Some may agree that running a yoga studio is not for the faint of heart. On top of all the typical struggles of running a small business, owning a yoga studio can lend itself to some ethical or spiritual dilemmas. On one hand, you’re running a business, and on the other, you’re creating a space for people to experience spiritual and emotional growth, release and transformation.

It can be hard to draw the line between being a friend, mentor, or ally to a student and being a business owner. Unfortunately, without established boundaries or policies, both parties can be negatively impacted or taken by surprise.

One way to ensure your business is protected from misunderstandings is to establish policies for your studio. If you are a membership-based studio, develop a cancellation policy and include that on the membership contract or information sheet. Refund policies, class cancellation fees, or mat rental fees should be clearly explained to new students and available on appropriate documents and/or on your website.

You always have the power to waive or adjust a policy according to the circumstance, but having policies in place can help protect your business from unpleasant interactions.

It can feel uncomfortable or awkward to play the role of business owner while trying to make a genuine connection with a student. At the end of the day, firm boundaries, established policies, and clear communication will save you and your students from uncomfortable moments. Consider thanking your community for supporting your business by donating to a local charity or hosting a community event.