I was part of the biggest (and shortest) yoga class ever in Central Park.
We were also hired to provide Interior Design for a Yoga Studio in Brooklyn by a group of very ambitious yoginis...
So naturally, I've been thinking a lot about designing spaces for practicing yoga and meditation. Here are my must-haves for yogis planning to open their own digs:
As in everything we do the "yogic" way is, of course, to consider the environment first. With that in mind, let's start with the overall planning and programming. What are some necessities you will need for your yoga studio?
1. Practice rooms: First we need to layout the rooms based on the number of students you want to accommodate, and what the occupancy codes will allow for space. Some classes I go to in NYC are literally mat to mat, so it is possible to squeeze a lot into a little, but we must be conscious of what the codes will allow.
2. Showers and toilets: Based on the number of students you're trying to accommodate you'll need bathrooms and showers. Keep in mind a percentage of these will need to be designed to ADA codes for handicap accessibility even if you don't have handicapped students. It's the law. Also mandatory in my opinion are places where students and teachers can change, put on make-up, dry their hair, etc., etc.
3. Storage: We must provide ample storage space for yoga mats, rentals, towels, props, and bolsters. These items can be stored inside or outside of the practice rooms but should be accessible and ergonomically designed so that all users are able to access what they need.
4. Refreshment station: Even if you're not serving food, an area should be provided for drinks, snacks, etc.
5. Administration: As admirable as your intentions might be, yoga is big business. You will need an office where administrative duties will take place, depending on the size and type of business your studio provides.
6. Reception and check-in: This is your first impression and the best way to keep track of your revenue. A desk and check-in area must be provided - I recommend a bar-code type scanning station for quick and easy check-in. Seating must be provided for attendants and waiting students, and the desk should be at a height that is accessible to everyone. The reception area should also be in close proximity to your vending and storage.
7. Shoe storage: Should be at the entry so the studio remains shoe-free.
8. Shop: Want to add some retail income? Why not add in a retail shop selling gear, mats, etc
9. Supplemental services: You may want to include massage, acupuncture, therapy, pilates, or some other additional services to your studio. Make sure these spaces are planned accordingly. Acupuncture spaces need hand-washing sinks close by per code, massage rooms need supply storage, and linen changing facilities.
10. Linen and mat washing: Accommodations must be provided for washing rental mats and laundering towels and linens.
Next up - what are the actual components we use to make it all look great and come together?