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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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Interview: Triyoga's Jonathan Sattin

triyoga started life as a small startup and has grown to be a world class operation offering hundreds of classes a week in a range of yoga and related disciplines. The company also offers teacher training, retreats and holidays. We talk to the founder We talk to the founder

Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 8
Jonathan Sattin
Jonathan Sattin
You have to look after your clients and really care about them. That’s not just a line, you genuinely have to care

What were the main aims when you opened triyoga in 2000?
We wanted to make the highest quality of authentic yoga accessible – in a non-preachy way – by creating an environment in which everyone felt comfortable, offering a broad choice of styles, taught by the best teachers. We now offer yoga, pilates, barre, Gyrotonic® therapy and treatments.

Have your aims changed?
No, our principles of offering a top quality experience are still the same and we’ve stayed true to the old values. As we’ve expanded, we’ve tried to get better, and improve the service and offering. As we opened more studios, we didn’t want to just replicate our first studio, in Camden, (London) but to create new amazing spaces and programmes that get better each time.

Why did you choose your subsequent locations in London?
The second site opened in Covent Garden in 2003, then Soho in 2005 and Chelsea in 2011. The sites weren’t chosen scientifically, but because we had a sense they would work.

Soho was in a mainly business district, so offered a different market to our original Camden site, which was residential. As a result, we changed our schedules, and for the first nine years only offered workshops and training during the week. In 2014, we expanded the site with another studio and realised there was a market to support weekend classes.

Will you ever expand beyond London?
I think we could, but we’re more likely to focus our efforts on London for the time being. Studios need to be in an area where you can get sufficient numbers of excellent teachers: without the best teachers, beautiful studios are meaningless.

What do you look for in a teacher?
We want someone special who combines technical knowledge with the ability to inspire people to practise. They mustn’t be an automaton. I like teachers who have teachers themselves, because there’s something humbling about being a student. As a basic rule our teachers need to have a minimum of five years’ experience. We launched our own teacher training course in 2005.

What exciting trends are you currently seeing?
The market is broadening to bring in more mind/body disciplines and a wider audience. For example, at triyoga we now have a large programme based around meditation to meet the growing demand.

Yoga for children is also an exciting trend: we were the first yoga centre to offer kids classes, and we now run kids and teen yoga classes at all our studios and are working to connect with local schools.

One of our current focuses is to attract more men and we’ve launched a brilliant programme, called Inner Axis by Max Strom, which is a mix of tai chi, yoga and breathwork. It’s all about creating balance and is very accessible – you can do it in jeans. We also run a yoga for sports programme, which includes football, tennis, golf, skiing and running and has been successful in attracting more men, but is not exclusively for men.

Also, it’s good to see people now finding a balance in their practise: doing a dynamic class, such as Ashtanga, and balancing it with a restorative class.

What do you think about the way things have morphed over the years, with classes like Silent Disco Yoga and HIIT yoga?
I think you have to accept that things always grow and change, while trying to check what’s really real and what’s not. Some of the new styles are not for me, but if somebody gets something out of them, that’s great. Initially, I didn’t think hot yoga was authentic, but eventually I became convinced and now we offer our own style of hot yoga.

What have been the most important lessons you’ve learned?
To keep your values and invest in the right people – we’re lucky enough to still have some of our original teachers. You have to look after your clients and really care about them. That’s not just a line, you genuinely have to care.

What other kinds of revenue streams have you created?
All our sites have treatment rooms as well as shops and cafés, offering mainly healthy options – we do a great beetroot cake in Camden! We also run triyoga urban retreats in London and triyoga holidays abroad.

How have you embraced technology?
When we started out we were largely tech free – we used to hand out stones instead of receipts, which customers gave to the teacher to show they’d paid! These days, customers can book classes online via our website.

Our most revolutionising use of technology has been the infra-red heating system for the yoga studio, so we can offer hot yoga. It heats the body, not the room, so you don’t walk into a wall of heat.

Will you embrace live streaming or virtual?
I’m a bit old fashioned in that I like going to a class. I never really enjoyed yoga via video, although I do think there is a place for teaching through different mediums.

What advice do you have for health and fitness club operators who are looking to offer mind-body classes?
It’s like anything, if you’re going to do it, do it well, otherwise don’t do it at all.

What’s next for triyoga?
Do better. Serve better. Do more.

The triyoga approach

yoga & lifestyle centres of excellence

triyoga is one of London’s leading destinations for yoga, pilates and treatments. The company opened its first centre in Camden in 2000 and has grown to include four locations in Camden, Chelsea, Soho and Covent Garden, with a fifth opening in Shoreditch this autumn. triyoga is recognised for working with leading teachers and therapists from around the world. As centres of excellence, they provide the highest quality classes in tranquil spaces complete with lifestyle shops and organic cafés. The yoga class schedule offers over 500 classes per week – in addition to inspiring and innovative workshops, courses and teacher training programmes – with a broad range of authentic yoga styles that makes the practice accessible for everyone, whatever their age, physical ability, experience or goals.

What’s on offer at Triyoga

• Yoga
• Pilates
• Treatments
• Barre
• Teacher training
• Courses + workshops
• Gyrotonic Method
• Hot yoga
• Inner Axis
• Meditation and mindfulness
• Kids + teens yoga
• Pre + postnatal
• Lifestyle + wellbeing shops
• Organic cafés

Triyoga teacher training

Two year triyoga teacher training diploma
A 390 hour programme covering asana, pranayama, meditation, philosophy, anatomy and physiology. Accredited by the British Wheel of Yoga, Yoga Alliance Professionals (UK) and Yoga Alliance US. Students graduate with a 200 hour certification enabling them to teach their own yoga classes.

triyoga advanced teacher training
Launched in April 2017, this is a brand new 20 month programme for yoga teachers who have previously completed a 200 hour training. This advanced training is registered at the 300 hour level with Yoga Alliance (US) and accredited by Yoga Alliance Professionals.

Teaching intensives
A yearly programme of CPD courses and workshops, including postnatal, pregnancy, teaching yoga to children, teaching one-to-one, Vinyasa flow, Ashtanga yoga, restorative, triyoga hot and more.

triyoga offers two levels of yoga teacher training
triyoga offers two levels of yoga teacher training

About Inner axis wellbeing

Max Strom
Max Strom

Max Strom’s interdisciplinary system, Inner Axis, deals directly with sleeplessness, stress and anxiety and produces a level of fitness that makes you feel better, sleep better and, therefore, function at a higher level in your relationships and in your life-work.

Inner Axis incorporates breath-based yoga movement and mindfulness, and every class offers several levels to accommodate your capacity. As a result of its success across the world, Inner Axis is now being adopted by corporations as a sustainable wellness programme.

Benefits include better sleep, and stress and anxiety reduction. It also helps people to focus their mind, work more efficiently, have better relationships and feel more healthy and fit.

TRIYOGA FACTS

• Number of classes a week: 500
• Number of teachers trained: 500
• Number of individual studios: 4

triyoga offers many different types of yoga, including its own style of hot yoga
triyoga offers many different types of yoga, including its own style of hot yoga
triyoga clients often choose to combine  dynamic classes with restorative classes
triyoga clients often choose to combine dynamic classes with restorative classes
triyoga’s fifth centre will open this autumn
triyoga’s fifth centre will open this autumn
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/505694_829884.jpg
Triyoga’s founder Jonathan Sattin talks about growing a yoga startup into a lifestyle centre of excellence
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