Today marks 1 year since we closed The Bindu yoga studio, for what we thought was going to be a couple of weeks. However, just a few months later, we closed for good. We were another casualty of Covid-19, like so many other studios, restaurants, and small businesses, nationally and globally.
This is the second time in recent years that a community I relied upon ceased to exist through no fault of its own. It’s almost cliché but so apropos – you truly don’t realize what you have until it’s gone. In this case, the studio was home to more than 3,000 who practiced yoga; some regularly and some, not-so-much. But it didn’t matter. Everyone was welcome, any time.
What I Miss Most
While I occasionally see a friend or two from the studio while walking in the area, or get a text or email from someone, it’s hardly the same. I miss the comfort of familiar smiles (sans masks) and the anticipation of getting to know someone behind a new smile. I miss the strong hugs that were de rigueur before classes. I miss how the initial activity of everyone arriving, gave way to quiet and calm. I miss the stalwart support we gave each other when it was needed most. I miss being surrounded by people who believed in the power of yoga to improve strength and suppleness; unite and melt away differences; and foster kindness and compassion for others and ourselves.
I also miss our sacred space. I walked by the studio just yesterday, and after a few months of being empty, it appears someone has moved in. I couldn’t tell if the walls were still mint green or if the mandala still existed on the back wall. I did notice that the outline of the word “yoga” emblazoned over the front door for more than 6 years, continues to fade, along with any indication that a community once gathered there.
On Being a Studio Owner
As studio owner, it’s never all roses, chants, and incense. There were plenty of issues that went along with running yoga studio, just like any business. But it was a labor of love for all of those involved (how I miss you all!) and in the rearview mirror, those problems seem insignificant compared to the spiritual and physical lift I enjoyed from my yoga community.
And Now . . .
Yoga, like so many things, has become a virtual experience. And I’ve stayed away, choosing to practice on my own. I still feel hesitant to join the classes that our teachers lead online. I’m not sure what’s underlying my hesitancy, but in these moments, I know I feel more at peace on my own. And for now, that will have to do.