Attracting and retaining students is one of the biggest challenges faced by studio owners. While it’s tempting to spend money on flourishes like retail or fancy equipment, the truth is creating a space students want to return to begins with wellness-based design decisions. The positive effects of wellness design can best be explained through the fundamental forces of Ayurveda, or the three Gunas: Tamasic, Rajastic and Sattvic forces. 

Rajas is a state of energy, action, change and movement (easy
to create).

Tamas is a state of darkness, inertia, stale and laziness (easy
to create).

Sattva is a state of tranquility, balance, joy and peace (more difficult to create).

For students with overly Rajastic lives, visiting their yoga studio is an opportunity to balance these forces within themselves. The studio’s responsibility is to provide a primarily Sattvic space for students to connect with the divine within. Eliminating an excess of Tamasic energies, or moments of frustration, through simple design solutions ensures students will have a positive experience they’ll be eager to repeat. And it takes the pressure off of studio owners who can rest easy knowing their space is set up for energetic success. 

Below are three examples of how to implement wellness design to create a positive, relaxing space that will help students balance their Gunas, and encourage them to enter a Sattvic state. 

Create Two Different Check-in Stations to Eliminate Bottlenecking 

Tamasic Tendency: Bottlenecking of students at the studio entry due to a confluence of newcomers and regulars. 

Sattvic Solution: Designate two different check-in stations for the reception. One with an employee to assist new students with orientation, and another unmanned for regular students who know what to do. Place these two check-in zones at an adequate distance so the lines remain distinct and intuitive. 

Invest in Adequate Coat and
Shoe Organization 

Tamasic Tendency: Roadblocks of coats and shoes cluttering up the entry experience. This is an especially jarring eye-sore for new students, as their first impression of the space is one of chaos.

Sattvic Solution: Provide adequate shoe storage — with signage — to reinforce regular maintenance of the area. Provide a bench surface as a bonus to students of all ages. If possible, locate the storage adjacent to the entry, but not directly facing the door. With these wellness design tips, a student’s first impression is Sattvic: harmonious and uncluttered. Everything is in its right place. 

Use Sattvic Signage

Tamasic Tendency: Lack of or unclear signage means students have to wait for assistance with everything, from locating props to finding the bathroom. 

Sattvic Solution: Good signage can have a big impact, especially in small spaces. Clear, easy-to-understand signage reminds students their respectful use of the space is beneficial to themselves and the community. Focus on clarity and remember to use Sattvic language. For example, “Please Refrain” is much different than, “Do Not.” 

Using these simple Sattvic solutions, studio owners will be able to wow students by creating spaces that are well designed and energetically pleasing for all. 

Brienne Derosier is the CEO of Hey Mache earth-friendly storage. Find Hey Mache on Instagram at @hey.mache or by visiting