Put Your Money Where Your Mat Is

How to support your local yoga studio while staying home

Experts and consumers agree: as a global community we need yoga now more than ever. But the peace, strength, and connection offered by in-person yoga classes will only be accessible in the future if you support your local independent studios and teachers today.

This is a call to action to anyone who has ever rolled up the mat after practice and felt that physical, mental, emotional, and energetic shift for the better. If yoga has made a difference in your life, act now and act locally.

Due to COVID-19, most yoga studios (like many other businesses) have been closed for in-person offerings for more than a month now. Across the country, the majority of studios will continue these closures for weeks, a month, or more. Fortunately, many have figured out a way to keep the community going by moving their classes online, but it’s far from easy and these independent business owners are taking a significant financial hit.

The support from my own community at Bloom has been incredible. Since the day we announced our in-person closure, clients have graciously offered to keep their memberships going or have bought gift cards as a show of support. Our wonderful students quickly adapted to the new online platform and have been devotedly showing up to connect with their favorite teachers and fellow students. And we’ve been overwhelmed by the hand-written letters and kind emails clients have sent to express gratitude for the peace and calm we’re offering folks in a difficult time.

I know we’re lucky at Bloom, and this is not the case for every independent teacher and studio.

Once we move beyond this pandemic, will yoga studios be able to reopen?

Will yoga teachers have places to teach?

Or will the financial hit of this crisis have forced them out of their passion profession?

You, committed practitioners, are the answer to all of these questions. And if you don’t act now in support of your favorite yoga studios and teachers, they may not be there to guide you through breath, movement, rest, and renewal when this health crisis subsides.

It goes without saying that some individuals have faced their own economic hardships; if you are not in a position to contribute financially, supportive words shared with your dear teachers and studios will go a long way. You may also want to explore the free community classes and donation-based offerings many studios are providing right now to enable greater access.

Those who have financial stability themselves, I implore you – show your support locally today. If your favorite teacher or studio is offering online yoga, subscribe there first before exploring the larger (and less personal) online platforms. Maintain the connection you have with your favorite teachers so you can continue that relationship when in-person classes resume. Otherwise, buy a gift card, reload your class package, or just ask how you can help.

Our access to health and well-being in the coming months depends on it.

Kerry Maiorca is the founder of Bloom Yoga Studio, a successful independent community offering health and well-being in Chicago for 15 years and counting. She is also the chair of the board for Yoga Alliance. Learn more about Kerry’s teaching, writing, and recent webinar and podcast appearances at KerryMaiorca.com.

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