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Is the yoga studio here to stay?

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

I take time to listen to what my heart is telling me. I have had the past month to really reflect. My hearts desires are changing. I surrender deeply into my yoga practice to find the answers that are troubling my soul.

This past two years have been challenging. Living in a small community also has limitations and I am beginning to question how I offer yoga? I am becoming weary and my will power is feeling low on continuing to offer a brick & mortar yoga space. It has become not only challenging on me mentally but also it is becoming more financially a strain.

I also know that I am not in my thirties or fourties anymore, I am not old but I want to do less. I feel better when I have less on my plate. I am also beginning to see the beauty and simplicity of showing up at another beautiful space and loving teaching yoga with out all the worry. I have also found joy in teaching through online sessions, connecting with new yogi's from around the world.

I know that this may surprise many of you! I have passionately kept a yoga class of some form or another going for the past 9 years. When it first began there was so much excitement, my two daughters were also part of this journey. We had so many people enjoying the new studio offerings, because there had not been a regular yoga class with a beautiful space to experience.

It was pure joy..... until it wasn't. Rents triple, attendance drops and then our world is thrown into an unforeseen darkness that would isolate us and challenge our mental health more than ever before.

Now, yoga and how we teach has been pushed, pulled and tipped upside down again and again, over and over again through Covid-19 and ever changing public health orders. The simplicity of showing up to teach became ever more challenge.. from mask wearing, hand sanitisation, reduced sizes of class, the extra sanitisation of each yoga block, blanket, door knob and floor space. I have spent money putting in new flooring, new equipment to film online classes, having a beautiful patio to offer yoga in the summer months. I have had to turn people away from yoga who have come faithfully to yoga for the past nine years, because the vaccine mandate has brought so much division not only in the community around us... but also in the yoga space.

It is anxious times. When I called the Canadian Yoga Alliance to see what kind of support they can offer and if they can advocate on our behalf to help with the ongoing and sometimes ridiculous restrictions, there wasn't the answer I wanted to hear. “There was no point in advocating,”this person said. Even though in the past year they had lost over 500 memberships! That is right 500 memberships lost of studio and teachers who no long require insurance to teach yoga.

Yoga is meant to be calming and a place to go, maybe this even becomes your happy place. This has faded and replaced with ruling, fines if you get reported and messages from those who are not happy with the double vaccine mandate offering; unkind message. So I ask myself is all of this worth it? The world as we know yoga, is changing, it is not just me who has a change of heart.

My heart has been speaking to me. To be patient, to see how this next few months go, not to let go of my passion because challenge has begin to weigh on me so heavily. I am privileged to teach, to have a space that I can call my own but through all of this I do not feel supported. I do not write this to ask for you to feel sorry for me, or as a pity party for myself. I write this because it is a reality.

I am already feeling fatigued and the next session starts next week. Questioning if I can; afford to have extra teachers in the space, on top of the other expenses of heat, lighting, snow removal and the list goes on. I can not continue for another nine years to offer these teaching fuelled by only hopes and dreams, rainbows and unicorns, when maybe there is a new adventure waiting patiently to arise.

I am going to listen and take time to put all the pieces together. To take time to see what my heart is seeking for this next part of my life. My children are grown, I have beautiful grandchildren who are growing up so fast, my own mother is elderly and time seems to move so quickly but so slow at the same time. Time is precious. Before I make any sudden changes I will take time to reflect, not focus on this heavy feeling that hangs over me. Teaching yoga should be a joy! Maybe running a studio is not my calling at this time in my life? So many questions and it is time to bring in space to reflect and listen.

My heart is slowly teaching me to listen to the whispers that will show me the path that is right for me. Isn't this a new concept? What is right for Georgina? When I know, I will let you know. For now I will leave you with this poem of reflection by Rumi.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

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