After graduating from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor native Risa Gotlib had a great job in business management in New York. And she just wasn't happy. Missing her family and looking for another way to make a living, the longtime yoga practitioner moved back to Ann Arbor and trained to be a yoga instructor. Once certified, she built up a large network of students, both in various studios and through private clients in town, but found she was again missing something.
"I realized that the kind of vibe I wanted to feel, I didn't feel at any of the studios I was working at," she says. "I had a personal relationship with my students, but not with the studios. I decided that I was just going to sort of go for it."
Go for it she did, leasing space on Pauline Blvd. in Ann Arbor and opening Tiny Buddha Yoga
in 1,200 square foot space in January. Attracted by the high ceilings and large windows, she had finally found a space where she could create the yoga space she had envisioned.
"This is not like a business; it's a personal experience," says Gotlib. "I know my students, I know about their lives, and I want it to be that way. Instead of trying too sell them something, we're practicing this beautiful thing together and and building a community."
Others are clearly into the vibe as well. In her first month, Tiny Buddha Yoga
saw more than 300 students come through the door, keeping Gotlib and her team of four other yoga instructors busy. She hopes to continue to grow the business, as well as her involvement in the community.
Source: Risa Gotlib, Tiny Buddha Yoga
Writer: Natalie Burg