On March 17 Home Hot Yoga closed our doors temporarily in order to do our part in flattening the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 23, Governor Kate Brown issued an order that all yoga studios close their in-person operations until further notice.
Home Hot Yoga is owned by us, Kay & Orlo, the "mom n' pop" of our yoga shop . Kay is a certified Bikram Yoga Instructor with a background in education, and Orlo is a veteran Army medic. We live down the street in a small house with our two children, Alva (4 going on 30) and Ithaka (15 months) and a sweet old cat.
In 2015 we opened the doors of Home. (Alva was born on the day we started construction!) We had (less than) $0 to our names, a pretty good business plan that got us loans to cover the buildout, and a whole lotta faith in the inclusive, transformative hot yoga system we teach.
We knew that if we built it, people would come- and if people came, they would start feeling better and being kinder people who live more mindful lives and make the world a better place. (We were right.)
Just over 4 years later, thousands of yoga students have been to our classes. We have hundreds of members who practice regularly, from teenagers to senior citizens. We work 7 days a week and (aside from parenting) it is the most fulfilling work we have ever done.
We have a robust volunteer program and a "pay what you can" class which allows people to attend yoga who couldn't otherwise afford it. We offer childcare to families who couldn't get time for yoga without it. We now employee 3 yoga teachers and 2 desk staff. Last year we even began to pay ourselves!
Since we opened, many of our students have reduced or completely stopped needing medication for chronic pain, blood pressure, anxiety, depression, thyroid conditions, diabetes and more.
We have instructed them in the healing practice of yoga and provided a brave space for them to take charge of their bodies and minds after trauma, surgery, grief and addiction.
We have seen women through their pregnancies and postpartum, helping them keep their bodies strong and healthy in preparation for parenthood.
For many of our students, Home Hot Yoga is the main place where they feel part of a community. Countless friendships have been forged here. People often tell us that they come for the community as much as for the yoga.
Almost weekly, someone tells us that doing yoga with us is saving their life.
We are hoping to open again in April, but like everyone right now we are unsure of how long this situation will last.
Currently we are providing audio recordings of yoga instruction to our students, and working every day on new ways to keep our community connected to each other (while we are physically apart) during this unusual time. With our daughter home from school, we are trying to balance each day between work, our own self care (yoga!) and maintaining some kind of normalcy for our children.
We rely mostly on the income from our business to support our family. Recently many of our members have put their accounts on hold as they too are experiencing the economic burden of the current crisis.
Several members have already generously asked us to continue charging them during our closure, because they want us to be here for them on the other side of all this. This is humbling and we are so grateful!
We are looking forward now to the expenses of rent, utilities, insurance and March's payroll (not to mention groceries and diapers!) and pulling out all the stops to ensure we can meet those obligations. We are dedicated to being here for our community during this crisis AND when the crisis subsides. People need yoga now and they will need yoga when this is over!
This fundraiser is part of our effort to meet our business and personal expenses over the coming months. We understand that the whole world is struggling right now, and we are deeply thankful for all donations. Even if you are not in a position to donate, sharing with your friends makes a huge difference!
No donation is too small and every little bit will allow us to keep serving our community and helping people save their own lives.
- Judith Williams
- Jessica Fletcher
- Dorothy Cottrell
- Kristin Paul
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