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The Maitri Collective - a space for freelance teachers

  • by Claire Ferry - Jan 29, 2020

I'm writing this short piece in response to some of the questions we're often asked at Maitri Studio.

People write to us on and via facebook, instagram or twitter, or call our landline. We encourage this as a central means to get in touch, because we do understand we may be more confusing than other centrally run studios, and because we like to hear from you!

Room hire, not studio membership

All the teachers, therapists and facilitators at Maitri Studio are freelance, running their own sole trader businesses. Maitri Studio provides a simple service of renting rooms out, and a certain amount of showcasing via our website or social media feeds. The exceptions are the Iyengar classes and workshops*, for which we take class payments and do all the organising, paying the teachers for their class cover.

What are the advantages to this?

Most other studios take all their bookings centrally and pay the teachers and facilitators. That may be simpler for the customer, and perhaps also for the studio in many cases. However, we feel that our model gives us several advantages:

  • we're pretty flexible, able to respond to instructors' requests for scheduling and understanding the realities of needing breaks
  • we are able to provide an interesting diversity of classes and events, with huge choice for you under one roof
  • we can support new and part-time teachers (who all need to start somewhere, we know!)...
  • ...while also being a venue for experienced and established instructors
  • we feel we all benefit by providing a mutually supportive space for instructors, who can learn from and help each other through peer-sharing, support and advice as well as teaching cover - it can be tricky when you're self-employed to find those connections

Who should you contact?

For most classes, workshops and events here, it is usually quickest for you to contact the teacher directly, as they will be able to answer your questions about class content, booking and payment. Teachers with regular classes or therapies at Maitri Studio are all listed online here.

Booking classes or events

All teachers set their own prices and have different ways to pay - some use Eventbrite or PayPal, others prefer a bank transfer, and many will take cash on the day if pre-booking is not required. We will say this on the instructor's page (link above) or on the event page under our events listings.

Responsibilities & values

We have an agreed set of values to which all instructors using Maitri Studio sign up:

  • We care about everyone we work with, offering kindness and friendship
  • We endeavour to do our best, through a grounded commitment to our practice and a thoughtful approach to what we offer
  • We are enthusiastic about what we do because we love it, and we offer that encouragement and inspiration to others
  • We are honest about what we can and cannot do, what we offer, and when we have not delivered as well as we would have liked, because we have experience and monitor what we do
  • We aim to be inclusive, so that classes and events are open to a wide range of people

There is a level of trust, for example our teachers trust us to act responsibly, schedule classes, have an up-to-date website, and to share fairly on social media. Likewise we trust teachers to represent Maitri Studio well and to teach and practice responsibly. The teachers and therapists are required to have their own insurance for their teaching provision and be suitably qualified, which we check, and Maitri Studio has the requisite studio insurance.

Maitri's Mission

So overall, we hope this approach means we can achieve our main goal to offer a range of good quality yoga teaching and other classes:

  • in a warm, welcoming and calm environment;
  • across various times and days of the week;
  • open to all physically (location in Belfast, physical disabilities), socially (irrespective of background, gender, sexual orientation etc.) and financially (variety of payment options/prices);
  • contributing to wellbeing in East Belfast and beyond;
  • and with a focus on becoming a centre of excellence for Iyengar yoga in Northern Ireland.

Thank you for being part of it!

Do tell us about your experiences with us, we love to hear from you and report back to the teachers and therapists.

With love, Maitri Studio

*apart from Rachel's Monday classes

Contact Us

Maitri Studio Limited
4 The Mount, Belfast, BT5 4NA

Tel: +44 (0)28 9099 2428

Company number: NI635546