We talked to: Yoga Sanctuary
We talked to Yoga Sanctuary
We recently had a lovely chat with the Lindsay Pope, new owner of Yoga Sanctuary in Thornes. It is a truly special place, with so much to offer our community. Read on!
How are things going overall for the business in these uncertain times?
Things are going pretty well overall. I am the new owner of the Yoga Sanctuary--I purchased the studio on August 1st, in the midst of this pandemic. Sara Rose Page, the previous owner, had been running the studio for 20 years and was just ready for a change and to focus on family life. It was incredibly sweet that she entrusted me to take over. The studio has always meant so much to me, as I have been a member for years. As a business, since the pandemic, sales are down by one third on average. That said, we are grateful to have such a devoted membership base and are so grateful to Thornes for being so supportive of our business. Our team and members are fully committed, and we are currently making enough to keep everyone employed and actively involved. We also continue to look for grants, but we are feeling optimistic about the longevity of the studio!
Do you think people generally feel safe coming into the studio, and how many classes are you currently holding in-person vs. online?
We are currently not hosting indoor classes. We technically could, and though we did put some options out there, people are happy with what we’re offering for now--it feels much safeer for the time being. We will keep the pulse on what’s going on and try again when everyone collectively feels safer. Fortunately, we are able to have teachers coming to the space to record classes, as we set a recording studio with a grant we received from the Chamber. We now have an iPad, lighting equipment, and foam padding to block out external noise. Most of the teachers are still practicing there, which is great, because they get the full experience of still being present in the space. We are currently holding class in Child’s Park, which takes place once a week on Monday nights. Quite a few new people are practicing through this class, and we shifted the pricing model to a sliding scale to make it more accessible to everyone. We recently had an event at Black Birch Vineyard called “Yoga Wine Down”, with a yoga class and wine social hour. We’d love to be able to continue doing such events again in the spring. We’re offering 18 livestream classes--both mornings and evenings--each week. We also recently put out a user-friendly, on-demand platform, which is included in a livestream membership. It’s ideal for people who have hectic schedules, but still want that unique type of instruction that we provide, rather than going on YouTube. We are always incorporating yoga philosophy in a way that feels relevant and meaningful, and truly want our members to feel good/grounded in body, mind, and soul.
What positive things have you learned during this crazy time?
On a personal level, buying the studio and learning that I can lead a business has been very positive and rewarding. Having the opportunity to be of service to my community and help to make an impact on the health and well-being of others is truly an honor. Many of our members are practicing multiple times per week, and using their yoga practice to tune in and stay as centered as possible during this time--a time when it’s easy to get pulled into the drama of the collective society. It’s important to know that we still have ownership over our bodies, and can still practice in our community. The sanctuary is truly a touchstone, and I am so grateful it’s still here.
Is there any other information you’d like to share about your business?
Because of new ownership, we have new offerings for programming. We have three community classes offered weekly, including the outdoor class on Monday. We also have classes for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and we just held an online workshop with social justice activist Dianne Bondy, called “Yoga for All.” It focused on racism and ableism and how both show up in yoga, and how to reconcile the relationship with our own bodies to help others. We also have some other cool offerings, such as yoga philosophy, yoga for teens, and a perinatal series. Our membership has been super supportive and committed. I want to honor all of the beautiful groundwork that Sara has established as we continue to create space for dialogue and healing.