As the pandemic spread, small businesses everywhere were decimated. I spent the spring and summer in terse negotiations with a difficult landlord, and in a fortunate pairing of tenacity and luck, secured a new location for our studio that meant we would survive this crisis.
Yoga studios were shuttering their doors left and right. Many neighborhood studios closed permanently. For those among us who didn’t have extensive business savings to help get us through, it was absolutely futile. I was so sad to see so many small studios close. But I was not surprised; I know how tenuous the financials are.
As I watched the pandemic ravage the economy, I was astounded to also see large, well-established corporate yoga businesses like YogaWorks close (YogaWorks employed many instructors who I know and love in New York City, and was the birthplace of the first yoga teachers’ workers’ union, which I was very excited about).
The YogaWorks closure made me realize something so, so important: large corporations will of course always be present in the market. But when push comes to shove, it is our small size that helps us. It is our relationships. We have something that is infinitely higher value than fancy marketing and investors with deep pockets: we have a chosen, interconnected community.
I know the names of our students’ children and what schools they go to. The students know when my little dog is ill. I know about Sally’s ankle injury and John’s low back pain, and check in with them about that regularly. I bend the rules to extend someone’s pass when the unexpected comes up.
Large corporations don’t offer what we do and they never will.
Maha will never have the market share of an entity like YogaWorks or ClassPass, and it doesn’t need to. Maha needs to remain a hub for our community. It needs to support its teachers. It needs to be a refuge for our students in a large, busy city.
This pandemic helped me understand that it is precisely our small size that is our advantage.
Maybe ClassPass is going to make it; I honestly don’t know. They email Maha constantly with offers to partner again. I filtered those emails into a folder so I can focus on my business and not theirs.
Please shop small this season when possible. Order takeout from your favorite restaurants. Choose handmade gifts from local artists. When you shop small, you support jobs in your neighborhood and you keep dollars in your local economy. Your money goes to dance lessons for a little kid, mortgage payments in your neighborhood, and medicine for a sick, elderly dog.
We have the perfect gift for that yogi in your life who would benefit from high-quality yoga at home: a year of unlimited streaming in Maha’s On Demand studio! For all of December, we are offering access for all of 2021 to our Online Studio for just $247 (that is over $700 off!).
With over 110 classes and three new ones uploaded each week, Maha On Demand is the perfect way to practice the uplifting, alignment- focused yoga you love, whenever and wherever life takes you. You’ll find full-length, all levels classes as well as basics, and a bunch of mini-practices as well!
Remember that Maha members always get access to our full On Demand studio for just $5/ month! Considering membership? Keep your money local in 2021 by purchasing a yearly pass at Maha. The first weekend in January we’ll host our annual sale on yearly passes! For 2021, pay for 11 months in full, and you get one free. This applies to all tiers of membership.
Memberships are valid for both our livestream and in-person classes.
If I can answer any questions about our On Demand studio or our Yearly Pass sale, please reply to this email. It lands directly in my inbox.
Thank you for supporting our small business. From my family to yours, I wish you a happy holiday season and a healthy new year.