I often get asked, “how did you come up with blue door?” Thank you for asking, and, oh, how I love to tell this story. Strap in, because it’s not a short answer 😊
When I was in my teacher training at Yogaworks in Mill Valley, I knew that I was going to open a yoga studio; I knew it with every fiber of my being. I was throwing around the idea of a Sanskrit name—because when you’re in the throes of teacher training, you want to be “authentic” with everything you do. I wanted to be an “authentic” yoga studio.
Yoga gave me a sense of balance. Being a pitta (one of the Ayurvedic doshas—don’t know what that is? Let’s talk), I tend to be an extremist. If a little is good, a lot is better. Yoga helps me find my center and feel more balanced in my body, in my crazy thoughts, in my emotions, in my energy output, etc. So, I thought I would name the studio balance in Sanskrit: Tola. Now, mind you, tola doesn’t roll off the tongue. And, you’ve probably seen other yoga companies that realized that it didn’t roll off the tongue and shifted it to Tula. Better, but still not perfect.
I told Brian, my husband and blue door’s not-so-silent business partner, of my Sanskrit name and he said, “I wouldn’t come to that studio.” I was shocked, and, I won’t lie, diheartened. I asked why. His response was, “I would feel like I need to dress a certain way, have been doing yoga and know what I’m doing. I would feel like I’m too much of beginner to be in that studio.” WOW. This is not what I was expecting, nor wanting. My philosophy was that the studio would be for everyone, and if the name was going to keep people from coming, then I had made a serious miscalculation.
So, back to the drawing board to come up with a new name. While we were thinking of names, I was working with one of my good friends, Doni, who is a marketing exec. She led me through a series of questions (5 in total, but each question unpacked about 10 more questions, much like a set of nesting dolls) that would help me identify the framework of my business. Basically, telling me if I had a viable business or not. One of the questions was, “What need will your business fill that hasn’t been filled?” The answer was offering unparalleled yoga while creating a safe, community space. Since I wanted to create a space that was safe, nurturing and supported community, the family and I started throwing around non-Sanskrit names that would fit the bill. Some of the names that polled well with focus groups were yoga nest and yoga tribe. I loved yoga nest (it captured everything that I wanted the studio to be), but do you know how many yoga nests are out there?!? Yoga tribe was also good, but I didn’t want to bring up any feelings about how the Native Americans were treated. Also, when my family moved to the Bay Area in 1977 and I would tell people that I was Indian, they would ask, “what tribe?” There just weren’t many East Indians here prior to Silicon Valley. Because of these 2 associations, I voted no on yoga tribe. So back to the drawing board.
We decided to change tacks and go with a color. I said there has to be a color that doesn’t leave a bad taste in people’s mouths. I love orange, but it doesn’t roll off the tongue (do you see how I still managed to bring it into the studio?). I said, how about blue? Everyone likes some shade of blue, right? We started throwing around every name with blue in it. Ian, my middle son, came up with Blue Moon, which I loved, but said no to. There is a beer named Blue Moon, and I don’t want to be confused with that. Also, I didn’t want people to do yoga once in a blue moon. Then I thought of blue door. Everyone agreed that was a keeper. And, it covers all the points that I wanted to make:
*it connotes balance (the balancing between heaven, blue sky, and earth, ocean)
*you open the blue doors and are welcomed into a community
*you close the blue doors and you are cocooned and safe
After a very arduous 6 months, we came up with the perfect name. Welcome to blue door where you get traditional yoga for every body, find balance, and are part of a wonderful community.