Just B Yoga in-person post-pandemic trial opening?

I’ve been cleaning up at the studio - box garden and weeds really grow with a year of no tending. Dust really accumulates inside! The plan - and I use that term loosely - is to open this weekend for a trial run of classes.

Greetings to all the Just Beings out there.

Happy summer 2021, quasi-post-pandemic!

First, I want to thank everyone – EVERYONE – for all their support over this last year. From random donations, to participating  in online classes and private sessions, to speaking engagements and special events… I bow a deep bow of gratitude and respect.

Second, I want to apologize.

I need to apologize for my absence of clear communication.

Quite honestly, I’ve been frozen while in motion, if that makes sense.

I’ve kept things going in some sort of way with online adaptation and tried to provide what I could, while still making ends meet. 

But, while guiding you all to find your solid ground and authentic voice, I was muted in my own. I didn’t know what to say about what the next steps would be. I didn’t know how to answer when you wanted to know “when is the studio going back to normal?”

So here’s where I’ve been and where I am now.

Um, shutting down an operation that is built around groups of people gathering to practice movement, breath and inner peace, was hard.

It was jarring. And, it was stimulating. I think I lived on adrenalin alone for about three months. I was busy getting equipment and just trying to keep teaching in any way possible because of the great need people had to not be swallowed by fear and stress.

But I also had fear and stress – not just about livelihood, but the fear of contracting the disease and fear for family and friends. I had fear and stress about what I should be doing, how to stay healthy and sound, how to make money. And there was no instruction manual.

(Thanks to Paul Schmidt and others out there who helped me navigate the pivot.)

I kind of resigned to whatever was going to happen was going to happen.

Then it seemed this shutdown was more long-term as summer turned to fall. I was never eager to jump back to the studio when the fall and winter hit. So much surge of disease and death. Friends were getting sick. Friends were losing loved ones.  I almost lost loved ones.

I doubled down on developing how I was teaching virtually. I tried to be real about the connection between body and spirit and how we needed to feel authentically and stay grounded in this moment because we can’t control what’s outside of us and what has yet to happen. I tried to let that be what I was teaching in the chair poses and down dogs and pigeon poses.

I was blessed with students around the country signing up for private lessons and participating in the live streams.

I started developing more ideas for deeper programming – that could be online or in-person. 

As spring started to emerge this year and the numbers of Covid started going down with more vaccination, I think I just was waiting and seeing. I was accustomed to a big U-turn when it comes to Covid, so I wasn’t hasty with plans to re-open. But I also hadn’t really thought about what it would look like.

So here we are now. 

I’ve been cleaning up at the studio – box garden and weeds really grow with a year of no tending. Dust really accumulates inside! 

Red Cedar Birth moved out at the beginning of the pandemic so I’ve been cleaning that side and considering what to do with it.

The plan – and I use that term loosely – is to open this weekend for a trial run of classes.

  • Saturday – 10 a.m. Yoga Basics, 11:30 a.m. Empower Yoga
  • Sunday – 10:30 a.m. Chakra Yoga Flow

Class size limit 6. Masks, teacher will be masked. No vaccine passports needed. Bring your own mat. No use of blankets or bolsters. Bring your own water bottle.

Online livestream classes:

  • Morning Meditation and Yoga Class will resume the week of June 7 (times to be announced)
  • Private sessions ongoing
  • Tai Chi series will start June 12

What does the future hold?

I don’t know. (This has been the hardest thing to say to myself and to you all.)

We may want to find a new building that will allow for more students, more spaciously (gone are the days of the sardine pack).

I don’t foresee classes every day at the studio for a while, if ever. I know that may be sad and disappointing news to many of you, and for that I’m so sorry. 

I’m open to ideas for using our current facility, but also, willing to let it go acknowledging all the things that aren’t ideal – parking, privacy and quiet (upstairs neighbors).

Just B Yoga started in the Great Recession as a whimsical idea. What if we had a donation-based yoga studio? I didn’t have any other idea beyond that.

We’ve grown beyond my wildest dreams to all types of classes, workshops and trainings.

At that time I was a full-time career journalist who was also newly certified as an instructor and very starry-eyed when it comes to social action and responsibility.

I’m a little (OK, maybe a lot) older and a little (very little) wiser.

I learned I’m good at and kind of enjoy teaching via livestream.

I’m a tech nerd of sorts, albeit old school. I love being able to connect with people all over the country – tons of folks who used to live here and moved away, I get to see regularly with the click of a video camera!

I know the areas of work I want to continue to put my efforts toward – trauma and recovery, workshops and courses, speaking, and working one-on-one.

I’m not that good at or interested in creating a stable of teachers and managing them and growing a traditional studio. We’ve got more than enough of them and folks who are far better at it than I am.

I will keep practicing and teaching and growing. I will continue exploring and sharing just being and living life on purpose. I hope you will too.

Each and every student is precious to me, not only for your financial contributions that have sustained and grown our humble operation. But you are each proof that we can connect on levels beyond transaction. We can and wish to and NEED to live in purpose and connection with deeper meeting. The nature of our connection contributes to our health on a physical, social and spiritual level. That is what helps create a healthy community – the HOW of our connection. Being open and vulnerable and honest; supporting and asking for support; forgiving and accepting forgiveness.

I’ve been blessed to share practice with community leaders at the local level and higher ups. I’ve gotten to hold space with some of your deepest griefs and wounds. You’ve honored me sharing your blessings and triumphs. All of this on the mat and meditation and off the mat. The intersection is where it’s at anyway. That’s where the practice takes hold and gets juicy.

That’s what all these years have shown me – not just our wounds and limitations – but what makes us strong and meeting us where we are in that strength and encouraging it to grow.

I’m Belinda, practicing being just and just being.

Thank you. Namaste.

Hope to see you this weekend.

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