It will be six months since we closed our studio doors to help fight the further spread of COVID-19. At the time, I honestly was looking forward to a few weeks off. I fully expected to be open again for the spring session. Nobody could have predicted what would follow in the months ahead.
So here we are now, September 2020 and we are preparing to open our doors again. And to be honest, I am not sure how I feel. It is a mix of excitement and relief, combined with trepidation and a heavy responsibility.
When Oakville entered Stage 3 re-opening in June, I wasn’t ready to bring our community back indoors. It felt too early and still uncertain. My instincts pointed me in the direction to wait and watch a bit more. I wanted to observe how the re-opening affected other cities and yoga studios. From there, I felt I would be better equipped to create a plan that I was certain would work best for our CSY Community.
While we were closed, the on-demand video membership has been an excellent tool for many of our students, and they were a necessity for keeping the studio afloat while closed. Surprisingly, I have enjoyed the process and I still look forward to creating, filming, editing and releasing video classes each month. I particularly have enjoyed creating a video class as a result of a request from a student. This allows me to design a class specifically for someone in mind. It has been rewarding and helpful while the studio doors have been closed (the bills keep coming even if the doors are closed…bummer).
But as we move into the fall season, I knew we needed to create a few more options to accommodate all of our CSY students. I sent out a survey a couple of months ago so that I could get a sense of what our community wanted as support for their yoga practices. Interestingly, it was pretty evenly split. Roughly half of those who responded were ready to come back into the studio to practice together in a group situation. And the other half plan on staying home and continuing with the video classes till they felt more safe in public. I totally understand both points of view, which is why I am also torn about how I feel about opening up the studio again.
I feel the burden to keep our community safe, while at the same time understand the need and the benefits of rejoining community and resuming routines.
This has led me to creating a sort of hybrid in our classes and teaching for the next few months. So this is the plan…
We will be opening our studio doors for a few smaller closed “bubble” classes for those students who want to get back into the studio. We will be following all of the recommended safety precautions and it will be so good to see more faces. The CSY outdoor yoga classes have been amazing (we will continue with these Friday morning classes as long as the weather allows), so I am looking forward to being back in our lovely studio again and teaching in person!!
We will also expand our classes and finally will take the leap into the “Zoom” world. We will have an unlimited zoom class option for students who wish to join us live and online over the fall session. We will offer 7 weekly zoom classes and I am eager to try this out. I know it will be a super way of connecting with our students who are not ready to join us in person.
And finally, we will continue to create new on-demand class videos for our CSY on-demand members. I think option this is here to stay and they will probably expand at some point!
So, I am busy! Still many challenges to identify and tackle, a whole bunch of communicating and teaching to bring everyone in our community along with the changes, and time for me to lean on our CSY Community once again for inspiration, motivation and support.
Thank you for your continued support during these unprecedented times. Small businesses are vulnerable right now and I am very grateful for the support of our community. It has been my focus to keep the studio “here” for as long as I can…you have helped me do that! Sending you all my deepest gratitude.