Stories and Raves From The Front Lines
Note from Alón:
I realize that this What Clients Are Saying section is a bit long, currently over 75 pages. However, this is by far the most important part of my website. I have been graced by being of service to so many wonderful clients around the globe who share with me a common mission – to change the world for the better, one yogi at a time. To me, embracing this mission means helping to bring more yoga to the world by guiding yoga business owners to their highest expression of success, using methods that resonate with yogic sensibilities.
The success stories you’ll read sound impressive from a business standpoint, but are really only a by-product of aligning the client’s business with their yoga, rather than trying to fit their yoga into a business model. Every week, I get calls from clients saying “we just broke another record!” Whether it’s about increased attendance, doubling or tripling revenue, or any other success marker, it makes me smile that goofy smile of mine, grateful to be a part of the process.
Most enjoyable to me is when we’re deep enough into the work that the client realizes that they are now not just more prosperous, but that they actually have a life and the free time to live it!
I’m honored that so many clients took the time, energy and care to write thoughtfully and extensively about their experience of working with me. To all of you, Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
For your convenience, I’ve selected a few stories (which wasn’t easy… they’re all so good) so you don’t have to slog through all 75 pages… unless you really want to. In case you’re interested, the last testimonial, way, way down at the very bottom, is still my all-time favorite. Enjoy.
- Case Study #5: A Ten Month Transformation – Brian Monnier, California Yoga Co.
- Artists. Rock Stars. Studio Owners. – Amanda & Nicholas (MC Yogi) Giacomini
- Coming Home to Herself – Lori Snyder
- Clearing The Path – Christen Iannone
- You Don’t Know what you Don’t Know - Kristin Abel
- Crossroads: Can I do this for another five years? – Bea Doyle
- Rising Star - James Miller
- Entrepreneur to Leader – Stacy Stier
- Falling In Love Again – Amy Hopkins
- A Focused Niche Comes to Life - Cathy Weiss
- New Studio, Happy Problems - Patrick Hanratty
- Case Study #4: Long-term Client – Michele Vennard, Bikram Yoga San Jose
- Family Business – Shelby Rayner
- Expansion Success: Three Locations – Lisa Ingle & Steven Falk
- Case Study #3: Long-term client – Amy Pittelkau, Blue Moon Yoga
- Unleashing Creative Spirit – Michèle Gunderson
- Case Study #2: Long-term client – Carrie Bain, Bikram Yoga Elk Grove
- Case Study #1: Long-term client – Marit Sathrum, Inner Fire Yoga
Small Town Success
Where do I begin? My husband and I opened Living Yoga in 2012 in a small town in South Dakota. If we would have been required to do a “business plan” in order to get funding to open a yoga studio in our area I’m sure we would have been turned away. Thankfully, we went full speed ahead with the support of loving friends and family. I am THE day to day operations manager and sometimes I felt very lonely, confused and above all, scared. By 2014 I was seriously considering the possibility that we may have to close. I told myself it was ok, and that I was proud that we took the leap and did the best we could…
But something inside of me was nudging me towards a helping hand, a guide, a teacher and a safe place to share my fears. I began researching “yoga business coaches” and Alon showed up, front and center. I read through his testimonials and even contacted a few of them for “references” (I don’t think he knows I did that!). I reached out to him and we began our work together.
At our first session, the first question he asked me was “Do you really want to own a yoga studio?”. I thought long and hard about that and the answer I gave him was “yes”. My guess is that he knew that without my heart in the process, there would be no progress. Alon helped me remember WHY I opened Living Yoga. It was clear I was operating from a place of fear - fear of not being able to pay my bills, fear of not having enough students, fear of not making good decisions and of course, fear of failure. I trusted no one, including myself.
Through our process together Alon helped me find my courage, purpose and most of all, my trust in myself.
We rebranded, created our invitation and put things in place that truly celebrate and support our students. When I began operating from a place of strength and trust, Living Yoga became a safe, uplifting, joyful, peaceful and happy place to be. Living Yoga is now a vibrant, abundant business. Even though many (maybe most) yogis don’t care for the word “business”, the truth is that a yoga studio IS a business. If we don’t take care of the business, our studios will close.
Alon reminds me of this truth frequently: we are CALLED to do this work. This is not a hobby to be taken lightly. This is a serious, life-changing, powerful calling. My desire to answer this calling runs deep in my soul. With all my heart I want Living Yoga to be here for our current students and for those who have yet to walk through our doors. With Alon’s wisdom, guidance and giftedness I am confident in our future.
My heart is filled with gratitude for this man I call my coach and my friend. Thank you Alon!
My Year of Love
One of the biggest lessons I have learned from Alón since 2009, is to not fear the truth. Six years of pretty much non-stop consultation with Alón produced wonderful business success, as well as bringing me closer to the core of who I am. This ongoing alliance with Alón is one of the most important relationships in my life. That is, he knows me so well, and I trust him so much, that I can be completely candid with him and there is no bullshit factor. What I mean is, when I am my authentic self, Alón’s coaching holds me accountable to that standard, and somehow, the stars always line up just right.
My four careers, yoga being the third, have always revolved around service. In our world, we call it Karma Yoga. To me it represents our role on mother earth, the connections we make, the compassion we bring to the table, and the social responsibility that guides us. These are all foundations of yoga. My fourth career, or more accurately, my new avocation - Amy’s Villages, a non-profit program for poor children, evolved from this sensibility.
So naturally, when I felt the need to explore the world and my place in it on a deeper level, I consulted Alón and he gave me his blessing and guidance, empowering me to sell my third and last studio in 2013. As soon as I set the intention, a perfect buyer landed on my lap, and with Alón’s further guidance, we completed the sale. Shortly afterwards, I landed in Hawaii.
Certainly I experienced “empty nest syndrome” and some big-time anxiety as I gave up my entire home and all my “stuff” (now, everything I own fits into my Mini Cooper). A well-timed 3-week dance/yoga/meditation immersion in paradise helped a lot, setting the stage for new creativity, clarity, grounding, and a great sense of play. Doesn’t that sound like something Alón would recommend? Again, I love how the stars line up.
After Hawaii, I traveled throughout the South Pacific, South East Asia and Jamaica – truly just going where the wind blew – for 18 months. Well, it kept blowing me into tiny, remote villages in poverty-stricken areas – and I was surprised at how much I loved it! So, in country after country I practiced karma yoga…selfless action. I assisted in the best way I knew how… teaching yoga to very poor children, young adults, and monks – as well as English, nutrition and oral/body hygiene. I have never felt such gratitude, connection, compassion and awareness in my life. I call it My Year of Love.
While it’s a very tall task to work in developing nations with big cultural differences, languages, and sociopolitical problems, the grace and gratitude I felt from working in the villages, especially with children, is unmatched by anything I’ve experienced.
I consulted with Alón upon returning to California (jobless and homeless!), and again after a few months in Jamaica, and yet again in preparing for the upcoming outreach in Indonesia. What’s cool is that Alón has traveled extensively, so he could relate and counsel me on my “3rd World” journeys, as well as the reverse culture shock upon re-entry. His coaching continues to streamline and clarify my mission for Amy’s Villages.
Taking the leap into social justice, protecting the poor people of the world, and empowering those children with education and health is a big undertaking that Alón helps me navigate, because I can’t do it alone – even if my 13 years of studio ownership likes to tell me otherwise!
Imbued with Alón’s unique and humorous style, our sessions now explore my sense of place in the world, and who I am as a continually evolving, adventurous and creative woman. Yes, it’s scary at first, but I was called to make a change, and found out that there is great life after studio ownership. In my case, Alón’s coaching illuminated my next indicated step, helped the creation and sharing of my vision, and allowed a deepening of collaborative efforts with others – bridging hearts and minds, helping the most impoverished, and building a better world.
This is my yoga.
The Little Things Add Up
We have worked with Alón for several years. Initially, our time was spent on rebranding and positioning our business to clearly bring our message to the community around us. Among other things, we created a new tag line, an invitation, an amazing website redesign, and a more thoughtful and meaningful newsletter.
After all of this work and experiencing great growth in our business, we thought we should end our time with Alón. What else did we need to do, right? The only problem was we didn’t want to give up our weekly chats. We came to enjoy our sessions with Alón, with him gently pushing us beyond our comfort zones. So we kept going, not really sure what would come next.
Last year we worked with Alón to create a huge buzz around our studio, with our first winter challenge getting a lot of attention. A year later, this buzz has deepened and mellowed into a quiet, steady hum. Things have certainly shifted. While we loved the huge buzz, this quiet hum has proven to be even more powerful.
Now, brand new students that come through our doors seem to somehow be just the right fit for our school. From the moment they walk in and are greeted by our teachers, they find a home in this sacred space. They feel it, we feel it… it’s effortless and a bit magical.
And it’s not just our students. Every teacher we have on the schedule is teaching quality classes and raising the standard of what it means to be a teacher at Greenville Yoga. Our teachers laugh and have fun, take each other’s classes and support one another like never before. Workshops are full with little to no marketing, and classes continue to grow steadily. We felt so good about our staff and studio that we even took time off as a family and took our kids on vacation to Disney World!
So what changed over the last year?
Alón constantly reminded us that as we grew, things would shift and change and that opportunities would arise that would serve to raise the bar for our school — and that it would not always be fun.
Before we started experiencing this higher level of harmony and abundance, Alón guided us through one of the hardest and in hindsight, most important decisions we had to make as studio owners — the decision to change our staff. We have always loved our teachers, but there was this one teacher… We’ll call him Mortimer. Mortimer would always find something to complain about (The studio wasn’t clean enough. We liked other teachers more than him. He wanted a new time slot. Was given the new time slot. Didn’t want a new time slot. Wanted old time slot with different class name. And on. And on. And on.) This teacher really is a gifted teacher. He had been teaching for us since the day we opened our doors almost 9 years ago.
After a year of hearing about Mortimer, Alón suggested it was time to clear the energetic space. He reminded us that our students felt that negativity even if Mortimer never said the words to students aloud. When Mortimer went on a rant one evening, sending us 14 emails in 2 hours we knew Alón was right. The space needed to be cleared. We were so fearful of what our students would think of us. We try to walk the walk and be yogis first, business owners second. We didn’t know how this would effect the students who had been part of Mortimer’s class for 8+ years and their loyalty to our school. Alón patiently reminded us that this was for the greatest good and our students would feel this and know it was for the best.
This was one of the scariest, most uncertain times we have had as business owners and yogis, and Alón guided us through each step. We wrote a letter to our community and had the students help us select the best teachers and times for their new classes. We walked in each day gracefully, knowing we were doing what was best for our students. Uncomfortable? Yes. For the best? Absolutely.
Now, we’re not saying that Mortimer was the cause of all our problems. He certainly was not. The fact we allowed Mortimer to bring negativity into this yoga home was. When we released the fear of being liked, of being understood, and ultimately released Mortimer — we put our students first. We put the energy of this school first. Funny enough, things began to shift quite rapidly. We did lose some students… and we gained some amazing teachers. Our staff supported us wholeheartedly. The energetic space was cleared and a whole new sense of belonging arose in that space. It’s hard to even begin to describe the community we have now amongst teachers (who have become friends) and students (who feel like family).
Our school’s quiet hum is exactly what we needed, it fits who we are and how we want to live. We never would have found this wonderful space without continuing this journey with Alón. We have moved into the more subtle layers of running a yoga business and have moved into the heart of this school, our community and our students. Thank you Alón. You were right.
Liz and Brian Delaney
GreenvilleYoga~ You Belong Here
Building a Tribe
I opened my studio in 2003 and started working with Alón in October of 2009 at the suggestion of three of his clients who are great friends of mine: Robin Duffy - Being Yoga, Marit Sathrum -Inner Fire Yoga and Carrie Bain - Bikram Yoga Elk Grove. They all rave about Alón and how he has helped them grow their businesses.
I never thought I would need a “coach,” but the timing could not have been any better, not only for my business, but personally as well. A month after beginning our weekly talks, I went through a very difficult divorce, at the same time as I was helping my mother battle cancer. Both my former wife and mother used to help me so much with my business and I no longer had their involvement. I needed help. Alón became that person – and still is today.
Alón spent the next months talking me through both of these losses and it was his emotional support that kept me from completely breaking. I had a business to run and a 1-½ year old son to raise and I was lost. Alón would say, “Jason, first we have to get you well…your business will follow.” He intuitively knew what I needed more than I did and I grew to trust him. I will always be grateful, because at the time, I wanted Alón to be spending his time on growing my business and instead it was spent on growing me.
Since 2009, Alón has helped grow the studio into a thriving yoga community. In the beginning I felt I could not afford Alón and it was too much money to spend. Now, he is the cornerstone to the success of it all. I don’t take a step without his guidance. I take his direction and apply what he teaches me. Any and all success I have experienced I give 100% to Alón.
Last year, in anticipation of the studio’s tenth anniversary, we decided it was time for a change. I decided to lease the space next to our studio and build another yoga room to grow and diversify our programs. During the process, it became apparent that it was time to do a re-brand. With the help of Alón, we have now changed the name from Huntington Beach Hot Yoga to Yoga Tribe. Alón came up with the name, as it represents not our style of yoga, but the people who make up our community.
Alón helped me realize that I don’t run a business anymore, I lead a community of people. His constant direction of keeping the focus on celebrating the students has resulted in our studio being awarded BEST YOGA STUDIO in Orange County by Los Angeles KTTV FOX Television, for the last three years in a row!
I no longer look at the studio just in dollars and cents, but more in how can I help someone today improve the quality of their life? Teaching yoga is service and Alón has helped me realize that I am deeply connected to this community and the more I give to it, the better my life becomes.
I can hardly put down in words the gratitude I have for Alón and our relationship. It has become very special to me and I thank GOD for him because there is no way Yoga Tribe would be what it is today without his care, love and support. I can’t say enough about him as human being, because his friendship far exceeds his responsibilities as a yoga business coach.
Yoga Tribe | Director
Huntington Beach, CA
From Strife to Screaming Joy
I discovered Alón years ago. I was in my third year of co-owning my first yoga studio, which felt like it was busting at the seams because we were so busy. Why would I seek out a business coach if we were, well, busy? Honestly, I was bone tired and didn’t have it in me to continue running things the way we were. It was clear that we had arrived at a pivotal growth opportunity. I was feeling energetically tapped out and not sure that I could sustain growth at the rate we were going. I started to seek out yoga specific business coaches. Then I found Alón’s website. After reading every testimonial I was super excited. I immediately sent an email to my business partner with a link to his testimonials page. I told her I wanted to start working with this guy and that I felt he could help us work smarter not harder. I saw the opportunity for growing our business and freeing up our energy to do the things we love with those we love. I clearly remember her reaction, an emphatic ”No. What could a guy in California possible know about our yoga business in Alaska?!” She asked. He was too expensive and too far away and in no way did she support taking that risk.
I was bummed. I had a feeling I’d be working with this guy anyway and so I filed his info in my mind and continued on.
Over time, it became more apparent that working with my business partner wasn’t working. Our goals and visions had shifted and there seemed to be a division in the community. It scared the hell out of me, but I got the message it was time to go and I started to dream of a new vision — my own yoga studio. Coincidentally, just then, dear friends of mine (who are also my mentors) mentioned that they had begun working with Alón. A light went on and I knew it was time. I pulled out Alón’s contact information and sent out my first plea for help. I had run a business, a successful one at that, but I knew that I was missing something and I didn’t want to do this new venture alone or the same way I’d done it before. I wanted a successful business and time to enjoy my life and family and continue learning and growing! Was I asking too much? Nope!
Alón squeezed me in for a preliminary consult over his lunch break since his schedule was so busy. I remember it because he was literally eating lunch while I spoke about my situation. He was laughing at the idea of having to eat during a call (for what he thought was the first time ever), chewing away in my ear. [Editor's note: First of all, Kimberly, dear... since you had to mention this to my subscribers all over the world, let me just say that I was starving and doing my best not chew loudly -- and no, I haven't done this again... I think we got enough laughs out of this one episode!] Alón listened, and I felt immediately connected to this very real, joyful fellow on the other end of the line… I knew that there was something here. I was put on his waiting list and the process began. Over the next few months we’d get to work together on splitting from my tangled business partnership with grace and integrity and to build a new studio from the ground up that would be in complete harmony with my sensibilities and gifts.
Here’s the thing. I worked with Alón for a good six months before my new studio even opened. He helped me to harbor and retain a yoga community in flux while maintaining confidence and a smile on my face. Alón helped me to create a vision, to dream big and to trust in the process. As I closed the doors of one studio, Alón helped me to stay out of fear while I sought out my next space. There were times I felt I couldn’t afford to work with Alón and yet I couldn’t afford not to.
With very little funds to invest amazing things started happening. First, a student gifted a large check, no strings attached. Then, a realtor approached me with an idea for a studio and then shared that he was willing to pay for the entire build out…..with little to no money from me. I remember getting into my car one day after a particular event, closing all the windows and I screamed as loud as I could out of sheer joy and amazement. Each week I would share these incredible happenings with Alón, he would laugh and join in on my celebrations. Soon, he would say something to the effect of “I’m not surprised. Yes, It’s great, I know, definitely celebrate the hell out of it, but know that this is what happens when you’re aligned with the universe…” not his exact words, but something to that effect. I truly believe that Alón’s guidance was divine timing and I love what has been created.
We worked together on every aspect of opening a new studio, from site selection to branding, communication and promotion to implementing systems into my business that keep things running smoothly. He even made the physical renovation and build-out phase exciting by involving the community emotionally in the process. Every week, I couldn’t wait to speak with him because his creative ideas kept coming and any stress I was feeling about the whole process melted and gave way to inspiration.
In a very short time, we created a loyal community that is celebrated, supported and thriving — and we’ve only been open a month. Every day, people step into the new studio and talk about how good it feels to be there.
Alón has shown me how step up my role as a leader. This allowed me to attract an incredible team of staff that upholds the mission of our studio. It is so empowering to see that what we’ve created is drawing in people who are ready and willing to do this work in this incredible environment. We’re transforming peoples’ lives by witnessing their growth, celebrating their hopes and dreams and truly providing much more than a yoga class. We’re providing a place of deep connection. Most days I come home feeling like the luckiest woman alive because I get to do this for a living!
Then, on those days I feel down, when I feel doubt about being able to do this, I hear Alón’s voice helping me navigate those feelings and come out of that old script and back into my truth. Alón reminds me to take notice of all the good we’ve created and guides me to build my pile of “contrary evidence” that will keep old patterns from taking over and center me in my truth, keeping me strong.” I am doing it! I’ve stepped more fully into my ability to navigate difficult conversations and truly step up as the guardian and leader of this community. I don’t feel alone in this journey… I feel like I have an incredible ally. Perhaps it wasn’t meant to be that I didn’t work with Alón in the first business, perhaps it was meant to be that he worked on this new project with me. For whatever reason, I’m truly grateful.
Evolve Yoga – Anchorage, Alaska
Case Study #6: You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know –Part 2 (To read Part 1, please scroll down for a while and look for same photo of Kristin)
I love reports. And charts. And digging deep into the numbers to find trends, results, and answers. An odd joy for a yoga teacher, perhaps, but I have always been one to find comfort in running reports and comparing statistics to better understand what is going on around me. That skill served me well in my “previous life” as a corporate controller, and I would often use it as a crutch when I was feeling panicked about the state of my yoga business. Surely if I could just run the “right” report, I would find the answer to running a profitable studio.
I first wrote about my experience working with Alón in March of 2011, and I titled that story, “You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know.” I was amazed and humbled at how so much of what I perceived as troubling with my business was based on frustration and discontent, and negative stories in my head. I didn’t have the confidence in myself and my abilities to break out of my comfort zone and grow, for fear of failure, or maybe….fear of how success might feel. Funny, that didn’t pop out in any of the reports that I ran.
Working with Alón for the past 2 ½ years has definitely shed light on what I didn’t know, and more importantly, what I was afraid to know and experience. Together we have done some amazing things at Yoga West to grow the studio and build community, such as yoga challenges, community events, a revamped and EXCITING newsletter, and a revised and streamlined offering of services. And that is only the tangible stuff that can be SEEN –– so much of my newfound success is from the inner work that Alón has encouraged in me.
By no means do I have it all figured out, but thanks to Alón, I have an amazing arsenal of tools now that help me to navigate through the challenges both in the studio and in my head. Alón has an amazing ability to see exactly what is holding me back from abundance, and limiting my potential. Week after week, Alón has compassionately but firmly worked with me to begin to peel away the layers of fear and insecurity that have slowed down my progress, and the success of the studio. The first month that I worked with Alón, I truly didn’t have the money for the call. Now I know I can’t afford not to have him by my side.
In no particular order, here are the top 10 things that I have learned from working with Alón:
- To not be afraid….of who I am or what I can do. Being afraid doesn’t serve me, my family or my business.
- Don’t get sucked into the drama…yoga studios have LOTS of drama.
- Learn to identify the scripts that are running over and over again in your mind…they are holding you back from your true potential. More importantly, learn to shut them down.
- Trust that others love you just the way you are. Trust that they will still love you, even if you fail.
- Don’t measure your success in dollars, but in the community that you are creating. The dollars will come.
- Take time for yourself, without guilt. You deserve it, and everyone and everything around you will benefit if you give yourself permission to relax.
- People need to be noticed, and celebrated. Take the time to notice others – look them in the eye and acknowledge them. This includes your family, and yourself.
- You are doing great and necessary work, don’t discount your efforts.
- It is OK to let others help you. It doesn’t mean that you are weak, or that you can’t do it. They might be better at the task anyway.
- Take small steps. They are all important and meaningful, even if they feel small and unnecessary. Hang in there.
And while I still love to look at reports, I have learned that in the reports I can see the results of what I have done, not the answers to the questions about what to do. In the 2 ½ years that I have worked with Alón the membership at Yoga West is up 116%. Sales in the first quarter of 2013 are 140% higher than in the 1st Quarter of 2010 B.A. (Before Alón). Weekly attendance has skyrocketed 220% higher than before, as we now offer 48 classes a week as compared to 20 previously. Sure, some, maybe lots, of the growth is due to a new location, but there is no doubt in my mind that I would be nowhere near this level of success, community, and FREEDOM, without Alón’s gentle but pointed guidance to trust my instincts, drop the cover stories, and to not be afraid of my true potential.
I am overwhelmed with gratitude for your support, guidance and friendship.
Transformation in 7 Months
At the end of 2011 I bought a yoga studio that according to the numbers was a bad investment. I had been teaching at this studio for years and been present as it went through some unfortunate circumstances. I knew it was risky to buy it, but I also knew that I felt called to this task. Trouble was, I had no business experience and was also working through my own self-doubt on a number of levels.
Six months into the venture, I was working around the clock without seeing the numbers improving. It was dispiriting to work so much and not see the results I hoped for. Around this time, two unconnected people suggested I look at Alón’s website. I remember sitting at my computer to browse his site and ended up reading it in its entirety, including all the testimonials! I remember laughing out loud and feeling a sense of connection and hope from the stories they shared. I knew then that I was going to call Alón. And I remember saying to myself that in a year’s time I also wanted to add my own testimonial to his web site. As it turns out, I am writing this 7 months to the day of our first conversation!
Historically, the studio’s best month is January and the slowest month is December. However, December 2012 was the studio’s best month on record. And so far for January we are on track to have the highest attendance ever! There is a buzz of energy at the studio and spirits are high, including my own. And as I have come to discover, that makes all the difference.
From our first call Alón gave me some assignments that helped me see just how valuable the studio was to the community and how many people it was helping (being bogged down in the failing business side of things, I had started to lose track of that). He helped me get in touch with my vision for the studio and to start representing it in an authentic way. He gave me ideas to build community and to celebrate the students’ achievements. He also ignited a fire in me with his own enthusiasm, assurance, and belief in me. I have relied on the light and strength of that little flame many a time these past months.
My life has changed in visible ways since working with Alón. I have been challenged to grow on many levels and do things I thought I couldn’t do. Parts of me, such as writing, that have been dormant for years, have been called out of hiding and developed. Working through doubts and taking on my full role and responsibility as the owner and Director have also been and continue to be part of the journey.
Here is a hint of Alón’s talent: When he listens to you, he keeps his eye on that which is highest in you. He believes in you, and he also knows how to keep the conversation on target with what really matters. He is going to ask you to step out of your box, to open your heart and be willing to take a chance. He is going to encourage you to bloom, for your life, and for the life of your studio.
If your studio is struggling, I hope you will call Alón, because I believe he can help you succeed. I wish you great success and the on-going joy of seeing the peaceful faces of your students after class. The world needs more thriving yoga studios! As Alón himself has said, “We are making the world better, one yogi at a time.”
Many thanks to you, Alón! And we are still just getting started.
Naedra Fox, Director
Bikram Yoga Marietta
The Next Indicated Step (Leap)
I first discovered Alón in 2004. I saw an ad for the “Yoga Business Coach” in the back pages of Yoga Journal. It said: Business – With a Yogic Twist. There was a picture of this grinning guy in his bare feet. He was standing in Tree Pose – with his hands in Namaskar – wearing a business suit. I thought to myself, “What’s up with this guy?”
As time passed, I kept seeing his ads in YJ. Then a few years ago, a friend and fellow studio owner mentioned she might “check him out.” I forgot about it, but later realized she must have made the call, because I started seeing some positive changes on her website and in her newsletter. Hmmm, it must be that “Yoga Business Coach” lighting a fire under her ass.
Even though my curiosity was peaked, I still didn’t reach out to him. Being an independent kid from a tough city just north of Boston – I was used to doing things on my own. I opened my yoga studio on total blind faith. No business plan, no business loan and no business partner – it was just me, a credit card and the unwavering belief that God had my back. Everything else, I figured out as I went along.
By 2012, I’d been running Quest Yoga by myself for 10 years. Things were going well, but something was missing. It got me to thinking about my studio. More than that – it got me to thinking about my whole creative life. I knew I wanted to make some changes but wasn’t sure how to move forward. I was feeling kind of stuck and frustrated. That’s when it hit me – I needed Alón! So here I was, 8 years later and I was finally ready to find out just what was up with that guy!
I went to Alón’s website (wicked nice), read some testimonials (people love him), checked out his blog (he’s funny too) and saw that he had a conference call coming up. I sat in on the call – just listening at first. I wanted to check out his vibe and see if I thought our personalities and philosophies would click. About halfway through the call – I piped in with a comment. The way Alón responded to me – quick, smart and spiritually aligned – sealed the deal. Right away I knew this was a person I could work with and learn from.
What I love about Alón’s no nonsense, yet intuitive approach is he’s really clear that your business is simply an extension of you! If you want to see great changes in your business – you’ve got to be willing to change yourself. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t always easy and I shed a few tears, but man, did we have fun too! Alón promised me that he wouldn’t waste my time and he wasn’t lying.
After three months of honest conversations, spirited collaboration and laugh-out-loud brain-storming sessions – he helped me discover that what I really wanted to do was let go of running a traditional “studio” so I could focus more time and energy on my writing, speaking and mentoring work!
I had been neglecting my memoir and other creative passions for several years because I was so busy: running the studio, teaching group classes, working with private clients, doing Thai Yoga Massage, balancing the books, updating the website, putting together the newsletter while also posting to FB and Twitter, etc. If you own a studio, you probably know what I’m talking about.
Each week, when we talked, Alón listened compassionately, but also called me on my stuff. He told me to once and for all let go of any limited thinking that was holding me back. He encouraged me to celebrate the dynamic gifts that I was born with and to embrace all the different skills that I cultivated over the years. He reminded me that we all have our own unique way of serving the world and he helped me figure out exactly how I now wanted to do that moving forward. My sessions with Alón brought me to a place of renewed clarity, divine purpose and enthusiastic vision. Together, we created and are now launching my new brand: Karen Kenney – Spiritual Catalyst.
This whole process has been such an exciting and fulfilling experience. With a new and improved website being created, a new logo being designed and redefining my new brand - I am having a blast! This invitation (below) that we wrote for my new clients is the foundation for my Spiritual Catalyst work. I cracked up when I realized it’s also the perfect expression for how I feel about YOU working with Alón – so I wanted to share it with you:
If there’s ever been a safe place to take a leap of faith, this is it.
This is your opportunity to choose Love over Fear – an invitation to awaken to what’s possible.
Discover a new sense of confidence, courage and freedom.
Here you have permission to shine. No more playing small, no more sabotaging your dreams, no more settling for less. You can make excuses or you can transform your life – you can’t do both.
Now is your time. It won’t always be easy… but no one else can do this for you.
Are You Ready?
Step Into Your Power.
Thank you Alón for being such a fantastic mentor, innovative collaborator and super friend. I’m so glad that our paths crossed in this lifetime and that you are a part of my journey!
Karen Kenney, Spiritual Catalyst
Concord, New Hampshire
Case Study #5: A Ten Month Transformation – Brian Monnier, California Yoga Co.
Part One: The Leap of Faith
My career in yoga started 11 years ago. I made the commitment to open my studio nearly 7 years ago. Over those years, I have tried everything to make my business successful. I managed to build up a moderate student base, but was still struggling. Although I knew this studio could be great and that it has the potential to be able to support my growing family, it wasn’t happening and it was beyond frustrating.
Somehow I found Alón’s website and thought, “What am I doing looking at this ‘yoga business coach’ website? I am pretty business savvy and I know that I have put my heart and soul into this venture to make it successful.” I simply wanted to elevate my business to another level. But I had to acknowledge that something was still missing. I realized I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
I was skeptical, so I went through his testimonials. On his client list are studio owners who I actually know to have successful businesses. So I took a leap of faith. I scrounged up the money and committed to the recommended 3 month period. I can safely tell you this, it was worth the money! Alón has helped me identify the missing pieces and has given me tools to fill in the gaps. Admittedly, I remained skeptical early in the process. I had to put my ego aside, do what he was asking of me and have faith that it would make the difference that I was looking for.
Now, 6 months later, things are transforming. Slow summers or dismal winters are no longer a worry (I’m actually looking forward to seasons I used to dread!). Revenue is consistently up every month, and year over year revenue is shockingly higher. There is also a greater sense of community growing among the students and everyone is noticing the difference. My staff is amazed at the change and motivated to help the studio grow. Even my landlord is wondering why there is a line-up outside the door!
If you follow his advice and do the work, your studio and life will transform.
If you are on the fence about working with Alón, take the leap of faith. Give him 6 months and see what happens. You will not be sorry. What he does IS real and DOES work!
Part Two: Ten Months In
10 months ago I started working with Alón. This update is a progress report on how my business has transformed.
Last summer, my wife and I were struggling just to make our regular bills. I was truly considering closing my business and just teaching for another yoga studio. Both of us had a lot of doubts about making the commitment to work with Alón. However, we both had a belief that my business is going to be huge, we just needed some help to get us on the right path.
I am here to tell you that in 10 short months, my business has made 180 degree turn. It was not immediate; it took some time and a lot of hard work. But I kept doing the homework Alón would give me and about 6 months in, everything started to change, and the systems that Alón and I worked to create really started to take effect.
As result, now I have a line that goes out the studio when I open the doors for classes. The buzz in the community at the studio is really amazing. My students are making bonds with each other that get them to yoga more regularly and they bring friends.
One of the neatest and enjoyable parts of this transformation is the increased number (double!) of wonderful testimonials I have received both for my monthly newsletter and on Yelp.com. I am really getting amazing stories of how my studio is changing my students’ lives.
To celebrate the students’ efforts and achievements, the hot new website that we created under Alón’s guidance was a big part of the change and it definitely helped in tripling attendance.
With so many new students, my monthly auto-pay revenue has quadrupled. QUADRUPLED! Each month the membership and auto-pay revenue keeps growing and growing. It is almost unbelievable.
For the first time in the 8 years I have owned my business and 11 years of teaching yoga, summers don’t suck. Alón helped me break the pervasive thought that yoga studios suffer in certain seasons. I know now that it is not true and I am actually looking forward to this summer (and winter).
I am now “struggling” with having enough space to hold my quickly expanding yoga community. The studio is getting so busy that I am considering both expanding my existing location and possibly opening a second location!
Personally, I have gone from teaching all the classes, to adding new teachers. While I plan to continue teaching, I no longer have to teach 25-30 classes a week, 7 days a week. My staff is beginning to take over the day to day teaching, while I am moving towards mentoring them and developing my teacher training. Having time to explore other aspects of teaching is something I have been trying to do for years.
Apparently, after 10 months working with Alón, I finally have a life! I am taking much more time away from my business to enjoy life with my wife. Both she and I have had our doubts removed.
For me, the most significant and satisfying change of all, is that I will be able to put my wife through grad school. She is finishing up her degree and the studio can now support the two of us in one of the most expensive cities in the nation.
I am so glad that I took the leap of faith and contacted Alón. Money and time very well spent! Thanks Alón!
California Yoga Company
San Francisco, California
New Studio Finds Its Wings
Just over one year ago I contacted Alón to investigate the possibility of working together. My business had been in operation 10 months. I’d just had my worst month both student visits and dollar wise. I knew of Alón before that; before I opened my business even. I was receiving his newsletters and had joined in on a tele-class. At the build-out stage before I opened, I considered contacting him. But I was very busy. I didn’t make the call. BIG MISTAKE.
There are so many facets that drive a yoga studio and as the owner, especially a new owner, you simply cannot know of them all and their accompanying pitfalls. Yeah I know, many life lessons come through these curve balls, but I tell ya, if you can avoid the OBVIOUS ones then you will save yourself a whole lot of money, aggravation and heartache.
The first thing I experienced was RELIEF that I had an ally. Simply just by sharing the huge burden and responsibility of what I had undertaken made me feel better. I trusted Alón immediately. Everything we talked about in those early days about realigning the studio to be a reflection of the owner, (that would be me, not anyone else) with my dreams and my visions and my goals and who I am so that that would be the vibration I send out into the world, totally resonated with me.
All that we did in the first 6 months was a lot of hard work but it was inspiring and creative and felt RIGHT. I loved creating my business invitation which proudly invites my business in, on my wall in reception, on my revamped website and my revamped newsletter. This produced one aha! moment after the next, but the most profound was the simplest. “Kristina, you cannot be all things to all people”. Obvious right? Not to me, until it was spoken out loud.
My only regret with working with Alón is that I didn’t do it sooner. He has this uncanny ability to draw the essence of who you are out, mold it into a useable and useful form as this essential ingredient that IS the foundation of your business. He likes to laugh, thank god, and he likes people to shine. Thank god. But he’s not a candy coater either. “To be frank with you Kristina, it’s boring.” Love that straight shooting!
Just ask yourself what’s the worst thing that could happen by employing Alón’s services? I suppose you could discover you are in the wrong business. What a relief and blessing that would be. Then again you might triple your student visits and income in one year (as I’ve experienced), or maybe take a well-earned holiday (Hello yoga retreat in the French Riviera!) and maybe the best part, start leading the life you envisaged whilst bringing your gift to the world. I reckon that’s a pretty good punt!
So many positive things have happened in the last year. Thank-you Alón for recognizing your gifts as a human being, a business guy and a yogi practitioner; gift wrapping them into one and presenting them to the world. You don’t have to live in the States to partake in this package of wisdom either. I live in New Zealand. Skype is a wonderful thing. And we kind’ve speak the same language, eh Alón? :o)
Bikram Yoga Napier
Inspired Owners/Doubled Class Size
My husband and I opened a small, neighborhood yoga school seven years ago. It took off and has been such a joy to run. In our fifth year, we had the brilliant idea to open a second neighborhood school just across town. We thought it would grow just like our first place. A year and a half into our second location we found ourselves physically drained, numbers stagnant and our new location flooded (literally). This was the lowest we had been in many years.
My sweet friend Lori (of Yoga: edit) had spoken highly of this guy, Alón, who helped her grow her business while having fun. This thought just kept resurfacing that I needed to see what he was all about. So, I spent one entire evening viewing his website and (almost) all of his testimonials. My husband and I are do-it-ourselves kind of people and we had gotten to a point we just couldn’t do it ourselves any longer. I convinced my husband by reading select testimonials to him and we sent Alón an email (just to see what he could do). Our first conversation had us both convinced this was exactly what we needed! Alón’s first statement to me still sings in my head when I am making the smallest decisions, “Yoga isn’t about competition. It is about putting out there exactly who you are so the students just right for you will be drawn in like moths to a flame.” This spoke so clearly to me and I was sold. My husband loved Alón because they both had seen the Ramones live in concert. Somehow Alón knew just the right thing to say to hook us both in!
So here we are six months later… We have a beautiful new studio floor, revised newsletter, (almost completed) new website, growing community and owners who are inspired, more confident as teachers and so grateful for it all. As we became more clear about who we were and what we had to offer, the just right students did show up. They brought their friends and friends of friends. No longer do we have students showing up for “a workout” and being disappointed, but we have students seeking something more and loving what we do! Our teachers are happier, our class sizes have doubled, and we are enlivened. The work we have done has been tedious and at times has taxed my patience and my ideas of studio decor, however, it has been worth it.
We aren’t the only ones who have noticed… Just last week we celebrated our 7th anniversary. We implemented all of the things Alón suggested. The days following the anniversary we just kept hearing the same thing, “That was so much FUN!” Students made connections with people, talked, danced, sang and ate. We had a blast. At one point in the evening I put my head on Brian’s shoulder and cried. I was so overwhelmed with what we had done together in such a short time. We had to trust Alón and we remained true to ourselves every step of the way. He has been a gift to our schools and a gift to us as husband and wife. With Alón’s guidance, we are better able to listen to one another, we work together and we revisit who we are every step of the way, knowing that every little thing makes a big impact. Thank you Alón! You were right!
Liz And Brian Delaney
Coming Home to Herself
Alón won me over with the power of five words.
“I don’t waste anyone’s time.”
And boy, was he right.
By the time I called Alón, our studio had been open about a year and a half. We were doing well for a new business that opened in a struggling economy, but not well enough. We opened big, building our studio from the ground up with two practice rooms, massage, a boutique, sauna, showers, 25 teachers and 40+ front desk people and cleaners. I was working 80 hours a week managing it all and teaching, and was past exhausted in body, mind, and heart. I had no personal life and was living in a town where I didn’t feel at home. My own yoga practice was suffering, and I wasn’t able to devote any time at all to my other calling, writing. Basically, I was pretty miserable.
Like every business owner in the world, I had a list five pages long of all the things I knew we had to do…but I just didn’t have the time. My experience with people I hired as “experts” was that they would tell me to do things that were already on my list, which wasn’t helpful. I had a decent amount of previous business experience, had run other yoga programs, and done tons of research before we opened, so I was pretty together on that end. What I didn’t have was time. What I needed was someone to tell me how to make that time, so I could do the things I knew we had to do. And—although I didn’t realize this until I started working with Alón—I also needed someone to kindly point out that the way I was working just wasn’t sustainable.
Alón and I immediately clicked, in the way I suspect he does with everyone. He has a remarkable and rare ability to see who you truly are, and to tailor your work together accordingly. He somehow manages to be fluent in everyone’s language. It’s astonishing what you can pack into 45 minutes with someone as brilliant, witty, fun, and compassionate as Alón. He led me through a series of opening exercises that clarified who I was and who we were as a studio, and began to show me how to use that to make my life and my business shine. I not only looked forward to our sessions every week; they pretty much held me together when things were crazy. His insight, sense of humor, experience with business, and deep understanding of yoga as a practice and a business are nothing short of extraordinary.
Working with Alón, our classes began to grow. We increased our prices with little to no unhappiness from our students, and our community grew even stronger. And then…Alón somehow managed to make it seem possible for me to take my first vacation since before we had opened. A real vacation, one where I didn’t work. At all.
Shortly after my vacation, some unexpected and, shall we say, shocking events with my business partners transpired, and for the first time ever I thought about selling the studio and moving home to Los Angeles. Another piece of the puzzle was that I was incredibly homesick, and had been for years, missing my home of Venice Beach with every ounce of my being. While I knew that going home was what was best for me, I had never thought I could. I agonized over how to make that work with my commitment to the studio and the community I had built over nine years.
Alón’s clear understanding of who I am made it possible for me to make the right decision for me. He saw me through every painful moment—and it was a terribly difficult time, because of the nature of what was transpiring between my partners and myself—with great intelligence and compassion. He became a much-needed cheering section as well, able to convince me that selling the business, moving home, and finding a teaching and writing life in LA would all happen easily and smoothly, because it was where I was supposed to be. He helped immensely in making the transition exciting rather than terrifying. Not only that, he helped me find the best possible way to frame it to my community, which resulted in them being overwhelmingly supportive of—and even inspired by!—my decision to move on.
Best of all, he agreed to keep working with me to develop my personal businesses once I sold the studio, something I was so grateful for. I already had an informal side business where I edited yoga-related writing such as books, teacher training manuals, and websites. Working together, Alón and I turned this into a full-fledged business by creating a brand with a logo I adore, a website with copy that truly reflects who I am and what I do, and a newsletter that melds my two loves: yoga and writing. What could be better? We also needed to reposition me as a solo teacher, as opposed to a studio owner, in the fabulously crowded yoga market that is Los Angeles. I developed my new yoga “brand” with Alón as well. My yoga website, which includes another perfect logo and all of my playlists linked to iTunes (yay!), just went live.
In every sense of the word, I’m now at home. Once the difficult decision to sell the studio and move was made, everything else seemed to fall into place. I found my dream apartment in the Venice canals, was offered teaching jobs at Santa Monica Yoga and Bam Bu Lah (a new studio that opened literally around the corner from my new apartment a week after I moved in), launched Yoga:edit and Lori Snyder Yoga, and am finally finishing (well, almost) my novel that’s about two years late to my agent. (As a side note, no, I haven’t met the love of my life yet. Know anyone in LA?)
Most importantly, I feel as though I’m back to joy in my life, back to feeling like there’s something exciting around every corner. I’m not sure I would have been able to see my right path with such clarity had it not been for Alón’s continual guidance and kindness. He is an incredible human being. If you get the chance to work with him, grab it. It will transform your world.
Yoga’s Ambassador to Boomers
When I first started working with Alón over a year ago, I had tons of ideas and energy. I soon realized that Alón matched me with his energy, positive encouragement, and focus. His manner was always engaging as he focused on my goals. Even when my son’s personal health crisis stalled my progress, his sensitivity as a coach embraced where I was, and he never allowed me to be discouraged with temporary setbacks. He kept the vibrancy flowing in our sessions, and insisted I focus on what I know best– myself.
Not only did his words enlighten me when I began to take new chances, but he inspired me to creatively develop my yoga and my philosophy, and make it more meaningful, more relevant. He believed in me, and knew how to lead me to my next step.
My age defying yoga focuses on a wonderful and unique genre of yogis. Baby Boomers! As one myself, I know the importance of staying physically, mentally and spiritually strong and healthy. My classes and workshops aim to awaken a new sense of vitality, strength and freshness that helps my generation defy aging and live life to the fullest.
Alón encouraged me to find new ways to give back to my students, and I grateful that I can take what I do and motivate others to find their best self!
Alón’s business philosophy mirrors mine — embracing the idea that any successful working relationship comes from the positive communication between people working together to achieve a common goal. Like a true visionary, when my abstract goals seemed cloudy, he helped lead me exactly to where I wanted to go, helped me consider creative options to get there, and helped me stay on task until I reached my ultimate plan destination.
If you haven’t considered a business coach yet, and are looking for something extra to take you to a new level of success, consider Alón’s unique yoga coaching philosophy.
Alón’s sessions have helped me grow in ways no other business advisor has. As one of the most optimistic people I know, he will engage you, embrace you, enlighten you and leave you feeling vibrant and inspired. As a specialist, he has shown me that nothing in the field of yoga is beyond my reach. I could have not asked for more from a business coach, and thanks to him, I will continue to engage in life…every day!
New York, NY
Clearing The Path
After completing two yoga bootcamps with Baron Baptiste in the fall of 2009, I decided to end my work as a psychologist and embark on my calling to be a yoga teacher and a yoga studio owner. I have always believed that I am meant to serve humanity in some way. I started to do this through my work as a psychologist, but it did not seem to serve me and I oftentimes felt burned-out. I have come to see yoga as a much more accessible way to personal transformation.
Once I decided to begin moving into the yoga business world, I contacted Alón and began my work with him. Together, we explored the idea of opening a yoga studio after my partner and I relocate to Florida in 2011 (I’ve always wanted to live in warmth).
Alón and I are currently working on removing the emotional and mental blocks that could disempower me and keep me from shining in an authentic way. Now I feel confident that when I do open my studio, I will be clear and authentic in what I want in my studio, and in my life.
My work with Alón is helping me as a yoga teacher as well. It is great to have Alón to talk with weekly because he speaks the “yogic language” and is on the same journey in his own life. He can relate to experiences on and off the mat. I have always felt that people who are open and speak their own truth are the most inspiring to me. I have found that in Alón, and I have started to find it unfolding in my own teaching and life.
I have begun to see how my authenticity is affecting my relationships with my partner, family, friends, students, and even strangers. My work with Alón has removed so many blocks that I am much more open to being connected to people in a truly present manner. I have lived in the DC area for over ten years and it is only within the last eight months that I can say that I have real friends whom I love. It’s a huge change in my life.
In conjunction with yoga, this work has opened my eyes to possibilities I never imagined. By dropping the lies about myself and believing in my wholeness, I have begun to shine brighter and brighter, which has affected every aspect of my life. I have fallen deeper in love with my life partner whom I plan to open the studio with. I also have attracted more yoga career opportunities than ever before. It seems that with Alón as a guide, once I believed in myself, my brightness and sparkle increased dramatically, and suddenly, doors began to open all around me. Life really is good.
I am grateful for what yoga has offered me and I feel as though I must “Pay It Forward” and give it to everyone I can. I believe that everyone deserves to shine, and that is what I offer as a yoga teacher and a future yoga studio owner. Thank you, Alón, for believing in me, showing me my true potential and being a light on my path.
You Don’t Know what you Don’t Know
I have always had a good mind for business; a levelheaded rule-follower, and very discerning in my decision-making and relationships. For years I made a living as a CPA, and my last “corporate” job was as the controller of an oil and gas company, where I did quite a bit of planning, forecasting and budgeting, always keeping an eye on the big picture. In the midst of my corporate life, I discovered yoga, and it quickly became an integral part of my life.
I had the opportunity to purchase the studio where I had been practicing and teaching, and thought that this was an amazing opportunity to combine my love of yoga with my business knowledge. What could be better?
But the studio struggled quite a bit for the first few years – the attendance and revenues were not at all what I had anticipated. I managed to turn things around a bit, but every month ended with a huge sigh of relief the moment I knew I could pay the rent.
I had been getting Alón’s newsletter for months, an each month I would wonder, could he help me? And then I would think, 1) if I had the money to pay him then I wouldn’t need him, and 2) I already have a handle on running the “business” (bookkeeping, budgets, marketing, etc), so what could he really help me with?
By then I got really tired of running at mediocre and I was ready to go for broke, including moving the studio to a newer, much more demographically appealing location. My husband and I were having a meeting with our financial advisor, and interestingly, he asked if either of us had ever considered using a business coach. I told him about Alón and how I had been getting his e-mails, and I expressed my concerns that I did not know how he could help me. His response, was, “yes, Kristin, but you don’t know what you don’t know.” Good point. I sent him the information that I had on Alón and he responded, “He looks like the real deal. Give it a go.” I figured it was now or never, as right at the point of this move was the perfect chance to explore new marketing, branding, and community building ideas.
I made the call to Alón, and from our first 15-minute “getting to know you” call, I was hooked. In the first few weeks, Alón’s thought provoking questions and analysis of my responses began to draw attention to the areas where I was holding back, and thus limiting my potential or success.
Every call is a huge eye opener, and I end our 45 minute chats each week so inspired to implement his suggestions right away. None of them are very hard – some just take a few minutes, some are longer, community building projects, but with an eye toward building a strong, successful, vibrant yoga studio that I can be proud of, and ultimately achieve much more success.
Many of Alón’s ideas seem so obvious once implemented, but without his guidance to help clear away the haze of frustration and discontent in my head, I couldn’t see them. My way of thinking has completely changed. You know how after a really great yoga class or a top notch massage, you have that sense of openness in your mind – and suddenly all of the issues and clutter seem to either have a solution, or at the very least a place to go? Working with Alón is like that. It is like yoga for your thoughts!
I still have the same eye for detail, and still plan and budget, probably entirely too much, but I am learning not to use that as a crutch whenever I am feeling stuck. I am so much more comfortable exploring new ideas and trying new things. And like I said, none of them are very hard. One thing at a time, and I am watching my studio transform from the mediocre, barely pay the rent studio in a bad part of town to the vibrant blossoming community it is quickly becoming.
One of my instructors has nicknamed Alón “Magic Man,” as each week after our call there is a flurry of excitement from me over what magic we are going to do next. But here’s the thing. It is not magic, right? It’s not tricks, and Alón doesn’t do the work, I do. But that is the key – the relationship with Alón has given me the insight, confidence and the gentle push to break out of my comfort zone and get it done. It is like a once a week accountability partner to help me stay on track!
I have only been working with Alón since about October of 2010 – before the big move, when scraping up that first fee to pay him was a huge struggle. I have been in the new space just about 2 months – so it is still a baby, really. I am so looking forward to continuing the journey with Alón by my side, though miles away, and watching this baby grow. It is true; sometimes you really don’t know what you don’t know. Thank you, Alón, for showing me the way!
Crossroads: Can I do this for another five years?
Five months ago, I was in a pivotal place with my studio… should I sign another 5-year lease, or forgo being a studio owner and teach independently? I needed some help sorting out my options, so I sought Alón out based on a referral from one of his clients.
Many of my supporters spoke so confidently about what I was doing at the studio, and even some suggested that I should consider expanding. I knew that if I closed, it would be a great loss to the community of students, the neighborhood that is in transition, and for me… I started the studio to build a community of yogis and friends, but I was doing some deep soul searching about how and if to continue. The studio was doing okay and had good momentum but we still needed to grow, and I was losing juice.
Could I do this for another five years? There is so much that is unpredictable and the last five years had been a true roller coaster ride with great dips, only to make the climb back up for another exhilarating ride. But my outlook needed more stability, cohesiveness, a larger support system and definitely more FUN! If I were to continue with the responsibility of owning a studio that now had 11 teachers, 2 desk/administrative staff and 30 classes on the schedule, I knew that there would have to be a whole new energy to come in to sustain, grow, and even entertain us.
After my first few sessions with Alón, I was captivated. I found that we were so in alignment about what yoga does for us, ie. that it is life changing and healing, and that aligning with a conscious intent will support me in my venture with the studio. Alón coaching style grabbed me because I could see that there was fun to be had. I had given my heart to the studio, there was much to celebrate, but the joy had gone out.
Our work has taken on many forms, but the wave of change came early this year. With Alón’s guidance, I revamped my newsletter… totally. I had been writing the newsletter for five years and I was nervous about all the changes. But after the first new one went out in January, I received responses that showed people were feeling the new vibe. I find I have a new joy in creating Bhava’s monthly newsletters because I’m being asked to be creative in a way that celebrates the gifts of yoga and our community.
The next big venture was having our first Yoga Challenge. I had heard of other studios that had done them, but they just seemed like a lot of work, and who would sign up? (This is the old me with no juice.) Well, music to my ears… Alón is not into creating administrative work and really wants us to get out of the minutia of it all, so trusting, I jumped on board.
Shocking to me, we had 60 students sign up for our first Yoga Challenge. We started on Valentines Day and 35 students completed it a month later. Alón and I had been talking about celebrating the Challenge finishers and we both got chills when we realized that the Challenge ended on Bhava’s 5th birthday.
Alón helped me in planning a 5-yr. Anniversary Open House to celebrate it all, and the party literally took on a life of its own. We had a really good turnout and there was so much joy in the room, so much laughter and cheering. The community grew stronger as a result of the event, and I can immediately experience the love of it all when I reflect back on that afternoon. This is juice!
There’s still so much to do to keep growing Bhava but I feel supported with new energy. The anniversary party was a huge expression of what Bhava means to the community of students. I feel empowered again, but this time it’s different. There is joy in the mystery, meaning beyond my imagination, and a level of trust in the support of something much greater than me to carry the studio forward.
Thank you Alón for your practical, joyful, open and insightful coaching.
Albuquerque, New Mexico USA
Before working with Alón, I fundamentally misunderstood the business of yoga. I was doing so many things wrong that I can’t even begin to list them here.
I had worked with other business coaches, but they didn’t understand the yoga industry and I wasn’t getting anywhere. The tactics of the typical business professional are just too harsh for the average yoga practitioner and it reflected in my lackluster bottom line.
My business model was doomed to fail and I didn’t know why.
Alón did. Through our work together we re-branded my studio and developed a business strategy that was in agreement with the principles of a yogic lifestyle. Now my students feel a sense of membership in a community of like-minded yogis, and I feel passionate and in control of the most rewarding career I can imagine.
Alón didn’t just teach me the business side of yoga, he also taught me a way of doing business that is in itself, yogic. Alón embodies the principles he teaches and his natural way of offering suggestions and encouraging growth comes with such a grace and ease that it often feels like I’m talking to an old friend.
With Alón’s help, I’ve recently created the Iowa City Yoga Festival, a weekend filled with yoga, music and fun that will bring together yoga practitioners and friends throughout the Midwest.
We’re starting to work on my personal brand, and the possibilities for evolving my career in yoga have never felt so limitless.
Entrepreneur to Leader
First, I’d like to say thank you to all of the previous studio owners who have shared their testimonials of working with Alón. It was your words that inspired me to take action in first contacting him. It took me 10 years of going it alone to take the plunge and I’m so glad I did.
I opened Bikram Yoga in Grapevine, Texas February 2nd, 2002 with a business partner. We parted ways about a year and a half later and I’ve been on my own ever since…until now that is. Now I have Alón, actually I just refer to him as “Coach”. I’ve always been the “I can do it myself” type. And I can, but at what cost? How much better could my life and my business be if I invited in some help? I was about to begin the process of opening a second location when I made the decision to hire “Coach.” I had not signed a lease yet and had plenty of work in front of me to prepare for what it would mean to take on a second studio.
I called “Coach” in October 2010 and we hit it off right away. As we carried on our conversation that first day, I remember feeding off of his excitement about the journey I was about to take. One phone call and I already felt better. Along the way, as we continued to work together, I would have moments of super human strength and confidence and moments of complete and utter despair and doubt. Coach was there for all of it and he never waivered in his belief in me and never judged my doubt in myself. He provided the therapy I needed to unload some of the drama in my life. He helped me pluck out what was priority and what was not. Really, he lifted the fog that could have easily kept me from clearly defining and attaining my goals.
In order to open my second location, we worked together to blow up and rebuild almost everything about the way I ran my business. I changed over my staff from contract labor to employees, grew my staff from 10 to now 19 employees, created a new website, developed an employee handbook which meant documenting every process, policy and procedure (this was by far the toughest and most rewarding piece of the puzzle), promoted a team member to studio manager, created a brand message… the list goes on. I remember one particular day where I was struggling with website and brochure messaging. I knew I wanted it to be different than what I’d done in the past but I felt directionless and passionless. It felt like REALLY hard work and I was low on creativity and high on stress. I presented my problem to Coach that day and we began a conversation about my target market and the message I wanted to send. By the end of that conversation we had developed a pivotal marketing piece that I now refer to as “The Invitation.” That process, which I previously dreaded, turned into one of the most fun and exhilarating calls I’ve had with Coach and we laughed until we cried.
Once again, Coach helped me find my mojo. I remember people telling me “Are you sure you want to open another location?” “How are you going to do it all?” “Most multiple studio owners have a business partner or are a husband/wife team. How can you possibly do this on your own?” Coach NEVER said anything remotely like that to me. He only encouraged me, believed in me, supported me, trusted me, and fed me (energetically that is. Hey, you could have at least sent me a cookie bouquet, Coach…I was hungry!).
My second location opened April 7, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. People came, they gave me money, the heat worked, the computers were up, my employees showed up, and we were able to focus on yoga. A drama-less first day… can you believe it? Since opening, the new studio has continued to steadily grow and the original studio is busier than ever. At the new location, we’re already adding a 5:30am class at the end of this month and we’re now offering yoga-centered, plant based cooking classes and massage therapy. I’m still working long hours but I’m working so much more ON my business than IN my business and I can see the light of day.
Coach is focused on helping me become a leader, as opposed to a solo entrepreneur/manager responsible for, well, everything. Perhaps this terminally strong “I can do it myself” girl could have done this alone, but I’m SO glad I didn’t have to. Coach has been the business partner I didn’t have (without giving up equity), the sanity in my often insaneness, the accountability provider I needed, the cheerleader when I doubted myself. I know for sure that I wouldn’t have the same outcome I have today without him. There is still much work to do and this will be a journey that does not end AND, just like my yoga practice, it is worth it.
I appreciate and am so grateful to have such an incredible Coach to motivate, inspire and guide me along the way. Thanks for everything Coach, now seriously, send that cookie bouquet, I’m dying over here.
Bikram Yoga North Texas
Falling In Love Again
Eight years ago, I opened a yoga studio, fulfilling a vision I had since I began practicing yoga. I got the business going and growing, and eventually hired additional teachers so that I could spend more time running the studio. My love for yoga was my motivation, my fire. I so enjoy sharing this positive and beautiful practice with my community.
At one point, about six years into running the yoga studio, I found myself sort of “stuck.” I was just barely making it each month, and not able to adequately pay myself after paying my teachers. As the months rolled by this way, I kept thinking to myself, “there is more here to expand into, to tap into within myself; the studio has more potential.”
Being stuck like this felt like “hitting the wall” in yoga class. Though I have stepped through many walls over the years, this one was particularly mysterious, even daunting. I didn’t know how to approach it. I started to doubt my ability to lead my yoga community. The bigger part of me knew that I was plenty capable, I just needed to access more of my potential. I had heard of this “yoga business coach” before, but I had this idea that I could not afford him.One day I realized that that kind of thinking was not serving me.
I finally decided to reach out and call Alón. Even though I did not meet Alón in person, I felt comfortable with him right away. I knew from our first conversation that I was about to transform in exactly the way that I needed.
Hiring Alón was the best decision I could have made. We have been working together for almost two years now, and so many positive shifts have taken place. Alón has helped me move through that big, mysterious wall with a new confidence. Alón is this beautiful, gentle, honest person whom I can talk to about anything and everything. I know he will tell me the truth. He gets it, that yoga is everything, yoga is life!
Through this work with Alón, my deep mental and emotional layers of false ideas are falling away. I feel that I am more and more authentically me. As I allow my true self to shine, my yoga community shines brighter. As we shine brighter together, new students want to stick around and soak it up. My business has grown leaps since I began working with Alón, and I am in love with this incredible yoga space all over again.
Also, recently, I met the love of my life… and by no accident. I attribute this to the work I have done with Alón. I am now acknowledging my true worth, and can invite this beautiful love into my life and being without sabotaging it. For that, especially, I am eternally grateful for Alón’s guiding presence and support.
Life is beautiful. Thank you bunches, Alón.
Right back at square 10
When I met Alón, I was in the midst of a huge transition in my life. My husband started a new business, and moved our family to San Francisco from Washington DC, my home since 1985.
My friends in DC were overjoyed to see me relocate to the yoga Mecca of the free world. I, however, was attached (to say the least) to living in DC. My perceived “leave-behinds” included an enormous satsang that I had built entirely from the ground up; a growing tribe of teachers I had trained and mentored; and my home yoga studio, Flow Yoga Center; as well as dear friends and colleagues I’d known for decades.
With Alón, I set forth to re-invent myself on the west coast. We both acknowledged that I w
as a different type of client (an individual teacher rather than studio owner), from a different and unique lineage (Jivamukti/Vinyasa), moving into a crowded and gifted yoga market place (San Francisco). From the first 5-minute conversation, I knew he was the right guide for my needs.
I’ve been teaching for 11 years, Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Jivamukti Yoga. For the first time, guided by Alón, I was able to clearly identify my strengths, assets, and uniqueness as a teacher, which is a hallmark of his coaching. This was an intimate, yet for me an unexpectedly fast process (he calls me his turbo client). From there, we moved on to tackle what I needed to succeed out West: we developed business strategies and tactics; we refined my workshop offering; he helped me develop and launch my popular yoga newsletter (a huge source of pride and joy), which goes out to yogis around the world. With Alón, I launched a website, where I can finally share my accomplishments and testimonials. All possible in a very brief time – which I attribute to his uncanny ability to support me at whatever stage I’m in. His impeccable sense of timing, pacing, and patience, and a gift of eloquence allows our work together to flow effortlessly and easily.
Last, but really first, we also rooted out the places where I was getting stuck emotionally or psychologically. These are the famous kleshas,or obstacles, in the Yoga Sutras. It was through his steady guidance that my attachments and worries started to lift, and whatever I felt was left behind was in fact a continuous bridge to what comes next.
I’ve noticed that even when I’m not speaking with him, in the back of my mind, I hear his voice, patiently guiding me to making the best decisions for my life and business. I’m truly grateful for that compass.
Little did I know that my business coach would become, well, my guru. It’s funny that I might never have found him had we not moved here. Why did I end up in California? To find Alón – and that has changed everything.
Yoga of Liberation
San Francisco, CA
Yoga & Pole Dancing – A Focused Niche Comes to Life
“When the right time came to expand our business, we wanted to do it “right,” professional, organized, and classy. We decided to work with Alón and it was like taking a huge gulp… here we go.
I knew from reading his testimonials that it was going to be work; and it sure is! Yet Alón makes the work exciting and fulfilling. Admittedly, there are times when I get a little nervous for our weekly meeting… I just finished last week’s “homework” and I know more is coming. However, having Alón there as not just a coach, but a guide and a supporter makes it all possible and fun. He holds us accountable to our goals, rather than “I’ll get to that later”, which means that we have made a great amount of progress in a short amount of time.
From the very first meeting he demonstrated his care and insight. I hung up the phone and said, “That was totally worth it!”
Having Alón on our team has helped us create a seamless image for our business that is a direct reflection of who and how we are in the world. We have an awesome new logo and tag line that I LOVE (Hooray for pink!), an updated website and newsletter that is captivating, and a shared language that our students can relate to. I’m proud of my business, how it affects women’s lives and the community that has flourished from it.
One of the traits I appreciate most about Alón is that he is a yogi and he speaks my language. He “gets” it and me, which I know is a little challenging, given the uniqueness of my business. We offer the only type of yoga he can’t try or even look at beyond a few photos and demonstration videos, which only show a small piece of the experience. And yet he understands and offers wonderfully insightful advice.
Alón is amazing, creative, enthusiastic, helpful, caring, compassionate (especially when I get emotional!), friendly, focused, and completely present for us. I cannot think of enough words to describe what a valuable help he has been for us. I am grateful for all that he has to offer and am eager to continue our work toward bringing Yoga Flirt into the world in a meaningful way.”
Cathy & Michael Weiss
Yoga FlirtSan Luis Obispo, CA
New Studio, Happy Problems
Alón’s help has been invaluable to me throughout the journey of opening my yoga studio. We have worked on everything from the broad picture of what I want my studio to be and how it is presented and positioned, to the technical nuts and bolts of everyday operation.
Having Alón in my corner has given me the confidence to proceed through many of the inevitable challenges of opening and running a studio. At every step of the way, he constantly reminded me that this project is bigger than me, that it’s really about creating a community of people dedicated to bettering themselves and encouraging others to discover the beauty of yoga.
The work I did with Alón on clarifying the vision, and then branding and marketing my new business (including the website and promotional materials), has definitely helped me attract a wonderful customer base. After three months, I have had more students coming through my doors than I ever imagined possible — we’ve already had to turn students away because the room only holds 62 people! These are “happy problems,” as Alón calls them. Seeing such an overwhelming positive response is very rewarding.
I look forward to continuing to work on my studio with Alón and making it run more efficiently — as well as building a deep and wide yoga community that calls it home. I am thankful to Alón for who he is — resourceful, open, practical, inspiring, encouraging, and real. He truly walks his talk of being the Yoga Business Coach.
Hot Yoga Massapequa
Long Island, NY
Case Study #4: Long-term Client Michele Vennard, Bikram Yoga San Jose
“My experience with Alón continues to give me and my studio immeasurable success. We started working together about a year ago and through his process of defining who I am and what I want, I’ve become more clear and focused on my business and personal needs.
When working together, Alón has a unique way of pulling out a perspective I may not have seen and diving into the action necessary. He is a hands-on mentor and friend.
I own Bikram Yoga San Jose, a thriving yoga community in our fourth year of operation that needed to evolve in the right way. With Alón’s guidance, we designed a perfect website that captures so well who we are at BYSJ right now, and lays a clear path for our future. Alón and I are continuing to capture and sculpt the growth the studio is experiencing and I am so thankful to have his wisdom, focus, creativity and enthusiasm as me and my business change and grow.
The success of my studio is very much attributed to the decisions he has helped me make. I proceed with lots of confidence, thanks to Alón!”
“I will never forget one of my first conversations with Alón. We were working on the discovery process to clarify what I really wanted in my life. I recall this one conversation in particular because I was sitting in my new home talking on the phone with Alón as I was looking at my entire family room torn apart to pieces. I had some water damage and they had to tear up the hardwood floors. I had to move out until it was refurbished about three months later. Thanks to Alón, I recognized it as a process to recreate my inner and outer surroundings both in my personal life and my business. For whatever reason, I was denying myself the chance to move into a higher level of being. Alón would have none of that and reminded me of what was possible, not impossible.
Together, we recreated the website for Bikram Yoga San Jose into one that exemplified the community we’ve built over the years, but more importantly, the feeling we convey to our students everyday: “welcome.” The website is so interactive thanks to Alón coming up with ideas that involve the students; blog, photo gallery, community resources, testimonials, events – all things that change monthly that our students look forward to reading and responding to.
Through this creation, it allowed me to look at all aspects of the studio and heighten my attention on what worked and what was lacking in order to make each department successful. I brought on a manager for the studio and with Alón, we came up with a manual and review process that empowers and motivates new and strong ideas.
From the very beginning, Alón knew that I loved Bikram Yoga and my intent was always to stay authentic and pure to this method. Through our work, we have developed a strong reputation for this consistency in our pure delivery of Bikram Yoga. In addition, Alón never lets you forget what YOU really want out of running a business.
I am blessed to have a dream job and feeling so rewarded in developing the BYSJ brand. I so enjoy that part of creativity. Yet, it is not the only creative expression I wished to have. I let Alón know years ago that I also liked to dance, ballroom dance. That was an interest of mine and while I dabbled a bit in it, there was never the time or the active interest.
Alón encouraged me to dance again. With his help, I learned how to run my business efficiently, allowing me the time and freedom to meet a dance instructor and start to take lessons. It has been about 1 ½ years now and with two performances under my belt, it has become another big part of my life. In fact, I am on two dance teams performing ballroom and Latin dances.
Since we have continued to grow the business year over year, I am now in the midst of negotiations for expansion and design into a much bigger studio. Our community is now so large that our anniversary party each January is packed with dishes from students from every ethnicity. Each year we host two 60 day challenges and each of them attracts from 80 to 100 students. We average over 180-200 new students a month and continually take top spot in local magazine readers poll. We are a big part of the fabric of this community in giving to local school charities. It is a meaningful gathering of people with like minded tendencies all working to improve the self!
Alón makes dreams happen. He encourages you to constantly look from a soul level at the real intention you desire for the life you have. He does so graciously, with such humor and wit and all with amazing knowledge and intelligence.
Thanks Alón. I love you dearly. My life proves it.”
Bikram Yoga San Jose
San Jose, California
Artists. Rock Stars. Studio Owners.
What a blessing that we happened to wander into a Yoga of Business seminar that Alón was leading at a yoga conference in New York. We knew right away that we wanted to work with him as his presence radiated both intelligence and joy.
When we started working with Alón we were at a crossroads in our lives. My husband, Nicholas (aka MC Yogi), had recently released his first album of yoga hip-hop music and I had just published my first children’s book. After seven years of just teaching and running our yoga studio, our lives were beginning to branch out and expand in new, exciting directions.
This was all good except that I was beginning to feel totally overwhelmed by it all. Teaching full time, managing the studio, illustrating books, and touring with MC Yogi, my energy was spreading out too thin and for the first time in seven years, our studio profits had started to wane. I knew it was time to ask for some assistance. However, I had this strong story in my mind that I had to do everything myself. I was good at hard work and I wasn’t so good at asking for or receiving support.
I remember our first meeting with Alón. I was excited and also tense. I came into it with a huge itemized list of things I thought I needed to do. Soon Alón had me laughing and having a good time on the phone. You see, Alón’s technique as a coach is pure magic. He reminded me that the success of my business flows from my own happiness and joy in sharing yoga. Our “meetings” felt more like conversations with a good friend who is a great listener. I don’t know how it happened, but all the things on my to-do list were getting done — and they got done without my normal nose-to-the-grindstone mentality. Profits went up and my stress level went down! Amazing!
Now our studio is as vibrant, healthy and strong as ever. I feel peace and joy when I think of moving into the future. Working with Alón was one of the most important steps we have made as business owners.
Thank you Alón, you are a Yoga Angel for sure!
With love and gratitude,
Fun, inspiring, creative, reflective, authentic, laughter, sometimes tears and always an “ah-ha” moment – this begins to describe my sessions with Alón.
It’s hard to articulate what I enjoy most about working with Alón, he has helped me in so many different ways and I really believe we have just scratched the surface.
In just a few short months Alón has helped me to clearly define what Bikram Yoga Avondale is and has taught me how to best communicate this to my community. With his guidance, we redesigned the look and message of BYA with a new, updated website, newsletter and marketing materials that I am so proud of – it makes me feel like I have a million dollar operation.
My husband and I have two little girls and another family business – our lives are very busy to say the least. One of the reason’s I chose to work with Alón is that after reading many of the testimonials on his website I realized he was much more than a business advisor that specialized in working with yoga studios – he was a life coach. And after opening and operating Bikram Yoga Avondale for a year and a half, I was feeling like I was no longer in control of my time or my life. My “life” was controlling me and it was starting to take its toll – I wasn’t feeling the joy.
I wasn’t sure what to expect for our first phone call. I was actually a little nervous. One of the first things he said to me was, “If we’re not having fun, we’re not doing it right!” It didn’t take me long to understand what he was talking about. The work has actually been fun; everything from crafting my newsletter (which used to feel like the dread of finishing a college paper) to teaching me his “Priority Management System” so I can better manage my schedule and be in control of my time (I’m no longer the mom that forgot it’s “show and tell” day – I’m on top of it!). The best part of “the fun” is that for the first time I feel creative in my work, which is incredibly fulfilling. I don’t know what I was nervous about. Alón has a HUGE heart and can be a total goof ball – which I love. There is nothing pretentious about him and I feel safe to be myself.
Through our work I am learning how to make decisions that stay in line with BYA’s core message. If I’m unsure about something, I often think to myself, “What would Alón say?”, and I can hear his response. There is a tremendous comfort and sense of security in knowing I have an expert that can answer my questions and bounce ideas off of.
The most intriguing aspect of working with Alón is his method. Unless we’re working on a specific project, he usually does not have an “agenda” to the work. It’s not a cookie cutter system. I always lead the discussion, even when I don’t want to. Something productive always comes out of our session and I always get what I need that day. Sometimes “what I needed” wasn’t even on my radar screen but clearly I needed to talk about whatever it was we discussed. It’s almost like he gives you what you need when you’re ready to receive it – first we need to work on “this” before we can get to “that”. It’s an amazing process!
Thank you Alón, with all my heart! I am so grateful to have you in my life and look forward to many more years of “fun and joy”!!
Bikram Yoga Avondale
Expansion Success: Now Three Locations
We opened our first Yoga studio six years ago in San Antonio, TX. We taught most of the classes, cleaned the studio, did our own accounting and marketing and pretty much worked our tail off. Within a year, we acquired another existing studio in town and our workload doubled. The two of us have been best friends for 12 years and somehow we managed to maintain our friendship during some really stressful times, working 90 to 100 hours a week and just trying to keep our heads above water. As the studios and our staff grew, we knew it was time to think bigger — and that we needed the help of an expert. A close friend, Michael Harris of Bikram Yoga in Bend, Oregon, suggested we call Alón. He and several colleagues had been working with Alón on their businesses with superb results.
We hit it off instantly! Since working with Alón we have been able to really focus on what is most important to us and set goals that help our entire yoga community in San Antonio. It has provided us the space to step away from the day-to-day operations and be able to provide more to our students and staff by focusing our time on the bigger picture and what really matters. Accordingly, we have grown 25% in the 5th year of our business and are having more fun than ever!
Alón guided us in creating a presentation of our businesss that reflected who we really are in our community. Together, we revamped our website, created a powerful newsletter, adjusted our pricing and dramatically increased the focus on our students. Alón is extremely easy to work with and has a huge pool of expertise and clients to draw knowledge from. The time we spend with him allows us to brainstorm and keep our energy focused on the right things and avoid the burnout that so many yoga studio owners experience.
We have learned it takes a lot of hard work and effort to build a strong and successful yoga community. That is why it is so important to have the right people on your team. Alón is a vital component of ours. With his guidance and support, the students and staff have all noticed the tremendous improvements in and out of our studios. Alón’s ability to work with and challenge us while keeping us laughing and enjoying every second is true a gift. Things continue to get better and better and our business continues to run smoother and more profitably. We are so thankful for Alón. Not only is he one of our business gurus, we consider him a good friend as well.
Lisa Ingle & Steve Falk
Bikram Yoga San Antonio
San Antonio, TX
Case Study #3: Long-term client Amy Pittelkau, Blue Moon Yoga
After nine years and three yoga studios, working seven days a week teaching every class, I was experiencing not only classic burnout, but also resentment and irritability toward my
studio and students. It all happened so slowly I didn’t even realize what was going on — but with attendance down 30% and a 10% new student retention rate, red flags were raised. Then a major family tragedy at Christmas served as a wake up call. Well, the first call I made was to Alón!
My colleagues had been swearing by him for years, and based on their newfound success, I took the plunge. I took funds from my retirement account and opened my heart, mind and business to Alón’s coaching. Two things he told me in the first five minutes: We will uncover the truth of what needs to be addressed in your life and business — and — If we’re not having fun, we’re not doing it right. OK, I can deal with that. We have laughed many times, I’ve cried many times… and my business has taken off! Within the first week of our work together, the energy and sense of community spirit at the studio started shifting, becoming more electric each day! I was suddenly happy, my students were suddenly happy, and even life on the homefront was fun once again.
Students have began to run, not walk, to class. Attendance after 8 weeks of working with Alón was the highest in 12 months, and the following month, we grew again! The new student retention rate went from 10 to 50%! The change at my studio is amazing. It’s raining happy yoga students who are referring their friends like lightning! Words cannot describe the elation I feel.
Through Alón’s uncanny, unbiased perceptions and frank insights — and above all his reassuring compassion and understanding of my business — my attitude has shifted from one of frustration and anger to joy and success. Alón has a knack for tailoring his coaching to fit my needs, my community, and my style. Always prepared, cheerful, in-tune and present during our weekly meetings, working with Alón is the highlight of my week!
Update 2011 year 2: “Hi Alón! The studio is GREAT! Still breaking records. In July 2011 we had the most new student sign-ups ever, in August we had the most attendance ever and the Summer Yoga Challenge has over 100 participants, also the most ever!”
Update: 2012 – Year 3 Growing Beyond the Comfort Zone
In a recent coaching session with Alón, I likened him to a Spark Plug.
Wikipedia Says: A spark plug is a device for delivering electric current (Alón’s wisdom and insight) from an ignition system (Alón) to the combustion chamber of a spark-ignition engine (His client, me!). This creates a small ball of fire in the spark gap (the yoga studio) as the gases (community) burn on their own. The size of this fireball depends on the exact composition of the mixture between the electrodes and the level of combustion… In other words, the amount of success, buzz, and yogic energy at the studio is related to the level of fire in the director.
We were discussing our Yoga Business Coaching and how its focus and direction pleasantly shift from week to week, from season to season, from year to year. Since first working with Alón in January 2009 it has been everything EXCEPT mundane. I would liken our sessions to driving in a fun sports car… zipping around from place to place, always the wind in my hair, always a fun tune in my head, exploring one journey and destination after another (picture James Bond on the twisty roads above Monte Carlo).
However, as with zipping around a curvy mountain road with wheels squealing, there have been times when I have felt car sick with Alón as he helps me grow way out of my comfort zone. Nausea can arise when he mentions “Meditation…” Panic and Anxiety when the word “Leadership” comes up in his coaching… as well as those times he insisted I shift into 5th gear and FLOOR IT…. “You can do it!” he cheers me on. Someone please get me an air-sickness bag.
With Alón teaching me how to drive this thing called Yoga Studio, and with me accepting his every suggestion, tip, or insight, my fearful white-knuckle grip on my business has transformed to one of confidence, firm control and great results: Since our first session three short years ago, we took my studio from a 30% decline in attendance and income, to monthly (YES, monthly!) record-breaking figures. There has NOT been a single month where we didn’t surpass the previous year’s numbers. Gross revenue DOUBLED, class attendance DOUBLED, teaching staff DOUBLED and the “fun factor” at the studio went through the roof!
The community we have developed and nurtured truly has a heartbeat of it’s own… I mentioned on one of Alón’s great Tele-classes about Abundance, that the staff and I “sit back and watch the show” at the studio. The buzz at yoga classes and events is so much fun – from boogieing down at our Disco Night benefit, to the Breakfast of Champions to kick off a Challenge, to shedding tears and exchanging healing hugs at our Cupcakes for Cancer… It has become a home away from home for many.
And not only the studio has benefited, but I now have the LIFE that I thought I had kissed good-bye forever… international travel, the company of worldly, interesting, happy people, and good, really good, times.
Speaking of good times – with Alón’s blessing, I recently exchanged my trusty, tortoise-like Honda CR-V for a sexy new Turbo engine Mini Cooper, complete with a cool black and white checkered roof! No more going at it like a grandma for me, I’m taking charge and becoming a true Leader, as Alón calls this component of his coaching.
Alón has helped me create an immense, fun and ever-lasting fireball. Its constant combustion makes this business engine purr with quiet power – all because we use the best Spark Plug on the market: The Yoga Business Coach.
Blue Moon Yoga
Award Winning Studio, Passionate Leadership
I founded Yoga And Healing Center about 15 years ago. Even with so much experience running a studio, I found Alón to be a invaluable force in my business and life. Aside from his amazing understanding of the business world, Alón incorporates an unfailing commitment to seeing it from a yogi’s perspective.
As a wonderful, compassionate friend and trusted guide, Alón has helped me clarify my vision and support and celebrate the people in my community in the best way I can. Together, we have co-created great things through our coaching relationship.
The energy at my studio is so great. Recently, Alón and I orchestrated an inspiring and motivating Yoga Challenge and over 100 students signed up! He has helped me create our beautiful community newsletter (he is an amazing editor), and we are now working on my newly launched holistic nutrition company.
Alón is a real force for good in the world. I would highly recommend his coaching to anyone. I am so grateful for all the support he has given me over the years. Alón can really help anyone grow their business in a meaningful way, while making a difference in the world.
Thank you, Alón, for believing in me and really “seeing” me and what I am here to do.
Yoga And Healing Center
Scotch Plains New Jersey
Yogini, Mom, Entrepreneur
I had been receiving Alón’s emails for years before I finally called to inquire about his business coaching services. My yoga studio in Hawaii was already very successful, so, to be honest, I wasn’t sure he would have much to offer me. But his excitement and passion was contagious — so I signed up! The next few months were filled with the most inspiring and rewarding business oriented experiences I have had to date.
Alón introduced a new perspective about making more money and growing my business that didn’t at all conflict with my yogic values and philosophies. In fact, he taught me more about how to integrate my yoga into my business practices than I ever even thought possible.
Now I am in the midst of opening a second studio in California. Those who are working closely with me laugh because in these last few months I have begun hundreds of sentences with the words… “Well, my yoga business coach taught me…” I know that what I learned from Alón was invaluable, and I am reminded frequently when I talk to a graphic designer, photographer, “branding expert”, etc. about something I have learned from Alón, they often say variations of the same thing: “Wow, that’s a good point. I never thought of that- but I should have!”
I realize quite often that with Alón, I got a lot of experience and knowledge about a lot of business topics all in one place. And it is all quite amazing! I couldn’t be happier with my decision to hire him.
Unleashing Creative Spirit
“When I started working with Alón almost a year ago, my income was negative and my husband was recently unemployed; I had been in and out of emergency for an unexplained infection, exhausted as I was trying to build my new business teaching yoga and writing. It was a challenging time – but I knew, from the first time I spoke with him, that Alón was the one who could help.
Our work together has made a tremendous difference. We have created a wonderful new business name, company logo, and website; I learned how to gather testimonials, design excellent promotional materials, and shape my business for the future. I now feel absolutely inspired in my own work.
I knew Alón would help with my business. What I didn’t expect was that our work together would change my entire life.
Since I started working with Alón, everything has become somehow easier, filled with a quiet grace – even those daily tasks like answering the phone or doing the laundry. I now find unexplained little miracles happening regularly in my life, from free tickets to talks by spiritual leaders appearing in my hands to an impossible booking that suddenly became easy. My husband found his dream job, for the first time in his life, and I went from teaching one class outside my chosen field to having more teaching offers than I could take on.
Working with Alón has brought such a quiet joy into my life. I am now living my dream. I am able to decide the kind of work I do, whether I’m teaching retreats in Banff or facilitating workshops or doing private coaching. I love what I do, and my work with Alón has helped me to see my own gifts and to bring these gifts to the world.
Alón is much more than a business coach: he is a mentor, a spiritual guide, and a wonderful friend. I am so happy that he is part of my life. I will continue working with Alón, not just because my business has absolutely transformed itself in less than a year, but also because my whole life is better with Alón in it. Thanks, Alón, for the tremendous work that you do. You have deeply enriched my life.”
Michèle Gunderson, Ph.D., C.Y.T.
The Language of Yoga
Calgary, AB Canada
A Profound Effect
“Working with Alón has been the best thing we’ve ever done for our business. Not only did we increase our sales over 40% percent in the last financial year, Alón inspired us to share who we are and our purpose more clearly with our yoga community. This has had a profound effect on our students and in our lives. Alón rocks!”
Jill Gutowski & Michael Brantl
Four Winds Yoga
Pennington, New Jersey
Wisdom. Openheartedness. Change.
“After running a yoga studio for seven years, I thought I knew most everything I needed. How wrong I was. After working with Alón for just a few sessions, my whole approach changed. I soon felt better about what I was doing and started to actually have fun with the business.
With his guidance, I have enhanced our website and made a number of other critical changes and innovations, such as a much improved newsletter. Business has picked up and everyone is saying how much friendlier the atmosphere at the studio has become. Although it may sound corny, I also feel I have become a better person, which does not seem to conflict with running a successful business.
Beyond all that, Alón feels like a supportive friend, and that has been important at times when I am introducing new and scary things!
I thought his fee was a lot at first, but now it seems cheap at the price, given the tangible benefits to my business.”
Yoga Studio South
Calgary AB Canada
A Consummate Leader
“I own a five-year-old fitness and yoga business, and began working with Alón in the spring of 2004. I initially called Alón because I was at a crossroads — experiencing a blur in my overall vision. Within minutes of my first session, I gained clarity and immediately became aware of Alón’s value as a coach. Alón’s wisdom and ability to calmly navigate me through my clutter has inevitably brought me back to an authentic and powerful vision for my business.
Alón is intuitive, knowledgeable and wise when it comes to the development of a yoga business. His ability to cut through the non-essentials and put you on the fast track to building your business is remarkable.
It was Alón’s skillfulness and ability to listen to my deep intentions that has propelled Empowered Yoga into a whole new realm. He helped me re-brand, rename and reposition my business for success, and our weekly meetings have kept me productive and focused.
I know that without Alón’s expertise, I would still be spinning my wheels in a state of confusion and frustration. I can’t place a value on Alón… His help is invaluable to me, and my business!”
Empowered Yoga & Johnny Fitness, LLC
Putting Her Best Out Into The World
“I already had an established yoga studio when I called Alón. I was in business 4 ½ years, things were running very smoothly, but I always thought I could do better. I always thought there was something I might not already know, that could make the business work better, earn more, etc. It wasn’t that I was feeling greedy; I just didn’t want to get complacent. I encourage that in my students — to never stop learning, to continue to evolve — and I felt as a business owner I needed to do the same. Much in the way a yoga student looks to their teacher as a “guru”, I went looking for mine. The first time I spoke with Alón, I knew I didn’t have to look any further.
It’s been less than 6 months since we have been working together, and already I see such a big positive difference in how I run my business and my interactions with my students and staff. Alón also guided the complete re-design of my website, which I am incredibly proud of, as it celebrates our growing yoga community and really shows the world who we are!
Alón has been a real mentor and a real friend. I feel like he is a partner in my business. The best part is that he is a yogi! I feel so lucky to have found someone who really gets the principles of yoga and infuses that knowledge into his guidance.
I love that I have someone who is there to remind me of what I sometimes forget. I love that I have someone who keeps me grounded when I get overwhelmed. I love that I have someone who will continue to be my guide on this path, which can sometimes be a lonely one… but not anymore! Thank you so much Alón, for helping me realize the power of community.
Owner/Director, Om Sweet Om Yoga
Case Study #2: Long-term client – Carrie Bain, Bikram Yoga Elk Grove
“As I scraped up the money for my first session, I have to admit I was skeptical. At that point, it seemed like more than I had paid myself in a while. I paid anyway, with the hope that maybe, just maybe, working with The Yoga Business Coach would be the answer.
I had been in business for 4 years. Yoga was my passion and I knew I was doing what I was supposed to. But I was struggling –– not only with money, but also with time, management, marketing, balance… you name it.
I began working with Alón and instantly received confirmation that this was no mistake. For the first time in years, I had a sounding board, coach, friend, and fellow yogi with whom I could talk about and develop my business. I felt supported, understood and never judged.
There was something about our weekly meetings that made me start paying attention to the ways in which “I” affect my business. When I was positive and balanced, my yoga studio reflected it. When I was scattered or negative, my yoga studio reflected it. This was one of the biggest gifts I received working with Alón –– the ability to connect the two. Through our work together, I developed the ability to reprogram years of negative thinking into a belief that I truly deserve success.
With that said, my business is doing better than ever. Alón helped me discover what was unique about my studio and encouraged me to celebrate it. He gave me the tools to magnify my strengths and gave me permission to ask for help in other areas where I needed it. The result, financially, in the year I’ve been working with Alón, my business has increased 65%! Amazing!
So now, I can’t imagine not spending the money each month! Before working with Alón, if you asked me if I would ever open a yoga studio again, I would have said “no.” If you asked me today, I would say, “yes!” without hesitation!”
Note– The following is an update to the original testimonial above:
“While I always knew there was something special about my little yoga school in Elk Grove California, I was completely blind to the fact I could own an abundant business. Since beginning to work with Alon, my business has tripled and I am reaching goals that, at one time, I never thought possible.
Along with his creative and yogic business guidance, Alón also provided me with tools to get rid of negative ways of thinking and instead visualize success! His ability to listen, gentle ways of holding me accountable and his constant reminders to believe in myself all played a key role in my process. The greatest part of all… through all the growth, my “little yoga school” kept it’s essence and spirit… it’s still special, but not little!
I am so grateful for all of Alon’s wisdom and guidance over the last few years.
Note– The following is the third update: 2010
Owning a studio for 9 years has definitely been a journey…not a destination! Since beginning my work with Alón in August 2005, I have had my share of challenges, but with his guidance, the overall result is consistent growth and success.
Alón provides a safe space for me to see what’s really happening in my life and my business, which has allowed both to evolve and change dramatically. Being able to recognize what’s working and what’s not has lead me to a deeper understanding and the ability to make good choices with confidence. It’s a fascinating formula.
I was pretty surprised when Alón asked if I would write an update in his next newsletter! To me, my year had been full of so much change that I wasn’t even recognizing all the growth. I was focused on the management changes, teachers leaving to “spread their wings,” and of course, “the work!” Alón gently reminded me to look at the AMAZING things that were happening: a sustained overall average growth of 42% for the third year in a row, the addition of a second yoga room, the launch of a children’s program and the fact that our school hosted not only the world famous Mary Jarvis, but also Rajashree Choudhury! I guess it has been fabulous year… leave it to Alón to remind me to take stock of all we’ve accomplished.
On my mat and in my business, one thing is certain… I can always plan on change! That’s why it’s essential for me to have Alón’s support on this journey. He always reminds me to ENJOY the ride… and I have.
Thank you, Alón… you truly enhance my life!
Elk Grove, California
Case Study #1: Long-term client Marit Sathrum, Inner Fire Yoga
“Last autumn, I was ready to quit. I had quite a difficult year – and having adopted a baby daughter, I found myself just wanting to spend my time with her. As a result, my yoga studio/business faltered, as did my self-esteem. My close friend urged me to speak to Alón before I threw in the towel. I was reluctant because I just didn’t think I could afford it – since I was barely getting by. It was some of the best advice I’ve ever received and acted on.
Within a month, Alón helped me to get my mojo back by guiding me back to the beginning – why I got into the yoga business years earlier, by remembering my values and by re-committing to a daily yoga practice.
In the past year, we have re-branded my business, rewritten the mission and values, examined the vision, evaluated and massaged the business plan, re-designed the website, mapped out the organizational chart, set concrete goals, surveyed the student base, and celebrated with our happy and prosperous community as my business evolved and developed quite enthusiastically.
Sales have grown 100% and attendance has grown 36% in the one year that I’ve worked with him. Now we’re preparing to move to a larger, brand new space, with plans for a second location next year.
Aside from all the good advice Alón has imparted, he also has the uncanny ability to encourage and extract creative ideas from deep within me. Deciding to work with Alón has been a very smart choice for me personally and professionally. I am eternally grateful.”
“My second year working with Alón has been like “a cherry on the hot fudge sundae on the brownie”. He continues to guide me towards my authentic self, to flow with spirit, to create my ideal space to work and play in my vocation.
The second year has continued with amazing growth beyond my expectations and goals, especially since the first year working with Alón resulted in doubling of revenues over the previous year.
Also, during year two, Inner Fire Yoga built a brand new, custom designed, environmentally friendly yoga studio where we moved operations in January of 2008. We went from a one room yoga studio with a handful of individual changing rooms, to two-yoga-rooms, men’s and women’s dressing rooms with showers, a 400 square foot retail area, 3 therapy rooms for massage therapy and yoga therapy, a staff office, and a spacious reception and lounge.
“Community” continues to be the buzzword that drives Inner Fire Yoga, and we are having so much fun watching our community “Reach Higher/Burn Brighter!”
The yoga challenges that we are doing quarterly create immense buzz and vitality. I was amazed at how many students committed to the yoga challenge over the summer, as well as how my business continued to thrive thanks to Alón’s encouragement to re-format my thinking to that of abundance rather than the old format – that summer meant reduced attendance levels.
As a result of really getting into my personal-flow-of-spirit, I’ve attracted wonderful free publicity in the form of being on the cover of “Wisconsin Woman Magazine,” as well as being featured on a nationally syndicated, locally produced talk show (The Kathleen Show). I am now basking in the abundance that we’ve worked very hard to create, and I continue to surf the wave of “spirit-flow” under Alón’s guidance.
Alón, I am eternally grateful for your presence in my life. Namaste.”
It has been 3 years now since I chose to work with Alón. It is hard to believe that each year has been exponentially better in every way. It is true, Alón’s good advice coupled with his commitment to keeping me in “abundance thinking” really works! Along the way, I occasionally would sit back on the pity-potty. But Alón would have none of it, quickly reminding me of my initial goal: to create freedom in my life to be able to spend more time with my kids and not feel financial stress.
Thank you very much Alón, I am there! Not only has my business continue to grow at a rapid rate (more than 50% in the past year), but personally I am at a place of joy and freedom. Because I am able to employ excellent people to help me with my business, I am now able to cut back my work hours in order to do the things I want to do as a mother, such as volunteer at my kid’s school, and live a prosperous life in my beautiful new, custom-remodeled home.
I am focusing now on my yoga practice, teaching, and teacher training, rather than on the minutia of running a thriving small business. I am having the time of my life. I know I wouldn’t be here without the expert, loving guidance of Alón Sagee. My gratitude for you runs deep, Alón.
Director, Inner Fire Yoga
Enjoying The Ride
“In the last three months of working with Alón I have gained a deeper sense of confidence, purpose and ease that has translated into increased profits, an inspired family of teachers and a community of students who rave about the studio and our offerings. Our classes are full and the studios are buzzing with positive energy.
Unlike other business coaches or marketing gurus who use manipulation, Alón is a true yogi who offers authentic guidance that is truly rooted in the realm of yoga as well as proven techniques that are grounded in practical business wisdom. He has helped me remember my own true essence and release personal resistances that were blocking my success. Also, very importantly, Alón has helped me learn to enjoy the ride. Thank-you Alón!”
Director, Balanced Life Yoga
A Fine Art
I’m an artist, a professional photographer specializing in people and expressive movement; many of my subjects are yogis and dancers. Specifically, my fine art work depicts the connections between people and nature, an undertaking I have titled “The TreeSpirit Project.”
I have long sustained a passion for my work, a sense of purpose, and an ease and enjoyment working with people. My area of challenge–or for potential growth, as Alón would likely reframe it–is making a living doing what I love.
Aside from his insights and guidance in marketing and branding my business, Alón helped me quiet my inner critic and embrace the belief that my talents, my unique gifts, are of value — so much so that people are willing to pay to have my work in their homes and businesses.
This is where Alón sees so clearly. He continues to re-mind me whenever we talk to re-frame pervasive thoughts like: “Business is not something artists are good at,” and, “I have to work very hard, long hours in order just to scrape by.”
Alón would have me ask, “Why not charge enough not just to scrape by, but to flourish– allowing me to offer this service to more people and spread more joy and love in the world?”
Alón works both from the inside-out and the outside-in. It’s an inside job because I’ve learned that the thoughts I’ve repeated silently in my head for decades and spoken from my lips create my reality. It’s an outside job because my actions in the world-start with my thoughts and beliefs and are self-reinforcing. As I joyously make photographs that my clients love for their families, for their homes and for their businesses, I get to see this new, wondrous possibility become my reality, and theirs.
Over the years, it’s gotten to the point with Alón where I start asking a question of him, but before he can answer, I hear his voice in my head…or is this now my voice?…reassuring me, like a brother, that all is well, right now, in this moment, the only one we have. This seems to me the ultimate gift of a teacher, to empower the student to become his own teacher, his own master of the present moment.
San Francisco, CA
Love and Business
“After all of my preparations – years of training, months of remodeling, most of small life savings invested – I opened the doors to my small yoga studio. Nobody came. Well, not nobody, but almost. I was frightened and sad and my mind was obsessed with “What should I do? What should I try? I have no idea!” That is a sad mantra.
It was the repeated advice of a friend that made me come to Alón. I was pleased to have the assistance right from the first phone call, but I think it was on the third call that Alón’s gift to me became apparent. He brought me clarity. I no longer have “no idea.” I have a plan in which I am confident, and I have the ability to execute that plan. And when I execute it properly, I am filled with love because I am bearing the gift of yoga to this small island on which I live. That was the surprise part of Alón’s gift; learning that love and business actually go together. Go figure.”
Island of Peace Yoga
Gabriola Island, BC Canada
Never Stop Learning
“Alón’s guidance and services have been invaluable to my studio. Alón was initially hired to work through a transition of the studio from co-ownership with my former partner to single ownership. Since that time I have continued to work with Alón focusing on strengthening and building the studio and its sales. As a result, sales have grown nearly 40%.
As a Bikram Yoga teacher I have always believed that it is vital to continue to enhance my teaching skills through ongoing study and feedback. As a studio owner with an extensive background in business, it is just as vital to continue to enhance and strengthen my business skills. Alón’s guidance is a strong component of that. I would highly recommend working with Alón whether you are new or experienced in the yoga business. ”
Michael Harris, Studio Owner
Bikram Yoga, Bend Oregon
Growing A Happy Business
“I definitely had all sorts of reservations around doing this work. Worries about the cost. Worries about whether it would even be possible to find a business mentor who would really “get” who I am and what I do. Wow. If I’d only known that this work would pay for itself and help me to help more people!
I wanted someone who would help me grow my business like crazy, while allowing me to stay in complete integrity. That’s Alón. He has helped me transform my business and feel safe doing it. I love having him on my team. Worth every penny.”
“I thank him every single day for what he has done for me and my happy business!”
Yoga Music Producer, Musician and Father
Running my own business is sometimes challenging, especially since I’m the only employee. In my music production company, I’m the studio owner, the producer, the recording engineer, the accountant, the secretary, the head of marketing, the repair man, and the janitor. That’s a lot to juggle, especially when I really like my family and want to hang out with them now and again.
When I get consumed with the creation of music and the process of making recordings, it is very difficult to maintain the other aspects of my business. The element that suffers the most in my situation is the marketing. At the end of a focused day in the studio there is very little time and energy left for networking and trying to line up my next job.
So this next to complete inertia in my marketing department is where Alón fits into the picture. I could say that Alón’s consultations have helped me get back on track in terms of marketing… but really he helped me get on the track in the first place. In the past I’ve generally just tried to make the best product possible, send it out into the world, and then wait for the phone to ring. I felt inept when it came to promoting myself in any other way. I had some bizarre notion that good marketing meant fooling people. I thought I had to be overly charming and manipulative to get business in the door. Alón showed me that good business is mutually beneficial. Good business is creating win-win situations. Good business leaves all parties involved in a business exchange feeling happy with the results. This is obvious information to most folk, but, hey, I’m a musician… Whaddaya want?
So besides overhauling my misconceptions of marketing, Alón has helped me incorporate into my promotional endeavors all the subtle details that make marketing effective without compromising my sensibilities, or being in any way artificial.
Whether through helping me find more potent language and eye catching visual elements for my newsletter, or by showing me how to connect with potential clients more readily, or by re-framing the focus of promotional language to be less about me and more about how clients would benefit from my services, Alón has helped make my marketing department much more active and inspired. And the results are obvious. Even during a recession, 2009 was my best year ever! Thanks, Alón.
Ben Leinbach Music
production – composition – recording – mixing – performance
San Anselmo, CA
Organic Yoga Clothing, At Its Beginning
“Alón’s business coaching skills are beyond all our expectations. He embodies so much more than just technical expertise — he actually puts the breath of life into the meaning of business. His unique approach makes coaching feel exciting in each moment. His words and thought processes are continuously getting our creative juices flowing with limitless possibilities for our lives. Alón’s focus on the wholeness of our being and how our business is a part of that wholeness is very refreshing.
Alón is not only a devoted business coach, but has become a true friend of heart. If we were to associate one phrase with Alón’s skills, it would be ‘manifest your dreams.’ ”
Malte & Jenn Simmer
Inner Waves, Maui Hawaii
Makers of Organic Yoga Clothing
Four Month Transformation
“In just four months, my yoga business and my life have been transformed.
While in the midst of opening a second studio, I realized I needed help. The business was doing well, but our brand no longer fit the studio’s identity. I knew we needed a change, but was unsure of how to get there. It was time to find a guide who could help me forge a clear path and bring balance back to the studio and to my life.
From my very first meeting with Alón, I knew I would no longer need to travel alone. With Alón’s guidance, laughter and encouragement we have made positive changes to improve the business. Alón helped me simplify daily operations and develop a new identity and brand that really reflects who we are. With Alón by my side, I was able to embrace a journey that has been challenging, exciting, and fun.
In one of our meetings, Alón said, ‘Kyra, we are not only changing your business, we are changing your life.’
In the short period that we have been working together, the business has evolved into a thriving community of friends and yogis dedicated to changing their lives.
In addition, my life has become more balanced and has changed for the better! Thank you Alón for your support, friendship and inspiration.
I am and will continue to be… Inspired. ”
Director, Inspired Yoga
Can I Afford Not to Hire Him?
“When I first looked at Alón’s website, I thought I really couldn’t afford to hire him –– but soon found out I couldn’t afford not to!
I started working with Alón at a time when I needed to deal with several not-so-positive aspects of my business. Without Alon’s guidance and support, I would probably have given up the studio; just quit. Now, I am in one of the best locations in my town, students are flowing in, we have brought in more money each month since we moved and I am extremely excited about our future!
Alón knows the mistakes we make as yoga studio owners and how to re-create the business for everyone’s highest good and success. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate his unique style of combining who I am as a person into the process of working on my business –– just like he says on his program page, he looks at my entire life as my yoga and my business as an extension of who I am; I LOVE that!
By aligning myself with someone who knows as much as he does about growing a yoga business, I let the universe know, ‘Okay, I am now ready for success and abundance!’ It really worked –– I’m very grateful!”
Yoga Center of Sonoma County
Santa Rosa, CA
“Sometimes I wish I’d heard of Alón when I first started my business. Then it wouldn’t have been such a struggle. But we meet people when we are meant to and I feel very privileged to have gotten to know him. Throughout our coaching, Alón was totally dedicated to me and my business. With his inspiration and guidance, I have gone from cancelling workshops due to insufficient numbers, to running full ones. The phone keeps ringing now with all sorts of unusual and exciting invitations and proposals, and when one door closes another magically opens. He is my guru, my mentor and my friend.”
“Coaching with Alón was and continues to be the best investment I’ve ever made!”
“Alón has been an invaluable support throughout the process of launching my two businesses. He’s kept me accountable for deadlines and follow-through at times when I would have simply given up; provided industry insights that I would not have otherwise had; and shared innovative ideas for building a business from the ground up.
When I first started working with Alón, I had been successfully teaching yoga and leading yoga retreats in places where I had virtually no competition — Guinea and Benin, in West Africa. I wasn’t sure how to make the transition to leading yoga workshops and retreats in the US, where there were so many other yoga teachers and studios. I was also passionate about aromatherapy and had been making products for friends and students and giving them as gifts at retreats.
Alón told me early on that as I get more clarity on the inner gifts I want to share with the world, the best way to bring my yoga teaching to the US would be revealed to us. It took some time for us to clarify exactly what I want, but in the end, I launched not only my yoga retreat business, but also my aromatherapy skincare and hair care product line.
This has been an amazing process of personal and professional development— we really did work from the inside out– and I’m very pleased to say that both of my businesses are launching successfully. Thank you, Alón!”
“Everything is just falling into place. My Yoga studio is now paying me more than what I was making doing my occupational therapy practice.
The stress in my life has just been lifted so dramatically and I just feel absolutely awesome! I love my life. I am so happy now!! I feel like I am finally on my path. Thanks Alón for getting me through the rough times and giving me the tools to persevere.”
“When I finally called Alón, it was out of desperation. I couldn’t really afford to pay a coach. I thought I could swing it for a month, but then after that, I might have to quit.
I was in my fifth year of running my own yoga studio, and I was miserable. I felt exhausted, negative, and knew that the adage “Like attracts like” was in full swing. I had reached the point where I was thinking of simply just closing the doors––permanently. I was working really long hours, pulling my hair out over problems with teachers and staff, and making a pittance for a living.
That was ten months ago, and it is hard to believe the transformation that has occurred––in me, and in the studio! When I first contacted Alón, my studio was in the red, now it’s in the black––during the slowest part of the year, summer!
But even better than that, I am in bliss! My soul has come back to life with the joy that inspired me to open a yoga center in the first place.
What a journey it has been–– Alón has helped me in so many ways!
Alón is a phenomenal listener, and his ability to zero in on what’s really important is quite impressive. For me, having him as a sounding board has probably been the single most powerful tool of all, which is a testimony to what he told me on day one, which was, “In essence, I will be your silent partner.” Indeed, the partnership is silent, but it is not limited to our weekly meetings… I feel his support and guidance 24/7––not just in running my yoga center, but also in living my life.
At first I thought I couldn’t afford to hire Alón, now I know I couldn’t afford not to! I have had such an incredible experience with Alón that those around me are asking, “what are you doing?” My husband is now also working with Alón, and I’m guessing it is only a matter of time before my mother signs up with him. I’m a little worried we’ll run out of enough Alón time to go around!”
“Working with Alón has been an exciting, fun and productive experience. Alón is a warm and supportive person who knows how to work according to the personality of the client. I was really looking for someone to bounce ideas back and forth with and to encourage me in the right direction. Being a yogi, itwas important for me to work with someone who understands who I am and what I do. It didn’t matter that Alón was in the US and I am in the UK – we were still always on the same wavelength, making the process smooth and the results truly creative. At some point I thought there was some telepathy going on there!
Thanks Alón, I can’t wait to dream up my next move so I can call you up again!”
“Alon, I just wanted to drop to a line to let you know how much I enjoyed and valued your coaching. From your comprehensive information gathering, to your ability to drive the points home via multi-layered reasoning, as well as your causal and humorous delivery. In my opinion, you are a par excellence coach.
Well done, sir. Though I am not a big believer in psychic ability, to my amazement everything you said about what would happen at my studio came true. Alón, you are very talented and worth every penny I spent on your service.”
Steven Earth Metz
Earth’s Power Yoga
Los Angeles, California
“Alón has been a tremendous help for my yoga business. He knows just the right questions to ask to get me to figure out my intention and then he gently nudges me toward achieving it.
We’ve had fabulous phone conversations and he worked especially well with my website director to achieve a gorgeous new look. I also find his Yoga Business teleclasses very valuable for continuing to grow my business.
Alón is a real find –– a combination yogi/business genius.”
Priscilla Anne Flynn, Director
“What an eye opening experience it is to work with Alón. I continue to learn how to communicate my values through my business, and gratefully, I now have a better understanding of what my studio is offering the world. Thank you, Alón, for sharing not only business wisdom and a great sense of humor, but also years of yogic insights.”
“I am a psychotherapist and soon to be yoga therapist who had a dream. I dreamt of a place of community where people who wanted to share in wellness and spirit would gather together, connect, and bathe in the healing energies we each bring into this world. In my dream, healers and students danced together flowing toward equanimity.
And then –– in the process of naming, building and opening this center, I came close to having a nervous breakdown. Throughout this process, Alón has been responsible for keeping me from giving up and walking away from my dream. He has loved me, guided me, embraced my vision and cared deeply when I didn’t care anymore. He has extended himself, gotten his hands dirty and continued giving when I had nothing left to give.
Today I am smiling and can once again see the essence of my dream. Terra Sky Center for Wellness is my new baby and I think the postpartum has lifted. I am looking forward to watching her grow.
Thank You Alón for being the best coach and friend any dreamer could ever hope for.”
Ava Schlesinger, LCSW
Terra Sky Center
“Alón Sagee is part detective, uncovering the buried treasure within you, part savvy go-to guy about every business detail you can imagine, and entirely a friend and ally.
He always sees the big picture and every step needed to get there. He is frank and honest, totally kind and tons of fun. He helps you recover what you love about your business and value most in yourself, and then he teaches you how to effectively communicate that to your customers.
Alón helped make our uniqueness our greatest strength and strongest selling point. When refining our brand to match who we are in our community, Alón came up with the best tag line any New York City yoga studio could ever hope for!
Alón helped me to put myself into my business and to shape it into a unifying vision that will carry me forward for many years to come. ”
Namasté Yoga Center
New York City
“Alon, I can’t tell you how much your help has meant to me. I’m sorry I didn’t meet you earlier. I feel absolutely sure that I would have already been out of business if it wasn’t for your help. Your kindness and compassion coupled with your knowledge and encouragement turned me around and inspired me to move forward. Your spiritual approach to life and your business was an important and reassuring factor for me personally. When I am in California, I hope it’s OK if I come and see you in person so I can give you a huge hug!”
Bikram Yoga North Dallas
“Alón’s coaching brought clarity to ideas that have helped me grow my business. As a coach and a yogi, his ethics are impeccable. I truly value Alón as a coach and a friend.”
MOYO Yoga Center
“While working with Alón, I faced some of the deepest and most fundamental questions in my life. With Alón as a sounding board,I felt safe to honestly explore those questions and even to answer some of them.
Adept at guiding one to their own truth, free of judgement, Alón is both an inspiration and inspirational.”
“The recent article in Yoga Journal gave my Lovers’ Yoga Retreats massive media exposure. With the number of visitors to my web site skyrocketing, I would have been totally screwed if Alón didn’t take me by the hand and guide me.
I am burnt out on people who just give advice—so it felt refreshing to have Alón climb into the trenches with me and quickly design a system that has made capitalizing on all that great publicity fun and easy.
If your business is Yoga, then you automatically need Alón’s guidance to help you get the ball rolling.”
Best Selling Author and Seminar Leader
San Diego, CA
“My life is devoted to practicing and teaching yoga, caring for my family, and environmental and peace activism. Running a business? What’s that? Alón helps me to understand that as a studio owner, caring for and growing my business is the best way to share my gifts with the world.
With intelligence, patience, and a generous dollop of humor, Alón shares all the tools I need to succeed financially while helping others. I am deeply grateful for all the support I have received from the one and only Yoga Business Coach!”
Otter Creek Yoga
“I was thumbing through Yoga Journal and saw a picture of a guy in a business suit practicing “tree pose.” This inspirational man turned out to be quite a blessing for me at just the right time in my life. Through a very rough period, it was he who supported me, guided me through the darkest times, celebrated my lessons, and held me up so that I could see over my limits.
When I first started working with Alón, my intention was to start a yoga business. I was focused and driven to delve into marketing techniques, find my niche and get down to business. My expectations, however, were blown out of the water when Alón started exploring my values in our first session. Values? I remembering thinking: ‘this guy is nuts.’ What the heck do my values have to do with running and opening a yoga center? I quickly learned that for me, the exercise had everything to do with my entire life. I still carry the list of clarified values in my wallet, which now inform my daily decisions.
On the six-month adventure with Alón, I went from a lost surfer girl, to a confident, passionate, self caring, self respecting, and centered woman. I did not open my own Yoga center, because in working with Alón, I found my true gift in being a Life Coach for young people—and I couldn’t be happier!
I will cherish my coaching relationship with Alón for the rest of my life! He was truly the catalyst I needed. I am now living more authentically, more passionately and am much more grounded. Having Alón as my coach was truly the best gift I ever gave myself.”
Yogini & Life Coach
“Alon is an excellent business coach – not only for those in the wellness industry – but for anyone who believes work/play/family/&business do not occur in a vaccum. His holistic approach gets to the core of a businesses issues. The work and the results are serious. If you’re looking for a consultant who will challenge you to be your best NOW (not someone who will fluff you along) ask Alon to help you.”
“Alón not only helped to clarify my vision for my business, he led me to the edge of my current business plateau and showed me the way to the pinnacle of success.
Together, we have branded my special yoga niche, and made it ready for the world to see. From creating a logo and tagline, to revamping my website and expanding and updating my videos, Alón’s creative ideas, experience and enthusiasm were there to guide me every step of the way.
His vision and purpose in life are so clear to him that it makes it easy for him to help others find their way. I feel that he has helped me see the person who had been hidden from view within me by preconceived notions of who I was supposed to be.
When I was nervous about an upcoming video shoot, he reminded me that this wasn’t about me, but about my yoga, my gift to the world — I was merely a conduit for that gift. With that thought in mind, I was able to produce wonderful results.
Not only has Alón helped my business grow; he has helped me grow as a person. He has become a special friend in addition to being my trusted business coach.
Alón has made me laugh, and let me cry. He is not a typical businessman; he is one of a kind!”
Yoga in Chairs™
Prairie Village, Kansas
“What if someone told you that your life would be completely different in six months?
Working with Alón Sagee was one of the best decisions I have made for my life, both professionally and personally.
I have danced professionally and taught fitness, Yoga and Pilates for most of my adult life. I had a dream to open my own Yoga and Pilates studio in Denmark and I needed help, guidance and coaching. I called Alón, and after a series of very direct and funny “getting to know you” questions, we delved into making my dream a reality.
The work that we have done together has had a profound effect on my life. Soon after beginning, Alón helped me realize that my personality, morals, ethics and teaching “gifts” would be the foundation of who I am as a business owner and what my business would stand upon. Through this process I was confronted by my own fears and doubts, but was determined to face them head on. With Alón’s help, I walked over an imaginary line that seemed to have held me back for so many years.
I continue moving forward in my newfound reality, my life is different than it was six months ago. With Alón’s guidance and support, I know in my heart I am on the right path. At times I still feel fear and doubt, but it no longer stops me, and as my personal strength grows, my business blossoms.
Alón openly shared his many years of experience as coach, consultant and yogi with me. I feel fortunate and blessed to have worked with him. I now have a reliable business adviser and a friend for life. I now know what it feels like to walk a warrior’s path.
GETSTRONG Yoga & Pilates Studios
“When I saw Alón’s ad, I knew immediately he provided something I needed. We began work together to clarify my work as a Yoga Therapist in private practice in a small California town. Out of this relationship came a clear, concise, compassionate means for me to reach out to my community and bring Yoga Therapy to people in need.
Alón’s guidance helped me formulate a vision for my work and the means to make that vision a reality. My practice is now thriving, with lots of new clients. His support has been priceless each step of the way.
Alón’s coaching is based on Yoga’s foundation of doing no harm, contentment, honesty and personal integrity. Our work together allows me to freely explore my expression in the world.
“The few months that Alón and I worked together really helped me to understand the power of values. As I continue to live them, great things keep showing up.
Our work together has been great for my business. I’m now in a place where I don’t have to look for business, it just kind of shows up. Since January, I went from 25 sessions a week, to 43 a week!
My business has grown and I have grown personally as well. The timing for our work together was perfect.”
The BodyMind Fitness Coach
Queens, New York
“We began our relationship with Alón with the intention of getting a grasp on the business of yoga as we began the rebirth of our studio. We thought we were in need of facts and figures, contacts and procedures; the “nuts and bolts” of this new business venture. After a single session with Alón, we learned that the work we needed to do was actually within ourselves. Alón managed through insight and guidance and laughter to show us that our yoga business is nothing more nor less than an extension of ourselves, our personalities, impossible to separate one from another.
The work we have done with Alón has helped our business immensely. Despite the fears and challenges we have faced, our studio is thriving, our brand is clear, our students are happy, and we’re creating a deep community.
Alón has helped us to view and understand and expand our personalities into the studio and share them with our students. It’s been an empowering relationship that ripples outward. If we were to give advice to anyone wanting to build their yoga business it would be to come to Alón with questions, concerns, and a very open mind. Be prepared to answer questions you may never have been asked, ponder your most private self, and above all, be prepared to laugh.”
Chris Crumal & Vicki Bernstein
Whitefish Yoga Center
“Alón has been such a positive asset for my business as well as personal growth. Being new to the business of yoga I was sort of at a loss as to where to begin. With Alón’s’ program I have been able to see through a lot of my “mind clutter,” and allow clarity and growth to come forth.
In our phone conversations he has always been able to get to the heart of any matter and to shed light on what I needed to work on next, while always being a trustful friend at heart, listening or sharing a bit of advice.
It is very heartwarming to have a fellow Yogi by my side to help guide me through my journey of sharing the awesome gift of Yoga with others. I would recommend anyone thinking about utilizing Alón’s gifts to do so.”
Jiva Yoga Center
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
“Working with Alón has been a blessing. I started Bliss Yoga with little to no background in owning and running a business. Alón has helped me to define my values which has helped me to build a business consistent with my deepest true feelings. He has always been there to support me, guide me and work with me to bring ideas to fruition.
Alón has been especially helpful in helping me design a marketing campaign that fits my budget and expresses and defines my vision for Bliss. The response has been excellent. I think we really came up with ideas that touched my audience and drew them to my business. Within a short time of working with Alón on Press Releases, articles on Bliss have been published in both local papers, articles which really helped my business.
I will continue to work with Alón as my business grows. I have come to depend on his insight, courage and wisdom, and on knowing he has Bliss’ best interest at heart.”
“Alón guided me to connect with my truth around believing in my work and developing a business. He helped me to overcome blocks that had held me back from success for a long time.
He truly has an insightful, gentle, yet firmly confident approach in assisting people to work their edges and step into the greater fullness of themselves and their gifts to share. He works from a place of unconditional love, and in so doing supports his clients to come from that place for themselves and the people they serve.”
Sienna Steiner, M.A.
Integral Counseling Psychology
“A few years following around spiritual teachers and a few more in an ashram, taught us to own our own baggage, which to us is the minimum requirement for teaching Yoga. Recognizing that same journey in our students and loving them through it is a good start… But putting all that together with business — it’s enough to melt your brain.
Alón is masterful at revealing that your personal story, whatever makes you you — is your product, and it’s priceless. But to connect what we’re offering to what people need in a fair, effective, and professional way, most of us need to learn a few new asanas, which Alón teaches well.”
Matthew Remski & Dennison Smith
“I started my work with Alón roughly one year ago. At the time, I was literally being battered by life. My love relationship was in tatters, my career was seemingly headed for oblivion, and even my dog had health issues! Enter Alón–– and fast forward one year: Now I am living on my own for the first time, having relocated to the city of my dreams; I have started my own successful company employing over a dozen people, and even my pooch is in amazing shape!
I know that this just reflects an inner shift in perspective, to which I owe Alón and God my undying gratitude. Do I have my challenges still? Sure. But, I now have skills and tools with which to access information, guidance, courage, and heart –– and I use them to grow instead of wither.
Alón’s skillful blend of honesty, humor, and support has been invaluable to me. I am truly blessed by his presence in my life”
Yogi & Businessman
New York, NY
“I worked with Alón for a few months during a period of management restructuring, basically moving me out of doing a lot of the day-to-day and setting up my first full-time Managing Director of the studio. Having been in business for 5 years, it was time to establish it to run more without me so that I could pursue additional creative outlets. He was able to relay stories of how other studio owners were doing things which helped provide models. He is encouraging and supportive, truly a great resource for yoga business owners.”
Tranquil Space Yoga
“There are so few people who actually walk their talk, but I believe wholeheartedly that Alón is one of those people.
Alón is a great coach. In every conversation we have, regardless of whether it’s about my business, my hopes and dreams, or my need to vent, Alón is there for me 100%. He has an uncanny way of knowing what I need even before I do and supporting me in that way. Alóncan be gentle but tough, loving, insightful, positive, spiritual and hysterically funny all in the span of a single phone call.
In my work with Alón, I feel that I have gained much more than being a better marketer or learning how to earn a higher income; I feel I have learned how to be a better human being.
If you are struggling, Alón can help you get your business up and running. If you are wildly successful, Alón will help keep you grounded and humble! I highly recommend Alón as a coach to anyone in business.
Susan Pease LCSW
The Divorce Coach
Director, Transition Institute of Marin
San Rafael, California
“Working with Alón is an intuitive, heartfelt process that allows one’s dreams and aspirations to merge with his expertise, and find creative expression through his astute business coaching.
Alón’s way of being creates an open-ended dialogue that promotes expansion and growth in both business and personal realms. He has a dedicated yoga practice and a playfulness of spirit that translates to a fun working relationship which is grounded in integrity.”
“Working with Alón has helped me to see the potential in myself and my mission; and given me the tools to bring that potential to fruition. Alón has given me so much insight and guidance into how to market my business. For example, through subtle shifts in words and images, he has taught me how to design flyers and other printed material that really reach out and grabs a student’s attention. As a result, attendance in our classes and workshops has increased!
Alón’s undying belief in yoga as a means to bring greater peace into the world fuels the fire in all of us committed to that same goal.”
Anahatta Yoga Center
Overland Park, Kansas
“Working with Alón is a unique and powerful experience. He possesses the extraordinary gift of digging deep into the heart of the matter with warmth, gentleness, and a contagious sense of humor. His commitment to removing obstacles and encouraging my very best allows for a strong foundation in which my business as a Yoga Instructor and Yoga Coach can stand on. I highly respect Alón’s professional abilities and his personal attributes. His passion for his work and giving back to his community is truly inspiring and sets the standard for all of us who wish to live the true spirit of Yoga in our personal and professional lives.”
Efland, North Carolina
“Alón is the best yoga business coach ever!”