Chaturanga Staff Newsletter
Introducing the Inaugural edition of our new staff newsletter! By my estimation (and according to this email list) there are presently 50 amazing individuals who form the Chaturanga community of teachers, front desk, and support staff. If you don't know every single person in this email list, that can be easily remedied on September 20th at 2:30pm. That's when we're having our first staff meeting in (holy cow!) over a year! This is an event not to miss, so mark your calendars for:
A bit of nostalgia...
So summer is technically over, and September typically marks the last month of Chaturanga's 4-month summer slow-down. October tends to be one of our busiest, and it's also our birthday month! October 2nd, 2010 was the first day we officially opened our doors for business. Pierre, Pat, Lani, and Brian all taught classes that first week. Wow, thanks for sticking it out with us, you four! I wish we had more pictures from those days, but then again, certain pictures of a skinny, sleep-deprived business owner teaching Zumba classes, have mysteriously disappeared from the official record... :)
Looking back in Mindbody at class sizes that first week, there were literally only 1, 2, or 3 people in almost every class, with the notable exception of Cynthia Latimer's yoga class. For those who don't know, Cynthia was a (for lack of a better word) "rockstar" yoga teacher, who moved to the west coast to be with her fiancé, only weeks after we opened. Emily and Lani nervously stepped into her shoes, and with time, grew their own devoted followings. Now, Emily has moved on too, to be closer to her family in the suburbs (though she promises regular visits), and the Chaturanga circle of life continues...
Staying in one place in such a transitional neighborhood/city/culture has its bittersweet moments. People have come and gone, but the bonds of friendship always remain. Yoga teaches us to stay steady in the midst of changes and challenges, and in the past four years, Chaturanga has been that steady place our neighbors can rely upon to be there for them, no matter what's happening in the world or their lives.
As an organization, we are beginning to do the work and make decisions with the assumption that Chaturanga is going to be around for a very long time. Our (completely Awesome) new management team (see below) is working to develop systems, carefully honing our organizational vision and values, and investing our resources with the intention of growth - not far flung growth, but deep growth. We are developing and refining internal education and training programs to share with all of you, all with the idea of serving and retaining our clients for life.
1) First, The Pilates Program needs room to grow. There is so much potential for this program and AJ and I are hatching some big plans for it. We've purchased some new equipment in order to expand our offerings and some day launch a world-class teacher training program.
2) Secondly, as anyone can see, the front desk needs it's own space. Soon, prospective clients, people trying to pay, and computer work will all get the attention they deserve, and none of the associated awkwardness or glares.
3) Thirdly, the expansion will keep the practice spaces free of winter coats and dirty shoes. In the new plan, coats and shoes will stay in the lobby.
4) And last, but not least, Zumba and yoga will now be separated by multiple walls, so that even the slightest threat of an unintended Katy Perry/Krishna Das mash-up is permanently eliminated.
We'll answer other pertinent questions about the expansion (when is is happening? how will it affect classes? etc.) at the staff meeting.
A Mission in Process....
We've got a a couple dozen (wo)man hours into trying to get our mission just right. We're not there yet, but here's what we've got so far...
Our first attempt:
"We share the Chaturanga Experience: A personalized movement journey in a supportive community. We care about your future, and in passionate pursuit of our mission, we are devoted to keeping you active, happy and healthy for life."
Second Attempt... Specifically where we want to be going:
"At Chaturanga, our commitment to you is for life. Where others stop, we are pushing forward, applying scientifically grounded best practices in fitness to help our clients build a core foundation they can count on over time. To this end, we offer a range exercise options for all different levels and stages of adulthood. We are devoted to your well-being, and pursue our mission with passion - keeping you happy, healthy, and injury-free, for life."
As you may know, for four years, I and my colleague Evan Osar have been (on again, off again) hard at work on a book about Pilates. Through the writing of this book, I have developed an awesome (I think so, anyway) system for helping clients overcome faulty movement habits and develop a functional core. A few teachers have offered to be guinea pigs and receive some preliminary training in this system. In time, the plan is to share it will all of you. Meanwhile, I'm not sure when the book will be out... I hope by the end of the year!
Chaturanga's Management Team
Worktrade Team Captain