Nobody could have planned for this (although Bill Gates said in 2015 we should have; the documentary at the end of ‘28 days later’ said we should have 😉 ). I STILL BELIEVE this is Mother Nature speaking, reminding us we are interconnected.  Yoga studios globally have gone online. Hey! we only just got on Instagram a few weeks ago! (please follow us there if you are able). Not being ‘techy’ might be our downfall.  The technology/skills that some have is mind boggling  i.e. my mind? completely boggled now and if I think too much about all the techy stuff that we are NOT doing it will be boggled beyond repair!  Yoga Journal magazine wrote a sympathetic article (well I didn’t read it just saw the title) about ‘saving local yoga studios’ and 24 hours later created their own FREE daily yoga classes online! The hypocrisy is also mind blowing!  Then there are so many already online Yoga services abroad and local, SO MANY much more suited to and fluent in this way of delivering Yoga, Darren and I are not going to pretend we have a clue; we would not be any better, we don’t pretend we have anything more to offer, this is perhaps their time.  This was never our Yoga dream (I am sure many feel the same) and we are not fit to go up against the more polished models; if this is a test of ‘fitness’ for Yoga studio models then we are going to fail because the overwhelming sense I get from the Yoga world is that we are making a big mistake because we are not looking to ‘build’ or ‘draw new’ attention to our studio via online offerings right now; we just want to maintain and sustain and provide some sort of service to those of our Yogi familial that we miss and desperately want to keep the connect.

We closed our doors on 20th March.  THAT IS WHY we set up our private group ‘LOCK IN AT YOGA MATTERS’ … because we thought at some point this might be the only way we can keep our Yoga family ‘connect’ for a while. We know everything can change in a heartbeat. In Ireland when I was growing up ‘lock in’s used to occur in pubs after hours as it was deemed those hours transformed the event into a private party (I attended many, even tho’ underage).  In our little private ‘Lock In’ we will endeavour to not drone and keep our clips short (if nothing else they may be something to laugh at 😉 .  We know our home made little videos are amateurish but we hope you will find them practical (if not laughable).  They might take you away from the madness for a few minutes and help you stay grounded; we are CERTAIN there will be many glitches (the virtual equivalent of me not knowing my left from my right 😉 so in that respect it will be just like YM home). If you are ever thinking “what were they thinking that they could ever go online!” (yeah, we hear you) remember it is your page too! And YOU CAN DIRECT by asking questions, sharing relevant stuff e.g. how’s your practice going, ASKING US questions or to record something for you. Don’t forget Darren and I are qualified in disciplines beyond the Bikram method and that will probably show up in the lock in. We will be considering ‘THE KIDS’ and the content will be appropriate for them too!! The amateur clips are not like our blogs (‘Learn’ on our website), not like our Yoga Matters ‘page’ and not like ‘Darren Trisha Thomas’ profile. THIS IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT WORLD IN OUR LOCK IN. Remember! Just like in class where ‘whatever happens at YM stays in YM’, whatever happens in the ‘Lock In’ STAYS in the ‘Lock In’

In our little world WE DO NOT BELIEVE that we are depriving those unknown others who do not join our group; we are confident they have plenty Yoga related online services to choose from. We are acutely aware of theirs AND YOUR choices out there to broaden your Yoga experience (at the tip of your fingers).

As you know, at YM we are very risk averse; it is why we choose to teach the style we teach, why we teach the WAY we teach. We think the online offerings are probably fabulous but we haven’t even begun to get our heads around the ‘risk’ management element for our school’s practitioners; it could be just the way our brains work but what happens if a practitioner faints whilst they are at home practicing to our online offering? Also, what are the insurance requirements for such a thing; that is a big exercise exploring that one; waivers all that sort of thing; ironing out all these things so that we are happy/comfortable with it.  We are not going to pretend that Bikram Yoga isn’t best practiced in heat and we cannot take care of e.g. a new practitioner over a modem should they feel lightheaded even in the little heat that people might be able to generate in their own home.   If our pea brains can work out an easy way to do this/deliver online expertise so that you can have a decent home practice experience equal to what others might offer then we will do so.  I am writing this to help you understand where we are at if you think we are a bit slack because I am feeling the pressure of us apparently ‘not being all over this’; weirdly feel like we are working as hard as ever in lock down and not actually delivering anything of value.

As a ‘small business’ / ‘self employed’ here is where we are at the moment:  we have frozen our home mortgage repayments (we had to do this last year because of the wall so we are old hand at this); waiting to hear from our banker about a pause in business loan for premises (like a mortgage) repayments; really hoping to hear from them soon and hoping this will go smoothly. Happily we haven’t had ‘a run on YM’ with people looking for refunds; everyone seems content to freeze their credits for the duration; knowing they will be awaiting their and our return to studio.  Happily a few people have invested in some extra credits (for use when this is over) and this will cover the April repayment.  Other overheads/outgoings we will deal with on a case by case basis; juggle to see what we can keep on top of; hope that some companies will have procedures in place for deferring.  Obviously there is no money for salary; and I am expecting tomorrow to receive this new SS form by email for completion so that I can hopefully get 80% of April salary by end of April. Beverley Le Cuirot from Wellbeing World has been outstanding in her efforts to draw self-employed/small businesses together in an online group and deliver their questions/needs to SOJ in a comprehensive manner; as you can imagine (some of you will know if you are in that group); it is not cut and dried; the scenarios are diverse.  She is using skill sets and experience few of us possess and without her obvious generosity of spirit and doing what she is doing I imagine job of SOJ would be a lot harder (can you imagine the SOJ piecemeal collection of dire straits info via thousands of frustrated people). She is like a linchpin connecting our collective voices to the correct people at SOJ; we are grateful to her. Thank You Beverley.

‘LOCK IN AT YOGA MATTERS’ is a way to keep some form of Yoga routine in our lives because there is no doubt that the positive mental health benefits of Yoga practice are vast and your mental health is of primary importance right now; checking in with us in the ‘Lock In’ might help keep things on track; some semblance of a routine. WE KNOW you will be out and about exploring the online world of Yoga AND RIGHTLY SO!  WALK TALL ON YOUR PATH; We are working this out as we go along; please come along with us. We just also hope that when we get back to normal we will be with some of the same party people on Rue De Funchal.   In the mean time… There’s no place like home: Stay at home. Stay well!

Love Trisha & Darren


{ps we reopened our doors with restricted space on 12/6/20}

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