Caitlin began practicing yoga regularly in 2011 and its been a whirlwind ever since. From working full time, to multiple part time jobs, to trying to “make it” as a yoga teacher – the vision behind Sangha Studio was brought to life. Caitlin was getting exhausted driving from town to town and started to feel like to thrive as a yoga teacher it was almost a daily “hustle” to make ends meet. She recognized that what she was doing wasn’t a sustainable lifestyle for her, but that the bigger issue may be within the yoga industry today. She ultimately wanted to be a part of a space where she, as a teacher, could be creative with her ideas and where classes were financially accessible for all students – but was this possible? She didn’t want to have to think of each person walking in the door as a dollar sign, but instead as a human being. After sharing these feelings with her teacher, Kevan Gale, she was given the idea to stop the run-around and rent out her own space. And so, Sangha Studio was born.
Sangha Studio opened on a whim in February 2014. From finding the space to signing the lease was a total of 9 days. No business plan. No bank loan. Just faith. When the doors first opened, it was fun. There was lots of painting, lots of laughs, and lots of good people around. But it wasn’t easy. Opening a business in the dead of winter in Vermont proved challenging. Class attendance was often low, if there was any attendance at all. She struggled to stay true to her personal values of compensating teachers for their time of showing up. And again, the hustle came back. Just as before, she knew something needed to change.
It’s been the same faith and intuition that led Sangha Studio to open that has brought it to where it is now. In May 2014 Caitlin attended the Yoga Service Council at Omega where she met Henry Cross of Hosh Yoga. The two instantly connected. She left the conference with the same feeling she had had months earlier when the idea to open Sangha was presented to her. Faith. Intuition. Trust. To turn non-profit and offer yoga service, donation based classes, and sustaining memberships is what Caitlin wanted from the beginning, but didn’t exactly know how to execute. Sangha Studio partnered with Hosh Yoga and turned non-profit on September 1, 2014. In one month the revenue stream of Sangha Studio increased 265% percent. The hustle was gone.
Each month grows more and more exciting for Caitlin. As Sangha Studio continues to develop an incredible of team of support – the Board of Directors, the sustaining members, the amazing online community – her mission and role only becomes more and more clear. To offer a place of support and inspiration for teachers and students. To offer continuing education opportunities to teachers that will grow yoga service and outreach programs. And to share the mission of Sangha with the community.