“We teach beginning yoga for all fitness levels. Our classes focus on strength, flexibility, and stress relief for all people, not just the super bendy and athletic! If you haven’t exercised in a long time, we can help you get going again on a road to better health."
"We create a fun, safe, and supportive atmosphere without competition. Wherever you are in your journey, there is a place for you in our community. Signing up on-line is easy! There are no monthly commitments and you can take different class times each week.”
- Becca Hewes, Owner
As I’ve been discussing my plans over the last week to move temporarily during the coronavirus outbreak to an online interactive format for our classes, I’ve received a wide variety of opinions and responses. For those who would like to know how I came to this decision, I am providing a statement below.
My main reason for having a yoga studio is to help make people’s lives better. Although I know everyone is stressed and would love to come to in-person classes at my studio right now, I cannot ethically disregard the very clear guidance of health experts.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), doctors, and scientists are all urgently calling for us to take immediate steps that can help to reduce everyone’s risk of exposure to the new coronavirus. In order to save lives, these health experts are telling us to engage in social distancing, which requires us to stay 6 feet apart, to wash our hands often, to stay home if we are sick, to cover our coughs and sneezes, and to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces often.
The problem is that it is nearly impossible to do all of this well in a yoga studio. Yoga studios and gyms are places where viruses can spread when people share equipment and work out in close proximity. What is even more challenging about yoga studios is that we also love to use bolsters, blankets, and other props that cannot be easily sanitized. Even if we didn’t use props and asked everyone to bring their own mat, we would still be in close contact with each other, and the mats could potentially transfer the virus to the floor. I have no way to guarantee that we could disinfect the entire studio to the level required during this pandemic.
It is also very difficult, and often impossible, to maintain the 6-foot personal distance that the CDC and other health experts are recommending. We have a large space, but when enough people show up, we’re often much closer together than that. This is harder to manage when even one person is not listening or following guidelines.
These experts are also advising us not to wait. We can best slow the spread of this illness by acting now, while the number of cases in our own community is low. If you look at a plot of new Covid-19 cases in the US, we are currently 19 days behind the world curve and just 11 days behind the Italy curve. If this current trajectory continues, we are likely to see 10,000 cases in the US within the next six days and 75,000 within three weeks, and the numbers are likely to continue to increase rapidly after that. As our national health experts are advising, we must work in our communities to slow down the incidence of new infections (to “flatten the curve”) to avoid overwhelming the capacity of the US health care system to respond. We can have the greatest impact if we take these steps NOW.
A few people have argued that it's not that many people at a studio – it’s not like a sports event – and claim that I am overreacting. Please understand that we have a large yoga community. Even with a lot of us staying in place, there are many people who will be returning to Norman after traveling far and wide over spring break. Our first confirmed Covid-19 case was reported in Cleveland County today, and there will be many more.
Over the last few weeks, I have been preparing and buying equipment and figuring out how we can still be a vibrant yoga community, while also keeping everyone as safe as possible. I believe we can do it, and I am offering 2 options. The first option is taking online interactive classes on Zoom with us. The live classes are fun, and they provide a real sense of community. You won’t be alone. The second option is to subscribe to our video site yogalife.tv. If you need help signing up online or have questions, please email us at yogalifeOK@gmail.com.
This is obviously a very stressful time for all of us, but I hope with these offerings that I can be of help in some way. I am looking forward to seeing you online. Stay safe! Peace, Becca