One of the vital early decisions yoga teachers make is whether their yoga studio should have lockers and showers. More than a matter of convenience, installing lockers and showers is a reflection of the brand and culture you are building for your yoga studio.
So, should yoga studios have lockers and showers? Yoga studios should typically have lockers and showers. The number of lockers should be equal to the number of students present at each class, and the studio should have two showers per 40-50 students. However, not having lockers and showers in your yoga studio is perfectly normal.
I did in-depth research into what it would take to outfit a yoga studio with lockers and showers. To learn my findings about how to install lockers and showers in your yoga studio, read on.
How Many Lockers Do You Need in a Yoga Studio?
Locker rooms are present in many gyms, aerobic studios, yoga studios, SPAs, dance studios, and swimming pools.
Some yoga studios don’t have locker rooms, though, so don’t hold it against yourself if you don’t have space or capital to purchase lockers.
Yoga students tend to judge teachers based on their teaching style and experience. They rarely care about the luxuries of the yoga studio, unless you are targeting the luxury end of the market.
If you do decide to purchase lockers, try to buy enough so that every member of your largest class has a place to put their things. Buying fewer lockers than this might work, but some of your students might get annoyed if there aren’t any open lockers.
The minimum size for a locker room is 500 square feet, and the biggest yoga studios have 3000 square feet of space in the locker room.
Yoga enthusiasts tend to be minimalists who bring only the bare essentials to class, and it’s enough to provide them a space for their backpacks and purses. Yoga studios don’t need to spend $500 on a locker to impress their yoga students.
Locker Types: Three Main Designs
There are three main locker designs available from which you can choose.
Very popular in large gyms 1-Tier lockers are the largest lockers, providing only a single space per row. These lockers are suitable for large locker rooms found at large gyms. You can also find them in establishments such as hospitals and dry cleaners where people require more storage space.
Most 1-tier lockers will be 6 feet+ tall, which means you’ll need a lot of room to accommodate them. It’s hard to find 1-tier lockers in yoga studios, as students don’t need a lot of space since yoga practice does not require a lot of personal kit.
Popular in fitness studios 2-tier lockers provide adequate space for two gym members per row. Most of them are 3-6 feet tall, and you’ll find them in fitness establishments where members train rigorously throughout the entire day. 2-tier lockers are also uncommon in yoga studios.
The most popular choice for yoga studios, 3-tier lockers are found in every yoga studio that has a locker room. Dance studios also use them, and dance studios have similar class structures to yoga studios, with people showing up for 3-5 classes a day. They have three lockers per row, and they are the most affordable of all lockers.
The following are the main benefits of 3-tier lockers:
- Storage space. The lockers offer ample storage space. Despite being the smallest in class, they tend to provide enough space to store five yoga mats per locker.
- Durable materials. Durable metal that can withstand heavy pressure makes up these lockers. The typical locker will last you at least 20 years, and you only have to do a bit of sanding if it catches rust to keep it in perfect shape.
- Easy assembly. Most lockers come pre-assembled, and you only have to line them up against each other. You don’t need to know anything about home improvement or tools to install these lockers.
Do Yoga Studios Need Showers?
Installing showers in a yoga studio locker room is a luxury. You should only do it if you have the necessary space, capital, and legal representation to acquire the required permits.
In cities like NYC, obtaining permits for showers can take up to 12 months. However, showers are still a feature your clients will appreciate even if they only spend an hour per day in your studio.
On average, you’ll need 1-2 showers per 40-50 students. Your students will rarely use the showers, and multiple students can take showers at the same time. You can install the cheapest showers for as little as $1,000. If you opt for expensive glass showers, you might shell out up to $6,000 for a single shower.
How Much Space Do You Need for Showers?
The ACSM recommends providing a minimum of 10 square feet per shower, and optimally each shower should have 20 square feet to be considered comfortable.
Also, women require more showers than men on average. If your studio is female-only, the average requirement for a 50-person class increases to 3 showers instead of 2 showers.
Design your locker room and showers based on the maximum attendance you expect. If you expect 50 people to show up during your peak days, design the studio based on that number. Instead of installing only one shower, install two or three to be safe.
The same concept applies to lockers. It would help if you always prepared for the biggest crowd you’ll have.
Obtaining Permits for Showers
It is illegal to install showers without consulting the city council first.
Each city has building codes that dictate safety regulations in terms of installing showers. They have the power to approve or deny permits.
The purpose of these regulations is to ensure that all buildings follow safety standards. Every time you remodel or add showers, you’ll have to consult with the city council for a permit.
Example: If you want to add a shower to an NYC yoga studio, you’d have to file for permits at the PCE and the NY Board of Standards and Appeals. The timeline for each application in the city is 6-9 months, with no guarantee of approval.
Consult a real estate law firm if you own a large yoga studio. The law firm will handle all your paperwork and make sure you get the permits you need. Even if lawyers are expensive, they minimize the risk that the city council will reject your application.
If you open the studio in the wrong district, the city may automatically reject your application. They might deny it because fitness studios and yoga studios are only available in a few commercial areas.
In any case, the application has to be reviewed by the board and might be subject to a public hearing.
The lawyer will need access to the floor plans of your space, which includes locker rooms and other plans. If you are successful and the city grants you a permit, you’ll still need additional licenses if you later decide to install more showers.
Most cities issue permits on a single-location basis. If you get a permit for one location, this doesn’t mean the license extends to other yoga studio locations you own.
Locker and Shower Room Maintenance
Yoga studios require little maintenance, as yoga students tend to exercise moderately without sweating (except in summer months).
Although the maintenance tasks are minimal, there are some essential things you should do every so often.
Maintenance Task #1: Make It Easy for Students to Be Clean
Most students will take care of your locker room and showers if you give them a chance. Here are a few ways you can encourage hygienic habits:
- Purchase large trash cans and make them visible. If you’re bothered by litter all over the locker room, a trash can or two will fix this quickly.
- Add a counter for dirty laundry and a separate bin for dirty towels that belong to the studio. This counter should be right near the shower so that students can leave used towels there instead of throwing wet towels on the benches.
- Leave out antibacterial wipes or purchase a device that dispenses cleaning wipes. If the student spills something by accident, they’ll be able to clean it up using the wipes.
Maintenance Tip #2: Ventilate the Air
Odor is a significant issue in locker rooms, as students tend to spend time in the locker room after classes. It would help if you had ventilation to remove the smell.
The best way to avoid odor is to use a sound ventilation system or to place doors and windows in the locker room strategically. This way, you can open the windows to ventilate the air coming in.
To conclude, yoga studios should have showers and lockers. You should have one locker for each student present, and you should have two showers per 40-50 students. However, not having lockers and showers in a small yoga studio is perfectly normal. Also, showers will require you to obtain the right legal permits from the city.
NOTE: I have written an in-depth article on how you can grow and scale your yoga studio. I lay out step-by-step the strategies and tactics you can use to build your yoga business. Give it a read and let me know if it helped you with your yoga studio!
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About the author
Naz Ahm is the founder of StudioGrowth and has spent a decade growing start-ups and venture-backed companies. He writes about sales, marketing, and growth, especially in the fitness and wellness industry.
Naz has an MBA from IESE Business School and started his journey in the wellness industry when he set-up an on-demand wellness business. Naz currently resides in London, U.K.