News and Updates
Dear Namasté Yoga students, friends, and community,
For almost 20 years, Namasté Yoga has been a warm and welcoming sanctuary in our community. We have served in many ways—helping people take care of their bodies, providing spiritual and emotional sanctuary, and creating a connected community of like-minded people. Our dedicated teachers have taught weekly yoga classes, many for years and years. We have met with students for one-on-one therapeutic sessions. We have provided opportunities for newer teachers to develop their skills while receiving support and mentoring. We have taught for free in venues all over our community, including six years at VegFest. Besides our regular classes, we have offered special seasonal classes, workshops, retreats, trainings, early morning sadhana, Yoga Day special practices, open house gatherings, dance parties, musical performances, Kirtan, shamanic journeying, sound healing and gong bath sessions. Through our free weekly donation classes, we have collected thousands of dollars for groups that serve those in need in our community, and our teachers have voluntarily given back to the community by teaching these classes for free. We have grown and evolved, changed locations several times, and seen yoga teachers and studio co-owners come and go. What hasn't changed is our deep appreciation of all that yoga has to offer and our love of sharing all aspects of yoga.
The coronavirus has changed the world practically overnight. As we practice social distancing, we are all scrambling to adjust to the new normal and to find ways to meet our needs that don’t involve close contact with others. Among the many ramifications of the pandemic is the closure of studios and gyms and of places we gather in community and connect with the sacred. As you know, many yoga studios and gyms have shifted to offering their classes online, and some of our teachers are as well.
After considering the factors involved in this for us, we have come to a different conclusion, which we hope you will understand. Before the coronavirus crisis, Ellen and Gretchen, the Namasté Yoga co-owners, had decided to look for a way to transition the studio (the business, not the rental space) to new ownership. This decision was triggered by Gretchen’s announcement that she would be stepping out of ownership of the business, effective this July. Both Ellen and Gretchen have been planning to cut back on work and devote more time and energy to family and loved ones within the next few years. While running the studio is not exactly “work” because our immersion in the yoga community, practice, and teaching is so deeply soul-satisfying, the business requires significant time, energy, and hands-on involvement on a daily basis. With Gretchen’s anticipated departure as a business partner, the timing seemed right to explore passing on the business.
While grappling with that, we got the news that our rental lease will not be renewed after it ends this July. The building owner plans to expand the Clothesline business into the space we now occupy. So we started looking for a new location for the studio as well as possible new ownership.
That was all before the coronavirus crisis arose a few weeks ago. We were on the verge of updating our community about our changes but then paused when things kept changing so fast with the pandemic. Now it looks like social distancing or more will continue for quite a while, and no one can predict when we might be able to open the studio for live classes again. To keep going, we would need to shift completely to online classes. As we looked into that, we realized it would entail a lot more than we initially thought. And all of this with the certainty of leaving our current location at the end of July, and the uncertainty of where or when we might land next.
Given all of the factors, we have decided it is best to close Namasté Yoga now. We are very sad about it, and we know many of you will be sad too. Our yoga community is like family for many of us, and it’s shocking for it be changing like this. We apologize for the suddenness of the announcement. None of us could have anticipated the situation we find ourselves in. As this door closes, however, we feel sure that others will open, and that some form of our Namasté family will continue on. Our intention is to continue to support you and to encourage us all to support each other. Both Gretchen and Ellen want to continue teaching, as do many of our teachers. For now, some of our teachers will be offering online classes, and we hope you will continue your practice by joining in online. We all need yoga, now more than ever!
To learn more about online opportunities with Namaste teachers, please contact any teacher directly by email. Teachers offering online courses must invite participants through email, so they need your current email address. Teacher emails are available here on our website. Like with everything right now, the online teaching situation is fluid and may change, so check back often with the teachers and on the News page on our website.
If you have an unexpired class pass with classes remaining, you may request a refund of the unused amount. You may also donate the amount remaining on your pass as a way of helping us meet our financial obligations. Please send us an email with your preference. Without the income from our classes, we will be challenged to pay our rent and meet our other obligations between now and the end of July. Some of you have already offered donations and we would gratefully accept them. We will be posting a donation link on our website soon.
We love and value our Namasté Yoga community and deeply appreciate our students, teachers, and many friends and supporters. We are supremely grateful for the amazing love, light, and energy and the beautiful space we have created together. We understand that change is challenging, even when it’s for the best, and especially when there is uncertainty about how changes will manifest. We are so fortunate to have each other in our community for support, and to have the yoga teachings and practices to help us stay grounded and centered. Please feel free to talk with either of us about any of this. Thank you for being part of our wonderful yoga community! It has been an incredible and transformative journey so far and would not have been possible without each of you!
Namasté, Gretchen & Ellen
COVID-19 Update 3-17-20:
Thank you for being a part of our yoga community and for your support of Namasté Yoga. Since we posted an update just a few days ago, the Coronavirus continues to spread exponentially. We are reminded of the simple yet profound truth that we are truly all connected. Collectively we are all trying to find the right course of action in alignment with this principle of connectedness. We all share a common goal—to keep ourselves and each other as safe and healthy as possible.
Based on this, as the owners of Namasté Yoga and with the support of our teachers, WE HAVE MADE THE DIFFICULT DECISION TO SUSPEND ALL IN-PERSON CLASSES UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
Many public health officials agree that in communities where the virus has not yet taken hold, like ours, we have a small window in which to take decisive actions to slow the spread. Social distancing is one major action that non-infected people can take to help “flatten the curve.” Many of you are already practicing social distancing, to protect yourselves and others. Although we had hoped we could impose adequate cleaning regimens and other guidelines to continue to offer classes, we realize it is better communally as well as individually to practice social distancing.
We are looking into the possibility of offering classes online, either live or pre-recorded, and we will keep you posted on that. Class passes will be on hold until the studio re-opens, and you can just pick up where you left off.
Let’s continue to support each other as we face this situation together. We are here for you! Contact us any time for updates or to talk about what’s on your mind and how you're doing. Stay tuned! We are sending you love, light, health, and strength.
Namasté, Ellen Shapiro and Gretchen Hein
We are closely monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Currently our doors are open and classes are being held as usual. We want to continue to be a place of sanctuary and refuge, while also taking necessary steps to protect the health of our students, teachers, and yoga community.
What Namasté Yoga is doing:
We’re monitoring official governmental guidance from health authorities in order to best protect the health and well‑being of our community. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html, http://leon.floridahealth.gov/
- We’re encouraging our teachers to stay home if they are feeling ill or experiencing any symptoms, even if it means canceling classes.
- We are continuing our ongoing cleaning procedures.
- We are encouraging feedback from our students and teachers about how we can best support each other during this time.
- We are asking our students and teachers to contribute to the health and well-being of our studio by following suggested guidelines.
What you can do:
- The best way to prevent illness is to prevent exposure to the virus.
- Please stay home if you are not feeling well or are experiencing any symptoms of the flu, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath, or have been in contact with or have recently traveled to any of the affected countries and/or states and regions.
- Please follow these guidelines: clean your hands frequently, sneeze or cough into a tissue or your sleeve and throw the tissue away immediately, avoid close contact with others.
- We strongly encourage you to bring your own mat and other props to classes. Basic yoga equipment including mats, blocks, blankets, and straps can be ordered online or found at local sports equipment and department stores. For now we will continue to offer mats and props for you to use if you choose.
- If you use studio equipment, please follow studio cleaning guidelines and any updates from teachers. Use the provided square washcloths and cleaning solution to thoroughly wipe down all mats and blocks you use and leave the cleaned mats and blocks out on the floor to dry in the location directed by the teacher.
- We have hand towels available and encourage you to use these freely.
- Place all soiled washcloths and hand towels in the laundry bin or bowl when leaving class.
- For additional tips on staying healthy, please see this CDC list of prevention tips.
While we currently don’t anticipate canceling any classes, you can check our online schedule for last-minute cancellations and/or teacher subs.
Taking care of ourselves is always important, but more so now. We encourage you to eat well, stay hydrated, and wash your hands thoroughly and often. Exercise, fresh air and sunshine are good for our health and sense of well-being.
We wish you good health and peace of mind!