Theresa Hansen | E-RYT, 500 hour , Owner
Little Lotus Yoga
Q: Why did you start your business?
A: I started Little Lotus Yoga after teaching fitness and yoga classes in other fitness facilities in town. I was either working for them or leasing space from them to teach yoga in. I started Little Lotus Yoga after receiving my Rainbow Kids Yoga Teacher certification with the desire to teach children yoga. I am also a special education teacher and I knew that I could incorporate yoga into my classroom. I taught children yoga for 3 years prior to receiving my 200 hour Registered Yoga teacher training from Shannon Paige in Boulder, CO. My children's classes started to grow, so I sent a friend to a training so she could take over the kids classes. My adults classes were starting to fill and there was a desire for more classes and that is when I found my own space downtown to lease. I have owned and operated Little Lotus Yoga in its current space for 5 years soon to be 6 in October. However, Little Lotus Yoga was founded in 2011.
Q: What are some key factors or decisions that contributed to the success of your business?
A: Location. Choosing to lease space downtown. I knew it had to be community driven, I had to connect with each and every person who entered our space and make them felt seen, heard, and respected. My tag line is "Have Fun. Be Healthy. Play Yoga." I feel these 3 short phrases are important to someone starting a practice. Mine was the first studio in Cheyenne and yoga was not popular. I had to make yoga accessible and not to "out there" for people. Consistency. Drive. Determination. Community. and Heart have all contributed to the success of Little Lotus Yoga.
Q: What are some challenging aspects of your business?
A: Some challenging aspects of my business in the beginning were finding instructors to teach. Yoga was so new to our community I was pretty much it. People wanted more, but I was unable to give more in the beginning. Since the beginning yoga has grown dramatically in our community and there are several yoga teachers and another studio. This newest studio may be my greatest challenge as a studio owner in small town. The studio was opened by some of my former students and instructors, and my ego was hurt. I had to keep coming back to the idea that there is enough for everyone, which is much easier said than lived. The new studio will be open for 1 year in November and I have to honestly say that it has made me a better business owner, it has increased awareness of yoga in our community and has increased the number of students to my studio. I continue to grow daily.
Q: Do you feel you made any serious mistakes as you were starting or growing your business? Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently?
A: I believe everything happens for a reason and our mistakes make us better and more wise. The one thing I do regret is trying to grow too quickly. Once there were many instructors available I tried to give them all a class on the schedule whether they were a good fit for me personally or for the studio as a whole. I learned some things about myself along the way and now try to make better personnel decisions and add classes only when the time and demand are right.
Q: What other advice or words of inspiration would you like to share?
A: Don't think you can do it all by yourself. Hire a bookkeeper, hire a cleaning company, hire a graphic designer and web designer, hire staff that support you, your mission and your goals.
About Little Lotus Yoga
Theresa has owned and operated Little Lotus Yoga since 2009. She has taught yoga in a variety of locations around Cheyenne until she found her home in Downtown Cheyenne and ended her nomadic journey. When Theresa first started the business it was geared more towards kids and families, that quickly evolved into elderly, active, and beginners. The business continues to evolve to encompass advancing yogis, special events to include ArOMaYoga, Partner Yoga, AcroYoga, Pranayama, Live Music performances and special guests for meditation and trance dance. Theresa has a vision of spreading the love of yoga throughout the community and plans to continue to evolve.
At Little Lotus Yoga, our mission is to provide a peaceful, supportive space to foster a developing and advancing yoga practice for the community. We offer quality, inspired yoga led by highly skilled, knowledgeable and passionate teachers in a friendly community environment, to ensure the health and well being for all. Beliefs we hold dear to our hearts and try to model and live daily: Community, Love, Connection, Diversity, and Fun.
"We offer quality, inspired yoga led by highly skilled, knowledgeable and passionate teachers in a friendly community environment, to ensure the health and well being for all."—Theresa Hansen