Adapting In 2020 - The Evolving Breathe
In 2020, two major events have taken place in my life - the Covid pandemic ravished Breathe as we knew it, and...I became a Mommy. <3
They say that becoming a parent changes you - your priorities, your ability to follow your instinct, and your urge to protect your precious resources, and they’re right. But ask a woman who became a Mommy for the first time during Covid and she will have extra sensitive stories to share about adapting, making difficult decisions, and contending with the uncertainty of how safe the air we breathe is. While there is some silver lining in having been able to take time off from full time studio ownership and be with my daughter, I deeply value the presence of community and the sense of purpose I find in sharing my skills as a yoga instructor and bodywork therapist. So, as I have been sitting back a bit, as many of us have been, contemplating what’s most important, I continue to work on solutions for creating safe, fulfilling, and enjoyable offerings for the existing Breathe community and those craving togetherness, mindfulness, and movement.
The question becomes about what will be sustainable for me, my family, and Breathe?
What I can tell you is that I am not going anywhere.
- Throughout the fall and winter, I will continue providing a virtual class schedule that meets the needs of members and satisfies my authentic expression. I will also be continuing to offer bodywork sessions and sauna rental. This will be done in the safest way possible.
- I also will tell you that the physical Breathe space will be turned over to a new tenant. It is with a heavy heart that I made this decision but it is, at the end of the day, the wisest and most practical decision to make. I just couldn’t see myself offering in person classes for another whole year and it didn’t make sense to hang on for such a long unknown amount of time.
- I will remain in the same building with a great office that’s already been rearranged and just needs some final touches. If you are looking for safe and effective bodywork, or want to book a private sauna session, reach out to me. We have to take care of ourselves and each other in these times and I am glad to be a resource for you.
Global pandemics aside, studio ownership is not a business one gets into to make money. I know that. I never expected to become wealthy and ‘selfless service’ remains one of the main tenets of my life and business motto. However, in order to continue investing time and energy into a professional pursuit, especially with a small child at home, it needs to be financially and energetically sustainable.
In the past, I have made great efforts to create small group offerings that include individual attention but require very low commitment, provide flexibility, and accommodating options where people can drop into classes here and there, create and cancel reservations willy nilly, and purchase class passes at a discounted rate that they were given up to a year to use. The intention for doing so was to attract people who were new to yoga, have busy lifestyles, and provide value in an all inclusive membership. What this means for a small business like mine is that there is a lot of up front administrative work that needs to be done before there is any guarantee whatsoever that people will invest and that I will see a return. I have hired and sometimes trained instructors and offer them contractual pay for classes that may not have attendance. All the while, having a beautiful brick and mortar location for our community to gather in means that regardless of revenue, there is a significant responsibility that involves money, time, and energy.
And it is MY PLEASURE, truly.
That said, if I’m being real and honest here - the current model for providing classes may be of much greater benefit to the dabbler, deal seeker, and excuse maker and not so much myself or my committed and loyal students of yoga. And while I have found a number of deeply committed, loyal, and inspiring members to count on for their presence and support, it has not proven to provide the security necessary for a small business to survive and thrive.
So, I’ve decided to use this ‘down’ time to regroup, explore ideas, and determine a jumping off point from which to take a leap of faith. Here’s what I’ve got so far...
Moving forward you can expect the following changes:
- Fewer but more concentrated and quality services. Yoga, Bodywork, Sauna.
- Transitioning exclusively to series based classes and a membership model (no more passes or drop-ins for classes with the exception of outdoor yoga.)
- More opportunities to learn and explore the other limbs of yoga (besides the physical practice.)
- Continuous online content to keep you engaged and connected - both videos and files are available through the punchpass content library.
I admit that over the past several years I have made myself so busy that I lost touch with what feels most authentic and meaningful from the practice of yoga. This came from a drive that I never knew I had, and I am grateful for tapping into that, but it’s time to slow down and concentrate on what is going to have the biggest impact. My hope is that these changes will prove enriching for both myself and the community members who value yoga and wellness as a lifestyle.
Onward and Upward.
- Kristin *Manjula*
“Work Honestly, Meditate Everyday, Meet People without Fear, and Play.”
- Baba Hari Dass