ALIGN is a step-
by-step plan for
yoga studio
owners who
want to live
their values of
and inclusion.

This 6-month exclusive
mentorship intensive is
for a small group of dedicated
studio owners. 
By application only.

ALIGN is a step-
by-step plan for
yoga studio
owners who
want to live
their values of
and inclusion.

This 6-month exclusive
mentorship intensive is
for a small group of dedicated
studio owners. 
By application only.

If you’ve been troubled and frustrated by the lack of diversity in your studio, but aren’t really sure what to do about it, I have one thing to say to you: You’re not alone.

I have coached hundreds of yoga teachers and studio owners throughout the years and I hear the same things over and over. Things like…

“I tried having a class or workshop for folks in larger bodies / disabled folks / people of color / beginners, but no one showed up.”

“I get so nervous when I see a student in a larger body, someone with a disability, or someone who’s injured come into the studio. I am afraid my facility and teachers won’t be able to accommodate them.”

“I tried to do some things to increase diversity, but I got called out for doing it wrong. I felt attacked and defeated and just didn’t try again.”

I know what this means for your business:

  • You want to make classes more affordable and accessible, but when no one shows up to workshops for “special populations” you’ve wasted time, money, and effort, and you’re not any closer to paying your business expenses.
  • Students who are underserved and underrepresented in the yoga world probably leave classes thinking, “I can’t do yoga,” and don’t return, which means there’s a whole market demographic you can’t reach.
  • When you get shut down and called out for “doing it wrong” it means you feel irritated, embarrassed, and hopeless and your classes remain homogenous with a lack of diverse representation.

I want you to know that you are not the only yoga studio owner struggling with these issues. It’s an industry-wide problem. I remember when I went to my first yoga classes more than 15 years ago as a beginner student in a plus-size body. Teachers ignored me or didn’t know what to do with me. Then when I took teacher training, I understood why. We simply weren’t taught how to facilitate the yoga practice for folks in larger bodies, older folks, disabled folks, or people dealing with injuries or pain.

And that’s just the physical part of the practice. If you’re a studio owner running a community space, you know that there are other identities you need to honor, including race, nationality, gender, socioeconomic status, and so on, but maybe you have no idea where to start.

And as you well know, there’s no manual for running a profitable yoga studio that’s also diverse and mission-driven. Creating a community space where all are welcome and accommodated seems opaque and difficult. 

And so I’ve spent the last 10 years working with yoga teachers and studio owners to help fix these problems and truly make yoga available to all who wish to practice. I’ve got the keys and clarity you need.

I want you to know that it’s totally possible to transform your yoga studio into a diverse and welcoming community that feels like a safe, soft place to land for every single human that comes through your door. 

If you’re reading all this thinking, “OMG how did she read my mind?” I’ve got really good news for you.

There are some simple mindset changes, tools, and practices you can use to go from a stressed out, anxious, confused, and frustrated yoga studio owner to one with full classes, loyal students who are thrilled to bring their friends, and a true community space that feels like home to the folks who practice there.

If you’re ready, I’ve got the roadmap. Let’s go.

ALIGN is a six month, exclusive coaching and mastermind program that teaches you step by step how to makeover your yoga studio into a space that feels welcoming and safe for everyone who comes through the door. If you are ready to walk the talk when it comes to diversity, inclusion, and accessibility, this is the roadmap you’ve been looking for.

I’m going to teach you exactly what you need to do so that you can impact more lives and make more money without burning out. I’m going to give you the knowledge and tools you need to assess and plan for your studio’s new role in the community as THE place where folks feel most welcome, and how to sustain that success for many years to come.

No more spending time online trying to do research on how to fix your diversity problem, but not even knowing what to search.

No more wasting time and energy on classes or workshops for “special populations” where no one shows up.

No more wasting your money on courses or trainings that are about vague ways to “improve your business with a growth mindset” that don’t give you any practical, usable tools that actually work for yoga studios.

Her advice is extremely useful in building an inclusive yet effective business model

“Working with Amber has helped us in many ways. She has an amazing understanding of cultural and political issues within the yoga community, and she also understands how to run a business. It’s a great combination of skills that makes her support and advice extremely useful in building an inclusive and yet effective business model.

“In fact, I’ve never met anyone with that perfect combination of skills and abilities. Amber has helped to educate us around language use and issues of consent, as well as best practices for socially conscious marketing and communications. I have found her contributions to be invaluable.”

Jivana Heyman

Founder: Accessible Yoga, Santa Barbara, CA

Building a thriving, sustainable yoga studio isn’t a cushy job. With new studios popping up everywhere, competition is steep. Differentiating yourself is key if you want to be relevant in your community. If you feel a calling to make your studio more accessible and welcoming, I want you to imagine what this would feel like: 

You have a step-by-step plan for making sure you’re living your values when it comes to accessibility, diversity, and inclusion. You feel confident in your mission and purpose as a healing space for your community. You know exactly how to find the new students you want to reach, and the right way to communicate to them about your space. And you know that your studio is the one where people can’t wait to bring their friends.

You watch as your unique offerings–classes, workshops, and trainings–fill to capacity each time you offer them. And you’re bringing in new streams of revenue every single month so that your business can sustain itself financially and support the good work you’re doing. Most of all, you feel less anxiety about your business and get your mental energy back so that you can foster growth and new ideas. You’re running your business like a boss, rather than just hoping things go well.

When every decision you make is in alignment with your values of accessibility and inclusion, you’ll be able to watch your yoga studio transform into a community that feels welcoming to all.

When you know how to reach folks who currently don’t come to your studio, and your marketing reflects your values, your workshops, trainings, and other class offerings will be full and you’ll watch your business thrive as new revenue streams help support the good work you’re doing.

When you are confident in your purpose as a studio owner and a community builder, you’ll be able to reach more people with the life-changing practices of yoga. You’ll start a chain reaction in your community that will lead to reputation, respect, and loyalty.

Imagine that. See yourself doing it. How does that feel? How do you feel? Confident. Like a leader. Grateful for the ability to be of service to your yoga community. Unstoppable as a business owner in a difficult market. Fearless and self-assured that you can accommodate folks in larger bodies, people with disabilities, people of color, LGBTQ+ folks, and humans of all ages and backgrounds.  

Meet Your Mentor

I’m Amber Karnes. I’m a business owner, yoga teacher, teacher trainer, writer, activist, and mentor. I am a culture-shifter in yoga around things like accessibility, diverse representation, adaptive practice, unlearning cultural conditioning and challenging assumptions about marginalized folks, and yoga as a form of service.

I’m also a rarity in the yoga industry: I’m a fat woman and I’m a sought-after teacher and teacher trainer. I’ve become a well-known figure in the yoga industry despite encountering bias (and having the type of experiences that usually discourage students from trying the practice ever again). But as the founder of Body Positive Yoga, I’ve developed the keys to unlock this practice for folks just like me (and those students you feel like you can’t reach). 

Through my workshops, mentorship, and the trainings I lead like Yoga For All training and Accessible Yoga, I train teachers and studio owners how to create classes where all students can practice together regardless of physical ability, body size, race, gender, age, or background, and still have a cohesive experience of community. And I get called on regularly by organizations like Yoga Alliance and Yoga International as an expert in accessibility, diversity, and inclusion

A few other things you should know about me:

My superpower is seeing where you’re stuck, looking at the big picture, and then providing practical, doable steps to get you moving forward. Before I started teaching yoga full time, I had a 15-year career in marketing, content creation, project management, and design. I’ve worked at Fortune 500 companies, startups, non-profits, and I’ve been self-employed.

In my marketing career, I was the person you called when a project got stuck. I rather enjoy smashing through brick walls. And I want to work with you to help you build a thriving business that aligns with your values.

I am also a truthteller. I will not bullshit you or sugar-coat my insight. I also know that it feels awful to have good intentions and a big heart, but then get called out and publicly shamed to “do better”. I won’t do that. I know shame is not a motivational tool, so I will not badger you about your mistakes.

With me you can expect a clear, bold, and compassionate voice of guidance. You can expect accountability and support.

I am 100% sure that if you apply the mindset and tools I’m going to teach you, that you’ll be able to transform your yoga studio into a community that feels welcoming to all and a thriving business.

Over the course of six months together, I’m going to break down why you feel stuck with getting more diversity in your studio, what’s working and what’s not, and what to do moving forward.

I’m going to teach you how to define and truly connect with your mission as a community-builder and studio owner so that you don’t struggle with “walking the talk” when it comes to inclusion or accessibility.

Knowledge & Expertise in Marketing

“Amber Karnes is the definitive ally for body awareness and cultural understanding. I have had the enormous pleasure to work with Amber for four years, and her contributions to creating inclusive spaces based on size and diversity are unparalleled. Amber’s knowledge and expertise in digital marketing and organization is a bonus to her work as a trailblazer and culture shifter. It is an honour to know and work with Amber Karnes.”

Dianne Bondy

Founder: Yoga For All, Windsor, ON, Canada

Align mentorship intensive: Program details

In this 6-month mastermind, you’ll learn, collaborate and grow with other studio owners as you revamp your marketing to make an unforgettable first impression, you’ll learn how to recruit the right teachers who will help you reach the right people to grow your community, and you’ll have a slate of new offerings aligned with your values that will increase your revenue and make your business more viable.

Align begins June 2019 and concludes December 2019. Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

And if you’re still reading, you’re probably a person like me who wants every single detail first. Here you go:

Month 1: Align your mindset

Every single decision you make for your business—from the items in your retail area to the chairs in your seating area—matters. If you want to be a culture-shifter, you have to not only know your mission, values, and ideals, but connect with how you can live them every day and with every decision you make.

In the first month together, we’ll:

  • Examine a crucial mindset shift that will be key in knowing exactly what to do to stay aligned with your values
  • Learn about how you can identify “your lane” (and how to stay in it)
  • Discuss reducing harm for marginalized folks and why “inclusion” maybe isn’t the point
  • Learn how to tell if you’re offering authentic relationships or just tokenizing folks for their “diversity”
  • Examine internalized assumptions about people who are different than us, and learn some tools to practice radical compassion and connect to one another’s humanity

Month 2: Align your marketing

Your website and social media accounts are the only first impression you’ll get with most people. When folks who don’t fit the “Yoga Barbie” stereotype go looking for a studio home, I guarantee your website tells us everything we need to know about whether the space will be welcoming for us or not.

In the second month, we’ll:

  • Explore many aspects of marketing and the subtle but powerful shifts you can make to reflect the type of culture you want to build
  • Examine how systems of oppression, diet culture, and beauty standards map onto the yoga industry and the effect that has on our students
  • Discuss the power of language and how your website, class descriptions, flyers, and t-shirts can either make or break an experience for someone
  • Talk about why your current marketing plan isn’t reaching the people you want to reach, and how to get the word out about events in a way that actually works
  • You’ll also get access to a toolkit packed with resources: tips for photo shoots (or images that represent a wide range of bodies if you can’t do a shoot of your own), DIY website and design tools, “swipe copy” you can use for class descriptions, and more

Month 3: Align your community

When I ask folks who don’t fit the dominant identity in yoga what makes them feel welcome in a space, overwhelmingly the answer is, “When I see other teachers or students who look like me.” If your classes are all a sea of white, thin faces, let’s learn how to fix that.

In the third month, we’ll:

  • Talk about hiring teachers and where to find teachers that will be an asset to your mission
  • Explore where to find new students and how to expand your student base to folks who think “yoga studios are too intimidating”
  • Look at the absolute must-have’s when it comes to your teachers’ knowledge and training around modifying or adapting practice (you’ll get a slew of videos that you can share with them)
  • Explore the power of language for making folks feel safe when it comes to identity, including race, gender, body size, and ability
  • Discuss creating a culture of consent and making sure your studio is a trauma-informed space
  • Look at practical ways that we can each expand and grow beyond our own lived experience to connect and begin to understand folks who are different than us

Month 4: Align your space

Part of the joy of owning a studio is being to curate and cultivate the exact vision you have for your space. Placemaking is a crucial skill for any culture-shifter, and in month 4, we’ll explore the many facets of turning your 4 walls and a roof into a safe place for folks to land.

In the fourth month, we will:

  • Discuss how you can make intentional decisions to everything from location to decor to retail to the layout of the space that will get you closer to living your values
  • Explore how cultural appropriation can show up and what we can do to reduce harm as folks who are mostly not indigenous practitioners of these sacred practices
  • Explore “accessible space” with help of stories from the lived experiences of people who have encountered barriers (often, literally) to accessing yoga studios, and discover important and subtle shifts you can make to ensure your space is as accessible as it can be

Month 5: Align your offerings

Living your values of diversity and inclusion can change lives and turn your space into a true community. And this mission-driven work can also support and sustain your business financially.

In the fifth month, we’ll:

  • Discuss why having specialized classes, trainings, programs, and community events is not only crucial for making your studio accessible, but also for growing your business
  • Examine how to make your classes financially accessible in a way that builds trust with your community and doesn’t mean you have to make everything cheap
  • Talk about important shifts in mindset when it comes to yoga and money
  • Learn my tips for building a thriving studio including how to diversify your revenue streams to add value for your students and add income to your bottom line
  • Learn how building a sustainable business model isn’t something to feel guilty about and how it supports the culture shift as a whole
  • You’ll also get a list of my top recommended trainers and teachers (and their contact information) so you can invite them to present at your studio and make your offerings something people will drive hours to participate in.

Month 6: Align your momentum

In our final month together, we’ll talk about the future. As this mastermind wraps up:

  • You’ll have a step-by-step blueprint for making sure your studio is truly the welcoming, community space you envision it to be (and you’ll already be executing on that plan).
  • You’ll have a strategy for increasing your income through new initiatives and programs.

  • You’ll understand how to market your new offerings and newly-aligned space

  • You’ll get practical tools for self-assessment and gathering feedback, and know how to implement changes based on your community’s needs and desires

  • And you’ll feel confident and energized to move forward in a sustainable way


Her expertise has strengthened our organizational purpose

“Amber has offered dynamic expertise to our organization through body positive yoga trainings for our yoga instructors (Ambassadors), community programming centered around equity, and board leadership. Her coaching approach balances radical honesty, compassionate dialogue, and intentional action. Her expertise on the board has strengthened our organizational purpose and has been instrumental in our 3-year strategic planning process. Working with Amber is enriching and transformative. She is a game-changer!”

Nadia Gooray

Executive Director, Project Yoga Richmond, Richmond, VA

This experience is for a small group of dedicated yoga studio owners

If you’re really ready to build a thriving business that knows how to make folks feel welcome, safe, and supported, and if you feel aligned with the mission of this program, apply now.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I get each month? What's the format of this program?

Each month you’ll get:

  • Recorded video teachings on the month’s topics
  • A workbook with step-by-step instructions on how to assess, plan, and implement the different tools and strategies we’re learning that month
  • A toolkit of resources pertaining to that month’s focus (copy & paste marketing and website copy, tips on where to find diverse and accessible teachers, etc.)
  • A live group coaching call on Zoom (a videoconferencing program) where we will connect in community with one another, you’ll share where you could use some support, and you’ll get reflection and guidance from me and the rest of the folks in the mastermind. 
  • Support from me (and other studio owners in the program) via Glide (a video/photo/text walkie-talkie app) when you have questions or need to troubleshoot
  • All videos are captioned. Every audio recording has a transcript

You’ll also receive:

  • My list of experts to follow: yoga industry, activism, social justice, and more
  • Interviews with studio owners who know how to “make welcome” and are living in alignment with their values
When are the live calls?

The live calls are held roughly every 2 weeks on Wednesdays at 3pm Eastern / Noon Pacific time. We will meet on the following dates: 

  • June 12
  • June 26
  • July 10
  • July 24
  • August 7
  • August 21
  • September 4
  • September 25
  • October 2
  • October 16
  • October 30
  • November 13
What if I can't attend live calls?

No problem. When I designed this program, I anticipated that folks might not be able to make all the live calls. You’ll still get all the tools and learning you need through the pre-recorded and written content, even if you can’t join us live.

The calls will always be recorded so you can watch at your convenience. You’ll also have access to me and the other folks in our community through the Glide video chat walkie-talkie app.

I’ve had a hard time keeping up with courses in the past, what makes this one different?

We have monthly live calls throughout the 6 months of the program to connect with me, ask questions, and receive coaching. There’s plenty of space for connection and support from this group.

You’ll get personalized support between our monthly calls through Glide (a video/photo/text walkie talkie app) where your fellow studio owners (and I) can chime in on questions or help you troubleshoot.

Having the course spread out over 6 months like this gives you a chance to really implement the lessons in a sustainable way, rather than “drinking through a firehose” all at once, which can happen at in-person trainings or conferences. You’ll have time to work through the material and apply it to your business.

I’m here to support you in honoring your own rhythm and finding the pace that’s right for you. You’ll have access to all the content for a year after the program begins so you can take your time and still get incredible results.

I don’t own a yoga studio but I’m considering opening one, can I still join?

I only fill this program with folks who are 100% aligned to the program’s mission and who are ready to be change-makers in their business and local community. That being said, I’ll consider dedicated applicants who are in the planning stages of opening a studio. I’ll have additional questions for you during the interview process to make sure you are the right fit for this program.

I’m nervous about saying or doing the wrong thing. I’ve been called out in “social justice” circles before and it felt awful to be attacked.

Getting called out (especially publicly) sucks. I’m not going to do that to you.

It always feels bad to be misunderstood. It feels awful to be called out for something when we really didn’t mean it that way. It is discouraging and if we don’t get our minds right, an experience of being called out can make us turn away from the heart-centered work we know we are called to.

I know shame is not an effective motivational tool, so I’m not going to badger you about your missteps. You can expect clear guidance that is a balance of radical honesty, compassion, and intentional action.

And, here’s an important thing to know in this work: you are going to say and do the wrong thing. We all mess up. We all say or do things that are out of alignment with our values. Or we get called out because we had a good intention, but didn’t foresee the impact of our actions.

Developing resilience in difficult situations is one of the main purposes of this group. We are here specifically to learn and grow with one another while tackling topics that are delicate and sometimes hard to grapple with. Talking about race, disability, discrimination, power, privilege, accessibility, and money requires courage. It requires vulnerability. It requires strength.

It is my hope that as a conscious group of learners and wannabe-change-makers that we will be here to witness one another’s growth, to notice where the difficult conversations need to happen, to develop resilience and strength to sit in our discomfort, and to move forward with a clear mind, clear vision, and clear heart. This is the place to learn, to process your feelings with a supportive group, and to use this brave space to help you reduce harm to the marginalized people you’re in community with back at home.

Knowing that you’ll have courage and vulnerability even when you get called out is a muscle that’s worth strengthening. Let’s do that together.

My partner or business partner doesn’t get why I want to do this. What should I say to them?

Sometimes, financial decisions have to be made with a partner. I get that. 

This program is a financial investment. I am confident that if you put the tools and techniques I’m going to teach you into place, you will absolutely reap a return on that investment (and I have real numbers to back that statement up, that you’ll get when you apply).

Right now, you’re not serving a market that you could be serving. That means you’re not making as much money or having as much impact as you could.

When you invest in this program, you’re investing in:

  • A clear roadmap forward to live your values
  • Strategies for expanding your student base
  • Marketing know-how that will make an unforgettable first impression and reach the right people
  • Strategies for new specialized offerings to diversify your revenue streams
  • Less anxiety which means more clarity and mental energy you can use to grow your business

These are the things I’d suggest that you to share with your partner.

How do I enroll? What are the steps after I apply?

Step 1: Fill out the application which will help me decide whether you’re a good fit for this program.

Step 2: I’ll review your application and let you know whether I think you’re an ideal fit or not. You’ll receive a video in your email with more details about the program like what to expect, logistics like payment and tech that you’ll need before we start, and more. You can decide if you’d also like to book a 1:1 call with me after you watch the video and read the information I’ll send you.

Step 3: If you’re accepted into the program and decide to join us, you’ll receive an enrollment contract, community agreements for engagement, instructions for getting set up in your student portal and other tech spaces, and a link to make payment or initiate your payment plan.

How much does this program cost?

After you fill out the application, you’ll get a video message from me detailing things like cost, payment options, timelines, and more.

Do you have discounts or scholarships available?

I am committed to breaking down the gatekeeping that occurs in yoga-land, as well as increasing diversity and accessibility in the yoga community. As part of these commitments, two full scholarships are available to a community member facing financial limitations. Folks with marginalized identities (BIPOC, LGBTQ+, folks with disabilities, etc.) will be given priority consideration. If you plan to apply for a scholarship, you are encouraged to apply early, since applications are processed in the order they are received.

How many people will be in the program?

I’ll take a maximum of 12 studio owners.

I immediately saw the way it empowered students

“Amber Karnes is a gem in this industry because of the ways she is advocating for all bodies on the yoga mat. Her style of teaching and authentic perspectives completely shifted the way I taught and even practiced physical asana. My language, knowledge of modifications and ideas about making yoga accessible to everyone who came into my classes were expanded and I immediately saw the way it empowered students. I look forward to every opportunity to learn from Amber because it only enhances my understanding and practice.”

Kelley Carboni-Woods

Founder, Peace Filled Mama, Charlotte, NC

you can shift culture.

you don’t have to do it alone.

I want you to imagine yourself in January 2020. You’ve been intently working on transforming your yoga studio for 6 full months.

  • You are confident in your direction and the choices you need to make to keep your momentum strong.
  • You have a plan in place to bring in new folks at the first of the year, make sure they have a truly welcoming and safe experience, and turn them into loyal customers who can’t wait to bring their friends to your space.
  • You are getting rave reviews from the people who take your classes, your community, your teachers, and your staff.
  • You’re watching your bottom line increase as you also do good in the community.
  • You feel unstoppable and ready for whatever comes next.

ALIGN is not for everyone. It is not a quick fix type of program. It’s for committed business owners who are ready for major shifts and sustainable change. If you make this investment in yourself and your business, you absolutely can be the owner of a whole new studio by the beginning of next year, a thriving space that is completely aligned to your values.

If this offering is calling to you, fill out the application so I can determine if you’re a good fit for this program. It’s the first step toward feeling confident in your mission and purpose as the owner of a healing community space.

The deadline to apply is May 1, 2019.