Chaturanga Staff Newsletter

Wowowos and Zupiyotes (worktraders and teachers) ~

Last month, I attended Alisa's wedding in Ann Arbor, and while I was there, I stopped by Zingerman's Deli. The sandwich changed my world, and I can't wait to tell you why.  But first:

Welcome to the Inaugural edition of our new staff newsletter!  There are presently 50 stellar folks who form the Chaturanga community of teachers, front desk, and support staff.  You might not yet have met every single person in this email list, but that can be fixed.  We're calling our first staff meeting in (holy cow!) over a year!  

Mark your calendars for:
              September 20th, 2:30pm - 4:30pm    
                                           Please Register Your RSVP (or regret) HERE

This is not a mandatory meeting (i.e. we can't afford to pay you for attending), but we do think it's important you attend. We promise to honor your time, sparkle your brain with new ideas, and be sure that you make new friends.  

Meeting Agenda

- Closing in on a Mission and a 2020 Vision for Chaturanga - Where are we headed?

- Giving Great Service

- The Yamas and Niyamas as our Company's Ethical Foundation

- Food!  Fun!  Laughs!

Fall = Nostalgia + Anniversary

Summer is technically over, but for us, September typically marks the last month of a 4-month summer slow-down. Things pick up a lot in October, as university students return and schedules settle back into a rhythm. October is 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!  (Meanwhile certain pictures of a skinny, sleep-deprived business owner teaching Zumba have mysteriously disappeared from the record... lol.) 

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 classes.  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 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.  And as any devoted parent, friend, or pet-owner knows, being able to be depended on like that can be really hard work, but it also feels really good.  :-) 

2020 Vision of Greatness

In the last couple of months, we've pulled together a new and completely Great management team (see below).  As a business, we're growing up, which means we're doing the things necessary to remain a steady and valued institution in Hyde Park. This includes developing needed protocols, systems, trainings, and manuals, as well as refining Chaturanga's Mission, Vision, and Values.  We are investing our resources purposefully, with the intention of growth - not far flung growth, but deep, mission-centered growth. The choices we make in the coming weeks/months (from the words we put down on paper to the dollars we commit) will guide our community's future, we want and need your input.

What is a 2020 Vision of Greatness? We have drafted a 2020 vision for Chaturanga.  It is a statement, written in the year 2020, describing our outstanding success as a company.  It is written in the "present tense" and is rich with details that inspire and excite us as we write them in 2014.  We want to share this vision with you at the staff meeting, and we invite your impressions and contributions as well.

We also ask each of you to write a 2020 Vision of Greatness for yourself.  What does personal success look, feel, smell, and taste like for you in the year 2020?  We believe that our community as a whole will benefit if each of us has gone through this exercise.  Don't worry, we WON'T ask you to read it out loud at the staff meeting!  I've found that writing mine has been extremely tough, but it has triggered some overdue and invaluable soul-searching, and is helping me align my heart with my work.  Writing a Vision of Greatness will help you see how your deepest yearnings align with those of the business as a whole (or not), and it may reveal synergies and possibilities we hadn't before considered.  

So before the 20th, please try to do some free writing on your 2020 vision.  You might start with the prompt, "The year is 2020 and my life is everything I'd imagined and more..."  If you want more details, read this brief article about visioning.  It references Zingerman's, that Deli shop I mentioned earlier.  I can't wait to tell you all about it at the staff meeting...  

That's all for now.  Namaste and see you soon,

:) Marylee
Chaturanga's Magnificent Management Team

Mackenzie Fye, Office Manager
Alisa Ortiz, Program Coordinator
AJ Taylor-Vanderpool, Pilates Coordinator
Nyameche Wednesday Quansah,
Worktrade Team Captain

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