Letter from Rachel regarding studio closure

Dear Homegrown Yogis,

I write this email after more deliberation, prayer, sleepless nights, meditation and chaturangas than you can imagine.  Many of you appreciate and have reached out to me about all the different factors that go into determining plans during times like these.  Paramount is the health and wellness of our team and all of you. And then there’s concerns about how to keep a business alive when we can’t bring in money. There are questions about whether to take classes online and if so, how that is best executed.  

And yet what has kept me in limbo about writing this letter isn’t just those factors above.  What’s kept me in limbo is the fact that you’re my family, and I want my family with me when things are crazy and scary.  Whether you know it or not, you’ve seen me through my toughest days and you’ve been beside me for my best ones. I’ve walked into the studio with tears in my eyes from a terrible day and I’ve walked out laughing about it all.  And I know I’m not alone in feeling like this. Our teachers tell me the same thing, and I always get these amazing messages from all of you that don’t just say our yoga classes are wonderful but say that our community means something to you.

When the idea of moving yoga classes online was first being discussed, it felt like such an incomplete replacement to me.  Yes, you can still get on your mat and stretch and breathe and that’s beautiful and important and will help us get through this time.  But what about the countless other reasons a yoga studio is important to people?   What about the conversations and the laughing and the relationships?  It seems to me that as much as this crisis calls for social distancing in our physical bodies, it mandates a connection to each other at a deeper level.  I worry if that isn’t maintained during this time, our problems will extend beyond struggling businesses and unhealthy bodies to widespread loneliness, fear and disconnection.

And yet today I write this letter with a sense of hopefulness and excitement because I think our team is up to creating something really transformational.  Beginning Wednesday, March 18th and extending to Wednesday, March 25th (and potentially beyond) we are so excited to welcome you to “Homegrown at Home.” Our main hub will be the Homegrown Yoga Facebook page and we will also be sharing information on our Instagram page.  Homegrown at Home will feature one daily hour-long yoga practice that can be done live or any time you would like. Beyond yoga classes, though, we will be sharing a daily journaling prompt, links to some of our favorite readings, fun exercises to do at home, and conversation starters to get people using social media to really connect.  Our goal for this program is to facilitate us getting to know each other (and ourselves!) on a deeper level during this time.

Here are the logistics on how all of our scheduling will work!  

The City of Perry has closed the Perry Arts Center effective immediately and has not provided us with a date for a potential reopening.  Because of that, all we can tell you is that Perry classes are cancelled and we will let you know as soon as we know more!  In Warner Robins, we have more of a timeline.  All Monday evening classes (3/16) will run as scheduled. Tomorrow (3/17) we will offer 3 classes – Vinyasa Flow at 5:30am, Slow Deep Stretch at 9:30am and Hot Power Flow at 7pm.  We will then be closed from 3/17 -3/25.  By 3/24 we will make an announcement on whether or not we will return to our regular class schedule on 3/26.  No decisions have been made about teacher training – we will have that finalized by mid week.

“Homegrown at Home” will officially launch on Wednesday, March 18th.  Everyone with a facebook account will be able to access all videos and resources free of charge beginning that day.  

For those with 5 and 10 class cards… the expiration on those class cards will be extended for an additional month.

If you currently have a single month of unlimited yoga or are on our New Student Special… we will extend that for the length of our closing PLUS one additional week as a bonus for your kindness and understanding!  That means if you are currently on a single month of unlimited yoga and we close for one week, you will receive two weeks added on once we reopen. If we are closed for two weeks, you will receive three weeks and so on.  

If you are currently on our autopay plans, we want to provide you with two options:

First, we can freeze your account (meaning no further payments will be withdrawn until we are back up and running).  If you would like to freeze your account, please email me at homegrownyogawr@gmail.com and I will take care of that for you.  Your account will be reactivated once the studio resumes classes so please make sure to specify whether you want it to be reactivated with the reopening of Warner Robins or Perry since the timelines may be different.  

Second, you can choose to keep your account active and continue to make your payments on schedule.  If you choose this option, you will receive the amount of missed time PLUS two additional weeks as a bonus to be tacked onto the end of your contract free of charge.  That means if you are currently on our autopay and we close for one week, you will receive three free weeks added on to the end of your contract. If we are closed for two weeks, you will receive one month and so on.  You will also be invited to a serious celebratory shindig once this all passes over with complimentary yoga and alllll the treats and bubbly. =)  

If you do choose to continue your autopay membership, I want you to know where your money is being spent.  It is being spent to execute our “Homegrown from Home” initiative.  Each of our teachers and staff who participates in creating content for us will be paid for her time.  Your money will also go to paying our teachers who rely on teaching income to support themselves and their families. Any of our teachers and staff are able to get paid their regular weekly pay even when the studio is closed – no questions asked.  Finally, your money goes towards those things like rent and insurance and software that even when closed must be paid and that guarantees when all this passes (which I know it will) will allow us to reopen our doors and reclaim our community – stronger and more connected than ever.

I know this is a lot of information (believe me, I know!) so please reach out at any time via email at homegrownyogawr@gmail.com or on our studio line at 478.297.4023.  I will have that phone with me all the time!  

On top of everything, I want you to know that I am so so grateful to each of you and am holding you all in my heart during this time.  I have always said that I have the best job in the world, and I still mean it… even now!   Look for me, and all of your favorite Homegrown teachers, coming to you on video soon!  We promise it to be entertaining at the least – insightful at the best =)  

With all my love,

Rachel 


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