Bikram Yoga Nebraska-Omaha
Paddy (Patricia) McGowan, owner and director of Bikram Yoga Nebraska-Omaha, says that without the assistance of the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC), “I would not have been able to open my business.”
A client of NBDC since 2011, McGowan obtained a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan in 2013 to open her yoga studio. She was guided in launching her business by Aretha Boex, NBDC business consultant and lead center director.
“She helped me come up with a business plan and five-year projections in a very professional format,” McGowan says.
Most recently, Boex assisted McGowan in the refinancing of her SBA loan to improve her cash flows and continues to work with McGowan as she grows her customer base.
Bikram Yoga is a series of 26 postures selected and developed by Bikram Choudhury, founder of Bikram’s Yoga College of India. A hot yoga style that takes place for 90 minutes in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity of 40 percent, the 26 postures systematically address individual needs in the body while working together synergistically.
“It’s a workout,” McGowan says. “It’s designed for beginners, but it is challenging even for experienced students. You work your body, skin to bones; every cell, system and organ.”
Bikram Yoga is practiced under the guidance of a certified Bikram Yoga Teacher at an affiliated Bikram Yoga Studio. “Certification means you can go to an affiliated studio anywhere and get the same class sessions,” McGowan says. “We are the only official franchise in Nebraska or Iowa.”
McGowan says she had been teaching Bikram Yoga for about a decade, but had not earned the certification she needed for an affiliated studio. In the fall of 2012, she completed nine weeks of training in Los Angeles, where she learned the official way to teach Bikram Yoga. That was followed in 2013 by a 75-class, post-training internship at studios in Chicago and Cincinnati.
“The internship was a valuable experience,” she says. “I learned exactly what I needed to open a studio requiring the heat and humidity necessary for the proper conditions for the practice.”
She also was able to work with a famous performer. “In Chicago, I got to give two private classes to Lady Gaga after she underwent hip surgery,” she says. “That was fun.”
McGowan opened her Omaha studio in November 2013.
“NBDC really helped me get started,” she says. “Aretha has been very knowledgeable. Without her and the NBDC, I would not have been able to open my business. I simply did not have the depth of the data and the tools they have.
“Relying on Aretha took so much pressure off of me,” McGowan says. “If you don’t take advantage of the resources they have, you have a much bigger risk of failing.”