Studio space alternatives

Studio space alternatives

 

In case your living room – usually the largest room in the house – or any other room inside your home is too complicated or impractical, you can still get creative and look for alternative spaces to establish your Home Yoga Studio. Remember that good decoration and lighting can transform any dusty and dark space into something really special and with a good vibe.

As I’ve explained here ‘Strategically Planning the Area for your Home Yoga Studio’, you’ll still have to look for these minimum requirements to have a confortable and effective Home Yoga Studio if you choose an alternative space:

  • Size: at least 25 square meters/ 270 square feet to generate a reasonable monthly income.
  • Layout: any shape as long as every single student can see and hear you clearly.
    Yoga for Life studio in our living room
    Yoga for Life studio in our living room
  • Open area: Windows or doors to provide a sense of open space, ventilation and a view to the outside – or if the room has no windows, at least good ventilation.
  • Easy access: from the street and to the bathroom.
  • Comfortable temperature around 23°C/ 74°F (excluding hot yoga classes): especially during hot summers or cold winters.
  • Private and peaceful: with no view access from the outside, and as far away as possible from loud or annoying noises.
  • Clean: Free of cobwebs, trash, wall or carpet stains and smells.
  • Construction: Good flooring without holes or bumps, solid roofing without leaks and plain walls (without boxes or useless objects for a yoga studio).
  • Signage: As it they may be located in unusual places, be sure to put signs and arrows to guide your students to the studio, to the bathroom and where to leave their shoes.

So here are a few ideas to look for alternative spaces:


Rumpus room

Our rumpus room turned into our first yoga studio
Our rumpus room turned into our first yoga studio

This play/family area is usually spacious enough and easily adaptable for a Home Yoga Studio. Most rumpus rooms are located at the rear of the house or on an upper level, so make sure all access areas are clear and tidy. If you want to completely isolate and separate the rumpus room from the rest of the house with a small budget, one idea is to build a ‘wall’ with folding screens, room dividers or IKEA closets. I did this with my own Home Yoga Studio and it works wonders! I explain more in this chapter ‘Studio design, decoration & equipment on a budget’


Attic or top level room

As long as your attic is not frightening, easily accessible and safe, it can be a good space for your Home Yoga Studio. If you remove or conceal any storage, and decorate it in a cool way, it can become a very private and confortable area.

Lighting here is very important as attics tend to be quite dark. Ventilation is also important as attics can be a bit claustrophobic to some people, and usually smell of mold.

Also make sure the ceiling is high enough so your students don’t hit their hands against the roof surface or beams during some yoga poses.

You can take good advantage of any window or sun dome to let the light in. The only issue here is the access needs to be safe and easy for everybody, so a dismountable ladder to get to the attic could be a problem for elderly people, people with some disability, or with fear of heights. You can stick non-slippery surfaces on the staircase to improve safety.


Garden areas

If you live in a city or town with confortable weather temperature throughout the year, you can establish your Home Yoga Studio in your garden.

All you’ll need then is some sort of roof in case it rains or there’s very strong sunlight, such as a tarp, sail, veranda, pergola, gazebo, etc.

The great thing about doing Yoga in a garden is the proximity to plants and trees, which enhances the stress-free environment.


Shed

Some garden or tool sheds – and even storage rooms inside or outside your house – can be big enough to establish your Home Yoga Studio providing they are clean, ventilated and free of tools & garden equipment. Even better if there’s access for your students to walk from the street without coming into your house.


Bungalow or Cabana

Some houses may have a separate bungalow or cabana that can be easily transformed into a Home Yoga Studio.

Same maintenance and access requirements apply here as above.


Underground room

Cellars, basements or any kind of underground rooms can also be a good option to establish Home Yoga Studio if the decoration, lighting and ventilation are correctly set and maintained.

Make sure the access to this room is easy, clean and tidy. You can also stick non-slippery surfaces on the staircase to improve safety.

Also, any underground room can be susceptible to noises and bangs from the upper floor, so make sure children, pets or vehicles don’t go running or playing around above during Yoga classes.


Garage

Garages are often spacious and have easy access from the street, however you should be careful to set it up correctly as your Home Yoga Studio, especially the following:

  • Cement floor with oil stains: be sure to clean it up thoroughly and cover with carpets, mats or floorboards (though they can be expensive) or any soft surface – the best option may be soft rubber tiles that look like wood. I describe this in this chapter ‘Strategically Planning the Area for your Home Yoga Studio’
  • Free from boxes, tools or any other storage equipment.
  • The garage door should be closed for privacy, so ideally use a second door for access.
  • Windows or sun domes can provide light, ventilation and a sense of more open space, but it’s still okay if your garage doesn’t have them, just keep them ventilated before and after classes.
  • Remember to adequate the temperature as garages can be extremely hot or cold as they seldom have any insulation from the weather outside.

Terrace, Rooftop or Deck

If you live in a city or town with confortable weather temperature throughout the year, a spacious terrace, rooftop or deck can work wonders. Just remember to add a tarp or some kind of garden roof in case of rain or strong sunlight.


Patio or courtyard

Again, these can be great for warm weather throughout the year, especially with good decoration such as a Zen garden or a bamboo setting nearby to contrast the common cement flooring and walls, just be mindful of a roof, a soft surface and safe, easy access. Carpets, mats or soft surfaces are very important to keep your students comfortable.


Neighbour’s unused space

This could be an interesting alternative space to consider, given the chance. If you have a good and trustworthy relationship with one of your neighbours who has a great alternative space for your Home Yoga Studio, you can negotiate borrowing or renting it very cheap. Just make sure your neighbour will not move houses in the long term, and that they will let you decorate and equip the space to your own requirements (and at your expense, of course). Access to toilets inside your neighbour’s house could be an issue but anything is possible if you communicate in detail to your neighbour everything you need to open a Home Yoga Studio and how would you operate it.


House Extension

Building your Home Yoga Studio as an extension to your house can be costly of course, however it can also be quite convenient as a double investment. In the short term, this extra room hosting your Yoga studio can generate revenue pretty much as soon as the space is finished. And in the long term, an extension usually adds more value to your house as a real estate property.

Before deciding on doing an extension, you’d have to run the numbers of the extension project as a cost/benefit analysis. Also you should talk to an extension builder or developer about costs, minimum requirements and any permits, restrictions and requirements from your local government authority. I explain more in this chapter ‘Permits & dealing with local authorities’

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