What have you learned during quarantine?
I have been thinking a lot about this question and have come to realize this experience has not only been life changing but an amazing opportunity for growth, self care and time spent with loved ones creating memories we may have not had otherwise.
When I first heard the news that local yoga studios were closing temporarily I instantly felt a sense of urgency and knew if I wanted to remain connected to the community I was so proud to be a part of I had to get things rolling - and rolling FAST! For several years I had talked about building a YouTube channel in addition to growing myself outside of Ohio. The one thing that was stopping me was fear and doubt in myself. I knew I was going to have to get over this and step outside of my comfort zone if I was going to have any success in building an online yoga business, independently of the studios I was teaching at before COVID-19 hit. I was fortunate that my YouTube channel was ready to go and all I needed was my confidence to deliver what I know so many people need right now, yoga, breath and meditation. Week one, I started with a few YouTube Live classes and slowly but surely got more comfortable being in front of the camera - and in front of the camera live! I loved how I could teach these and be real and authentic and the classes would automatically save to my channel so that I could build some content. The feedback was really positive which helped to build my comfort and confidence up. The one thing I felt that was missing was connection with another person - I was kind of getting it with the messages I was receiving, but there was lack of interaction that I was craving. The following week I started offering live classes via online conferencing and that was a game changer. It took a little time to find a balance between practicing/teaching and coaching people. The more people I could see I was able to make the practice more personalized, and adjust based on what I was actually seeing. I was finally able to connect.
The next thing I needed to learn was the ins and outs of YouTube (and there are so many), creating free events directly on my website, and getting more comfortable sending weekly e-blasts. All things I had been saying I wanted to do and never did. The response I was getting was incredible. The support has been nothing like I could have imagined and I see hard work paying off. The more I offer the more opportunities I have to learn about technology (the really nerdy back end stuff) and how to grow my business online as the situation continues to keep us in our homes. I feel grateful to be able to stay connected with everyone who I normally see in classes and am honored you have put your trust in me to bring you quality classes online. I've also had to figure out the best way to continue moving through Yoga Teacher Training since we were in the middle of the program when this all occurred. After adjusting hours to be shorter and a bit more spread out, we found the perfect balance to move our programming online - and they graduate next weekend!
In addition to all the yoga stuff I teach, I've learned through my own personal practice of yoga and meditation over the past couple months what I really need to survive - not want to survive. Every time I step on my mat or get on a call with someone I realize more and more how grateful I am for my health, family, friendships and the little things. I realize I don't need much to survive and just by having good people, nourishment, a roof over my head and wifi (sad but true) I think we will be fine. I have a new appreciation for the relationships I've built in the yoga studio, online and in person over the years and am grateful for each and everyone of you. Every person I connect with and stay connected with brings something special into my life and I hope that I do the same for you.
Thank you again from the bottom of my heart. These are lifelong lessons in bring present, connected and appreciating the things we sometimes take for granted. I know after this experience I am walking away a stronger, more present, grounded and confident person not only because of my own self work, but because of you.