When I arrived at Evolve Wellness Centre in South Kensington, I wasn’t sure I had the right time or day for the class I thought I was meant to take, or even whether or not the studio was open. The door was open, and there was a woman at the front desk who confirmed I had the right time, and Una’s class was about to start. It was 4pm, and while the class was due to start imminently, no one was in the studio, or in the ladies changing room, or in the ladies toilets. However, there were two people sitting having tea on the sofa just outside the studio, so I opted to go in and set myself up in supta baddha konasana to relax. Fifteen minutes passed by, and I heard the woman at reception addressing the women on the sofas. “I’m sorry”, she said, “Una is running late, but she’s on her way. If you don’t want to wait we will refund your money and comp you a class, but she should be here soon”.
The two women entered the studio and discussed if they should stay or leave. All three of us were there at Evolve for the first time. When I learned of the time, I decided to leave. After all, I paid for parking only until 5:15pm, and without knowing when she would arrive I thought it wouldn’t leave much time for a practice. So in the end, without being comped a free class, I left.
The space itself as well as the woman working at the front desk seemed nice enough, but I didn’t get the sense it was a fully functioning yoga studio. It’s a pity, but having one off experience like this can fix one’s perception of a place, regardless of how lively and well-functioning it may be at other times of day. I have heard it is a nice place to practice, but in all honesty I probably won’t make the effort to return again anytime soon.
On reflection, it would have been appropriate for the receptionist to come in right at 4pm to inform us there was a delay. Waiting fifteen minutes to tell us we would have to wait longer was inconsiderate – I spent nearly an hour of my time and almost 20 pounds when all was said and done (childcare, parking) to leave without having actually gone to a yoga class. I was a little let down.
I don’t expect to hear from Evolve in the form of an email or telephone call about todays’s experience, even though I gave away all my personal information prior to taking the class on their consent form. My sense is that they aren’t really on top of things and no one is looking after the students to ensure they are satisfied. Hopefully I’m wrong, and Una was just having a bad day. It can happen to us all.
Looking forward to practicing with Graham tomorrow at the Life Centre, Notting Hill. I love Graham’s energy and his commitment to teaching and studying on an esoteric level. I only wish I could stay for the much anticipated ‘fire meditation’ that he promised. Sadly I will have to slip out to get to my class on time at Indaba Yoga Studio…4pm!