Dealing with family, roommates, pets, neighbours and landlords
I can’t stress enough how important it is to deal with family, roommates, pets, neighbors and landlords, even from the early planning stages of your Home Yoga Studio, so that you can run it without any problems or nuisances in the future.
Dealing with your family
If you are planning to run your Home Yoga Studio in the same premises where your family is currently living, they will all have to make small compromises and sacrifices, so make sure everyone is on board! Read our blog about ‘My Kids and my Yoga Studio’
Once you have a clear idea of where and how to run your studio inside your home, you should talk first with your spouse or partner, then make a big and exciting presentation to the whole family. Tell them how much this means to you to fulfill your dream as a yoga teacher, and how much your studio will benefit people’s lives in your community, not to say it will generate extra revenue to your household. Make them feel part of this great project. This is a big family decision, so the best way to get them on board is to inspire them by transmitting your excitement and expectations of happiness.
This actually happened to me, and I even got my family on board to look for a bigger house to rent, which would accommodate my own Home Yoga Studio. We all even ended up squeezed together in front of the computer, looking for rental homes, so my advise is that you try to involve your family members as much as you can in all stages of your studio. The more committed they feel, the less stress there will be in the family when you finally run your studio.
Your family has to be prepared to have ‘guests’ yoga students a few times per day for at least one hour per class – especially if you have young children -so there needs to be an easy but strict system of how to keep students happy and comfortable while family life and activities are mostly undisturbed. It might be a fragile balance but not hard to accomplish. All you all need is organisation and commitment.
Family DO’s before and during Yoga classes:
- Keep common areas (where Yoga students might walk through) clean and tidy. Especially the entrance from the street, halls and corridors to the bathroom. No bicycles, toys or shoes blocking the foot traffic.
- Close all doors to bedrooms, kitchen, cellar and other areas of the house, but keep the bathroom door open and with a ‘bathroom’ sign so students don’t wander around the house looking for it.
- Keep money, wallets, jewelry, car keys, cell phones and any other valuables away from common areas. Keep them preferably under lock and key.
- If any family member stumbles on a student going to and from the bathroom, all they need to do is say a polite hello and be on their way.
- In case you have young children, it’s best to have one responsible family member taking care of them. I explain more about noise control in this chapter ‘Strategically Planning the Area for your Home Yoga Studio’
Family DONTs before and during Yoga classes:
- Unless it’s a big emergency, no family member can interrupt the class, or call out to you or a student.
- No family member can make noise, use the phone or talk loudly near or around the yoga studio. You can make a noise test in your home to establish boundaries from where your family members can make noise or talk loud without disturbing the class.
- Keep all noisy machinery or equipment (washing machine, coffee grinder, noisy computer or TV, etc.) as far away from the Yoga room or avoid using during classes.
- No family member can enter or walk though the yoga room during a class.
- No family member can be impolite or rude to any student. If there is an issue, they must address it directly with you only.
It can be a bit hard for an entire family to get into a routine in which they all remember every time what to do and don’t do before and during your yoga classes, so you will have to keep reminding them about this, and also maybe adapt some rules for the better. There will be a time where your family gets used completely to live around your Home Yoga Studio. It didn’t take long to my own family!
Dealing with your roommates
Roommates are different to deal with than family because they might not be as emotionally invested in your dream of running a Home Yoga Studio, but at the same time they should have a keen sense of respect and support if they are on board with sharing their home with your yoga studio. Therefore, clear communication between you and your roommates will be crucial. Explain to them in detail everything they need to know about your Home Yoga Studio. Even with the approval of your roommates, running your yoga studio can be a bit disruptive to their lives, so make sure to keep your relationship honest and healthy to avoid any issues or stress between you in the future.
The Family DOs and DONTs before and during Yoga classes apply the same here.
Dealing with your pets
Pets may be the most difficult to deal with as loud animal noises could potentially disrupt your classes. Even if they are fully trained, big dogs or fierce-looking cats can make some students feel uncomfortable or even frightened, and also some pets can trigger allergies. The key here is to keep your pets quiet and as far away as possible from your Yoga room while avoiding any kind of cruelty towards them. It’s also very important to keep your pets healthy and clean.
Here are a few ideas to deal with pets before and during yoga classes:
- To avoid barking, whining or howling, keep your dog as far away as possible from your Yoga room, safe and comfortable but not able to come further into the house and absolutely forbid them to come inside your Yoga practice. If you have more than one dog, playing or fighting can also create loud noises, so if possible keep them separated. Remember that loud dogs outside the house can be quite annoying. Training your dogs and making them get used to these times of quiet will make things a lot easier for them and you. You can start training them by leaving them alone behind closed doors or hall barricades at the same times you plan to teach your Yoga classes, even weeks before you open your home Yoga Studio. Chew sticks or big bones are great pacifiers, especially if you only give them to your dog(s) during those times they are alone.
- Cats are much more quiet but they can be sneaky and curious, so don’t underestimate them to ‘appear out of nowhere’ during your classes. Also keep them as far away as possible from the Yoga room and make sure they can’t sneak out of the house.
- Singing birds are fine to have close by – as long as there’s no parrot talking bad language or reciting Shakespeare over and over.
- A fish tank – not necessarily inside the Yoga room but at the entrance or hall where your students can see it – is great and peaceful to look at.
- Avoid showing your students any kind of exotic pets such as snakes, hamsters, ferrets, spiders or lizards, even if they say they’re not afraid of them. Any bite or scare can easily turn into a awkward situation.
Dealing with your neighbours
Since Yoga students and classes are pretty quiet and calm, most certainly you won’t have any problems with your neighbors complaining about your business. However, in some ways your neighbors should be also on board with your Home Yoga Studio to avoid any stress or problems in the future. Again, good communication and a healthy relationship with your neighbors is ideal.
- Explain in detail to your neighbors how, where and when are you planning to open and run your Home Yoga Studio, and even get written approval from them so that you don’t have problems with local authorities.
- The most important issue will be your students parking in the vicinity of your studio, this can potentially become a problem if your neighbors find themselves not being able to park their cars. So make sure to mention to your students about available parking spaces and areas that would not affect your neighbors.
- If a neighbor is noisy or plays loud music, ask them politely to keep as quiet as possible during your yoga classes. You should better discuss this with them even before you open your Home Yoga Studio.
- Give your neighbours a timetable, so they know when not to knock on your door to chat or ask for something.
- If your neighbors leave trash or debris near the entrance to your Home Yoga Business, ask them politely to tidy up, explaining that this situation might affect the image of your business.
Dealing with your landlord
If you are renting the premises where you plan to open your Home Yoga Studio, it’s best to get written approval from your landlord, regardless of any a home business restriction clauses on your rent contract.
This will create peace of mind for both you and your landlord.
A yoga studio is a quiet and peaceful type of home business, so your landlord should usually be okay with this. Most rent contracts have no restrictions to start a home-based business unless the use of land is strictly residential only.
As I mentioned before, developing a good relationship with your landlord about starting your Yoga Home Business will be beneficial for both of you in the long run.
Here are some issues and opportunities you should keep an eye on:
- In most countries, rental rates are regulated, so your landlord can’t take advantage of your home business situation and increase the rent above the standard rate in future rental yearly terms, thinking you’ll have no other choice but to pay it or move somewhere else quickly, which will hurt your business. Don’t fall for it if this happens, and report this to your local real estate authorities.
- Your landlord is required by law to have a home insurance for the property you are renting, so in case one of your students accidentally damages the premises, the expenses to fix the damage should be covered by your landlord’s insurance. I explain more about this in the chapter ‘Insurance & Liability’
- One big opportunity is that you might be able to negotiate with your landlord a new contract for a longer term (for example 3 or 5 years instead of the usual 1-year renewal) with a smaller yearly rent increase (or even a flat rate with no increase). This will depend of course on your landlord’s own plans and expectations (and your own studio’s revenue predictions), but there’s always room for negotiations if you have a good relationship with your landlord.
- It’s always wise to read any rent-related document carefully before signing it and you can always do some research about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant from your local authorities websites or offices. It wouldn’t hurt either to get advise from a friend or relative who has experience in dealing with real-estate.