Yoga Studio During Covid
Rewind back to March 17 when we decided to close our doors for what we thought would be until the end of the month due to Covid. Growing up in Florida, it felt like we were preparing for a hurricane. Toilet paper was the new currency in March.
Three days later, we received a letter from the state mandating that all health studios must close until May 8th, unless the Executive Order was extended. Now this is a hurricane that simply will not leave. I personally do not remember those months at all. The studio was closed, questions were being asked that I didn’t have the answer to or I was asking myself. Everything felt like a dream, and still does. To think that the whole world is affected by Covid-19 in some form or another. We are all feeling the uncertainty, the fear, the confusion, the sadness, the anger, the anxiety, even indifference at one point or another. The keyword there is “WE”. WE as a whole are going through this and WE as a whole will get through this time together.
Alright, we are closed …. Now what? One of the goals of the studio for the last FIVE years was to create online content. On one of the last days the studio was open, one of our amazing students approached us about recording some classes to post online. This was the start to creating our online studio. Huge shoutout to Jessica Taylor for recording our first three classes. Another one of our students mentioned we should try ZOOM to host live classes from home in the meantime. On March 26, we launched our online studio. With the help of our amazing Yogi Perogi teachers, they were teaching from home via zoom and we were busy recording classes as well. Koah, Brittney and myself recorded videos using our PHONES. We edited the videos using our PHONES. I cannot mention to you how many times we would record and realize the phone ran out of memory, or someone called and it stopped recording. Then we had to learn how to convert it so we could upload it. Frustration is an understatement. I decided to invest in a video camera and then learned how to edit videos via trial and error.
During this time, we became heavily reliant on ZOOM as we hosted classes and teacher training. One of our teacher trainings took place during the week and was a perfect distraction to current events. Koah and I were able to share something that we are both passionate about and that is educating others about the philosophy of yoga, the practice, the history, the anatomy, etc.
Too add to that, there was/is something about teaching at home and taking classes via a screen. I know an adjustment for myself and our teachers was that we went from teaching, to teaching and practicing while teaching. We found we had to practice so you could see what we were doing. Not only that, we are trying to look at a screen to see if you are facing the right way, how is your alignment, can you hear us, are you laughing at our corny jokes? We also got to know you a little better as we were able to talk with each of you a little more before and even after classes. We got to know your pets, your children, your families, and even get some home decor ideas 😉 We also are able to practice with people around the world! During a time that we were confined to our homes, we were still able to feel deeply connected. We really do have a great community and personally I am so grateful for the friends I have made in this community.
Fast forward to May 8, the executive order mandating health studios closure was extended until an undisclosed date. That day was June 12.
Now that we were opening, that didn’t mean things were going back to “normal”. We made sure that we were and are following CDC guidelines of 50% in studio capacity, spacing 6 feet apart, pre-registration required and of course cleaning in between classes even more diligently than before. We are also requiring masks anytime you are not on your mat. Once we opened, we had to figure out how to live stream our classes while teaching to students in studio. We have headphones so that we can have music while teaching for those in the studio and so that those online can hear us better. We also are pretty much stationary on the mat so that those online can see us and I even wear contacts now so that I can see the two-inch squares on the ipad from my mat 😉
We are now just over 5 months since the studio first closed and we are still slowly introducing classes in the studio and continue to add online pre-recorded classes. I cannot believe we have over 85 classes that have been recorded from 10 of our amazing instructors so far. There have been ups and downs with anything, but one thing is for sure; the power of community is more prevalent than ever. There is no reason to focus on what “normal” used to be, there is no reason to focus on the what-ifs to come, we must be there for one another NOW. When you find yourself getting overwhelmed, stop, pause and reflect.
I never thought that I would have said the following in regards to the studio:
- We were zoom bombed
- Miss Daisy (Koah’s pup) used the bathroom behind her in a live meditation class- Good thing everyone’s eyes were closed
- Going to classes where we used to say please place your mat one finger apart to now being stationed 6 feet apart
- You can hop on a class virtually from home or practice with us on one of our recordings
- Host an ONLINE YOGA Retreat
These current events more than ever remind us that the only thing constant in life is change itself. I truly am thankful for my family, friends, students that have become friends as it makes difficult times that much easier. See you online or in-studio 🙂