A company’s name plays a monumental role in a brand’s growth. It’s the first thing customers see, it sums up everything the company is about and it’s your unique take on the industry. Kindness Yoga, this issue’s cover story, has a mission embedded right in the name itself. By organizing a community around the concept of kindness, it has taken an industry-leading role in nurturing a more peaceful world.

But what does that word mean? Kindness? Practicing at Kindness Yoga ultimately makes you hold yourself accountable to something much larger than yourself, so CEO Ellen Kaye and COO Jack Cuneo broke down their definitions of what the word kindness means to them.

“I often tell my students that more does not equal better, more only equals more. That’s how I feel about kindness. Kindness isn’t earned or deserved, kindness just is. Kindness doesn’t ask for anything in return; a kind word is just that, a kind word. When we are kind for the sake of kindness, we call upon something in ourselves that both serves and nourishes us at the same time. You might say that kindness is soul food,” said Kaye.

“To me, kindness is an inside job. It’s the ongoing practice of valuing all beings highly — including ourselves — and having an experience of their deep intrinsic worth. And from that place inside, it’s about taking appropriate action. Sometimes people say to me, ‘Oh, I was nice to the barista at the coffee shop the other day. Does that count?’ Yes. If the experience starts with the deep work of seeing and having affinity for the barista and then becomes a genuine compliment, a thoughtful gesture, or whatever. Where we have to be careful is doing ‘nice’ things on the outside while having an experience of feeling hate for ourselves or others on the inside. Of course, we all do that sometimes. So, in that moment, the kind thing is recognizing it, forgiving it, taking care of how it’s impacting us and those around us, and doing our best from there,” said Cuneo.

What is your company’s name and what meaning does it hold? Are you articulating this to your students and staff, or just hoping they figure it out on their own? GIve some thought to ways you are making the name of your studio shine, and how you can do a better job at it if you aren’t.