Please also the DNAinfo article about the studio.
Dear students and friends,
I am writing you all with news of change and to bring to light some of the struggles the studio has faced recently. It is important to protect the serenity of our space, and until now, I chose to keep much of this difficulty private. However, imminent change and my desire for transparency, a clear dialogue between myself and all of you, bring me to share this with you now.
For the past 16 months, our studio has been in litigation with our building owners over our right to remain on this property, amongst other things. The generosity of a dear friend and attorney gave us the ability to afford this lengthy and trying legal battle up until now. We have gone to court four times (and won!), but the building management and their team of lawyers has finally stretched us too thin to continue fighting these appeals.
At the end of August, we will be leaving 108 N 7th. As many of you know, we have been on a rigorous search for a new space for many months. The neighborhood has become almost prohibitively expensive since Bikram Yoga Williamsburg opened almost ten years ago, but I remain determined to find a space that can accommodate our thriving community.
I was left with the terrible dilemma of how to keep the studio afloat for the next month without a significant stream of income. In good conscience, we cannot sell any more packages until we have signed a lease for a new space, but if we don’t sell packages, we are unable to pay our teachers and keep the studio open, even for August.
I believe it is paramount for us to have this last month – to celebrate the community we have built in this studio, to honor current packages as long as we possibly can before being forced into a temporary hiatus, to give a proper goodbye to the space that has been our home for almost a decade. To do this, we have made some changes that will hopefully allow us to continue through the month of August.
Starting on August 1st, all drop-in classes will be $12, and we will begin accepting donations to go towards compensating our teachers. Each teacher will be paid as close to their regular amount as possible based on what money is taken in during each class. I will be teaching 8 classes per week and donating anything earned during my own classes to paying our teachers. Any amount of donation would be greatly appreciated. Online donations will open shortly. My goal this month is simply to keep the studio open, pay our teachers, and preserve the spirit of the studio. We have also adjusted the schedule to better support this:
Monday-Thursday: 7AM, 10AM, 6:30PM, 8:15PM
Friday: 7AM, 10AM, 6:30PM
Saturday-Sunday: 10AM, 6PM
We are dedicating August to all of you whose yoga journey has brought you to Bikram Williamsburg. We would like to invite back all of our students and teachers throughout the years to share this month with us. Our biannual 30 Day Challenge is one of the most unifying, intense, and enlivening events of the year. In honor of the incredible community that has flourished in our studio, we will be hosting a final 30 Day Challenge this August. We encourage each and every one of you to join us to celebrate the spirit of the studio and build further momentum towards the future. Be on the lookout for a follow-up newsletter listing events throughout this next month – I will be leading meditation sessions and special classes to support us all during this transition and to nourish the wonderful spirit of the studio.
I am looking at potential new spaces every day and am committed to finding a great new home for Bikram Yoga Williamsburg. And I am thankful for our tremendous online community – as a resource of ideas and support. I’m available anytime to answer your questions and am excited and open to any ideas you would like to offer. Please contact me at John@bikramwilliamsburg.com. Like I’ve often said “It takes a Village.” Much gratitude and better days ahead as we come together this month to honor and celebrate our 10 years on N 7th street. Remember – it is just a space – the spirit of BYW lives in the beating hearts of beautiful human beings with value and power beyond any landlord or building!