I opened my yoga studio just a few short months ago, just a few short weeks before the pandemic hit. It was a huge leap of faith - paying more for a space that I would hopefully fill with wonderful classes and workshops.
We held an exciting grand opening event. In fact, it was so successful that we had TWO grand opening nights.
We were off to an exciting start!
Then corona happened. My studio has been empty. (cue some legit crying and sobbing here)
As I watched many fitness instructors move to Zoom to do their classes, all my classes went up on Facebook Live and Youtube for free. I've been happy to see a few other instructors also do this. If my students could pay for the classes, then great (we used an honor system for marking off their membership card). But I told everyone not to worry about it if they couldn't afford. My income was 5x (!) less in April than it was in March.
Why would I teach for free?
Don't I deserve to be paid for my service?
Well, yes, certainly.
But below is my thought proess:
It felt like my way of giving, of helping in some small way in this global crisis. I know many people were stuck home nervous, anxious, scared.
Many had lost their jobs and income.
So yoga might be THE BEST way to get through a global pandemic because it is SO GOOD for you.
Able to do from home? CHECK
Can do in your pajamas at any time of the day? CHECK
Good for any fitness level? CHECK
Provides stress-relief? CHECK
Improves strength, immune function, sleep quality & mood?
CHECK CHECK and CHECK
Helps us keep our sh*t together? SO MANY CHECKS!!!
And, let's face it - it's not easy for most people to workout from home. It's why we pay money to belong to studios and gyms. That space and time carved out for us, to put us in a motivated workout mood.
Believe me, I totally feel you.
There are already so many barriers to working out from home.
I wanted to make sure people had absolutely as LITTLE barrier as possible to keep them from doing yoga at home.
Because kindness DOES pay.
Kindness pays forward.
Hopefully many that are enjoying the free yoga classes will somehow pay that kindness forward in whatever way they can.
-Maybe they have a special service that they can share with others.
-Maybe they will pick up the phone and call someone they know who is struggling.
-Maybe they'll offer to pick up groceries for their high-risk neighbor.
I'm convinced that good karma exists, and not because of a Higher Power (that I call G-d, but you may call something else).
No, I don't think G-d/this Higher Power is watching me and wishes to reward me for good behavior.
I do think we get out of the world what we put into it. By our good attitude. By our good deeds. Our attitude has a ripple effect. Our good deeds turn into others doing more good deeds.
We attract goodness by doing goodness.
And, very importantly, we are open to receiving good from others when we are more generous with our own giving.
So I went with free (and pay/donation-if-you-can).
I have not regretted it.
And I've definitely benefited as well.
My business page has grown in followers.
I started a Youtube channel and built a small library of classes.
I've learned more about cameras and microphones and am (incrementally) improving quality.
And from this experience I've decided that, even when corona is over, I want to continue producing free yoga videos.
I learned that I actually enjoy it!
Cheesy as it may sound, I really think the world is a better place with more yoga in it.
So please enjoy these free classes for yourself, share with someone who would like, and I'm always happy to hear good things (it really makes my day!).
My Facebook business page: https://www.facebook.com/sarahfriedlanderyoga/
And then think of ways you can pay it forward.