Take us back to the beginning of Sumits Yoga
Well, we always had dreams of owning a yoga studio, long before we were introduced to Sumits Yoga! We originally met when we were cheerleaders at Missouri State University (back then SMS -IYKYK), and after we graduated, we used to do yoga videos in Nikki’s mom’s basement for exercise. Life happened, and Stephanie moved to Chicago and Nikki had a baby … but in 2009 we both ended up back in Springfield and we were in the first class at Sumits Hot Yoga. During the summer of 2009 we went to yoga teacher training with Sumit Banerjee in Scottsdale, Arizona, and in 2010 we were offered the opportunity to buy Sumits Yoga. We were young and had no idea what we were doing, but we had a huge passion for yoga and for sharing yoga. Here we are 14 years later … much has changed, but our passion for yoga and for sharing the practice never has.
What would you say has been the biggest challenge you have faced in the past 14 years?
Without a doubt, COVID. The pandemic really hit the fitness industry hard, and our business definitely felt the impact. At first our main and only goal was keeping our students safe, and then once businesses began re-opening, we had to figure out how to run the business with the restrictions that were placed on fitness studios. We suffered financially, we lost students during that time for a variety of reasons, and it was disheartening. But the pandemic reignited our love for the studio and our passion for keeping it going. Now three years later we’ve found a new normal, and are so proud that we were able to keep the doors open safely in such an unknown and crazy time.
What has been the key to your success over the years?
Definitely our staff of amazing teachers. We are so grateful for our team of instructors, many of whom
have been with us since the first few years. Our teachers are all so knowledgeable, so caring, so
talented, and all of them have the same passion and love for yoga that we do. Each of them cares so deeply about every student that walks through our doors, and they also care about the studio. They all taught classes online for free during the pandemic so that we could stay connected to our community and to help us keep the doors open. Our teachers are what have made Sumits special, and who continue to make Sumits such an amazing place!”
It is very evident that you not only care for your studio, staff, and students but for the Springfield community in general. For someone that has never been to Sumits, what do you want them to know?
Our studio is truly a safe and inclusive space for anyone who wants to practice yoga. We know it is super intimidating to walk into an our environment like ours – but once you make it to class – you’ll see that it truly is for everyone. The practice makes us stronger and more flexible on the mat, but it’s truly what we take off of the mat and into our everyday lives that are the biggest benefits – the peace, the calm, the ability to stay calm in difficult situations, and the awareness that the practice gives us. If you allow it to, yoga can change your life. We see it happen everyday, and that’s why we love what we do so much!
You can check out Sumits Yoga on FB, Instagram, and online at www.sumitshotyoga.com
Sumits offers $7 Community Classes, and a New Student Special, 2 Weeks of Unlimited Yoga for $40. Sumits offers classes daily – come prepared to sweat. You are going to feel awesome!