Beth Novian Hughes
, RYT, president and lead yoga teacher of Yoga 4 Rome, is answering the questions for today’s Small Business Snapshot.
What is the primary purpose of your business?
To teach yoga to everyone in Rome regardless of ability to pay for classes. We do not discriminate on any basis. We do this through first partnering with businesses in Rome and the businesses letting us use their unused space to teach classes. Secondly, we do not have set fees for classes. All classes are paid on a donation basis, meaning students pick the fees. We encourage anyone, even if they cannot afford to donate, to still attend classes. Even if no donations are received classes are still taught. The teachers and businesses understand the risk of no donations involved with this business, but feel it is more important to help maintain healthy Romans than to be monetarily compensated.
What is your business background?
I have owned The Whole Child Learning Co of NW GA, INC. since its inception, I have an LLC for various types of consulting work, and I formally owned a sole proprietorship preschool in Colorado Springs. Our board of directors is made of successful business owners in the area, Rachel Lieberman and Calvin Stovall, who represent the business owners and students interests.
Why did you start this particular business?
I saw a gap in Rome. There are those that can afford yoga/fitness instruction and those that cannot. With the support of my family and local businesses I found a way to bridge this gap through the non-profit donation based yoga model that is sweeping the country. We just tweaked it to include an absence of rent through partnerships with local businesses; the businesses receive 40% of the donations as “rent”, teachers receive 40% of donations as “pay for their time and talent”, and 20% stays in the non-profit to cover expenses such as insurance.
What makes your business unique?
The fact that we do not have a yoga studio. We invite all kinds of businesses to enter this partnership (if you are interested contact Beth). Also that our fees are selected by the student; even if no donation is received classes are still taught. We also teach anyone walking, ages 1-99. We have toddler classes, children, teens, gentle/prenatal, all levels and power…more to come in the future; if you can walk (and possibly even if you cannot in the future) we have a class that works with your current fitness level wherever it is.
What do you enjoy most about your chosen profession?
Helping others to maintain and improve their physical and mental health. There is nothing like seeing a student achieve a goal; hard work pays off.
What has been the biggest or most interesting challenge to overcome as a small business owner?
The uniqueness of this business is sometimes difficult for others to understand. They are always wondering what the catch is and there truly is none, we have no membership fees etc.
To a lesser degree there is a misconception that yoga classes are somehow religious in nature, this is completely untrue. Many of our teachers are active members of local Christian churches outside of their teaching time. Although yoga can claim to have some roots in the Hindu tradition you do not have to be Hindu, Buddhist, etc., nor do you have to abandon any beliefs you have, to practice yoga. We are accepting of all, if you have any questions about this please give me a call.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
If you have ever considered taking a yoga class, no matter what your fitness level is, please come. Our website is easy to remember www.yogarome.com
(no ‘4’ or ‘for’ in the middle). Please bring us the gift of your energy and eagerness to learn and we will gladly accept that as payment.
As our website states: “YOGA is for everyone!
You can enjoy yoga no matter your physical ability, financial ability, age, size, or clothing. Complete your wellness and join us on this journey of the body, mind, and spirit.”