When speaking with studio owners or potential owners about the benefits of a studio franchise, I liken it to the practice of yoga itself. The franchise is like the floor on which our practice takes place — it’s the ground upon which all else balances. The brand is there to provide support and stability, but at the same time allow for flexibility.

I tell them that becoming part of a franchise allows you to do what you are already doing, but with greater ease. As a franchisee, you should be at ease to work more efficiently, in a position of projecting, with support that meets you strategically, materially and spiritually.

A brand offers tremendous material support, everything from designing a space to marketing, training and education. Emotionally and spiritually, the franchise should be at its best, offering an intimate community, a place to share ideas and learn from each other’s expertise and experiences. On all fronts, you should find support that meets you where you are now and with a plan for growth and change.

It is a misconception that a brand will take away from individual ownership. My experience has been that in building a brand, the mission is shared with everyone working toward a similar goal in support of one another’s uniqueness.

This is similar to the prana that is created when we all come together to practice. Prana is real, otherwise we would just practice alone in our homes. The benefit of a franchise is similar to the prana benefits of a yoga practice. This should be the primary thing you find in a brand, a framework within which you can thrive and create a living and breathing community of your own. The brand just makes the franchisee better able to reach more people with the practice through practical tools: advertising, marketing and programming support.

We know that yoga as an industry is growing, and quickly. When things change rapidly, it’s essential to be able to respond, but you can’t be all things. Technology and information are having a great influence on how studios function in the community. The role of the franchise is to provide support in this business environment. This is essential over the long term, keeping the studio functioning at its best during times of transition and change.

At day’s end this means being able to put your time and energy, which are limited, into the areas that build a personalized studio and create relationships with members as you share and grow this beautiful and powerful practice. Becoming part of a brand means breathing strong, backed by a team that shares your passion.


Maria Turco is the co-founder and CEO of the Honor Yoga brand, a franchise network of yoga studios. With over 20 years in the fitness industry, she is a leader in building member-based businesses. With an eye for community inside and outside the studio, Turco is dedicated to making yoga available to everyone. She can be reached at honor@honoryoga.com.