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Emily, Wellness Studio Owner & Yoga Teacher

Yahra, Broadway

On the first news of lockdown.

Even though from the business point of view, we were worried about how this lockdown was going to affect us, we were more concerned for our clients. This was bigger than our business — this was life. I remember feeling clearly that this was scary; that this was serious. We had to change how we operated and how we worked. Our team of teachers were trying to manage their own fears, but still trying to hold a safe space for the students. When they come to the studio, this is an environment where they can escape from what was going on outside.

 

In the few days before lockdown, we had students who came in very fearful and very worried, in tears — feeling overwhelmed that they wanted to be here and yet felt that they also needed to leave. Social distancing was hard -- we wanted to comfort students but knew we weren't allowed to touch or hug them. Although I did worry about the business, which we only opened six months before the first lockdown, this was so huge that I felt we just had to go into survival mode. 

On staying connected during lockdown.

I can’t even remember how we heard of Zoom! There was some resistance about going online at first — both for teachers and students. It was a new thing for us! We had to adapt quickly so we can still continue to bring classes to our students.  It was just getting our heads around the technology, testing it out with teachers and reassuring them that it was all going to be okay. We didn’t want to let people down and we wanted to keep the connection with each other. The lack of control has been a challenge. We didn’t know when this was all going end so it felt like we didn't know where things were heading but we knew we just had to keep going. Being able to continue teaching online really helped as it gave everyone a sense of routine and structure, as well as maintaining that community, even if it's through the screen!

 

On leaving lockdown.

If things will suddenly change tomorrow, I’ll want to have the largest group yoga class! I just want to see groups of people together in the studio— finishing a class together and seeing people hug each other again. Being in the wellness industry, our priority and focus is the well-being of people. These online classes have kept everyone sane but I look forward to being able to open the studio, be with students and assist them in class-- even just being able to sit closer together on our mats. I want to have that sense of community back because that’s really what we are all about. 

To book yoga classes and beauty treatments at Yahra Studio, visit their website.