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For the next few months, we pledge to work hard to rebuild our presence within the local community and make a difference while we can. We know the odds are against us, which is why we need community warriors to help keep the practice center open. We are asking for your support in the following ways:

jerome and chelsea samskara yoga

We want to ask one final favor: let the small businesses that are surviving this global event know that you appreciate them and all they are doing to stay open. Give them your support, shout their names on social media or buy gift cards. A community is enriched by the small businesses that continue to provide services, products, and flavor in an area. We are lucky to have an amazing, local, and diverse culture here in Loudoun… all of which is reflected in the smallest shops and backyard enterprises in our area.

Dear Loudoun and Local Community,

In Summer 2017, we opened up a mobile/pop-up yoga studio that focused on bringing yoga and meditation into the community. Our dharma and mission was to create experiences where any person who wished to learn yoga could do so. Yoga isn’t about being flexible, wealthy, perfect, or calm, and we wanted to offer classes that anyone could take, regardless of circumstance.

We began teaching in local parks, at fundraiser events, and in the local libraries. We taught adults, children, LGBTQIA+, disabled, financially insecure, beginners, advanced practitioners, people in jeans, and frankly, ourselves, all about the ways yoga can benefit our minds, bodies, and spirits.

We loved practicing with people who weren’t comfortable in gyms or studios, those who loved taking classes outside, or those who faced various challenges that we may never know. Ask any yoga teacher: yoga is never about how much a teacher or studio can make, but how much we can give back to other people, our communities, and to the world.

We opened our Brick and Mortar studio in September 2019, knowing ahead of time that it would be a fight each day to support the high costs of running a Brick and Mortar business in Loudoun. We created a “practice center” so that we could continue to invite and work with those who would hesitate to step into places where they felt judged or unwelcome. We understood the risks involved in this undertaking and moved forward, knowing the strength of our belief in this community and in what we could share with others was stronger than any amount of rent that could be charged.

Six months later (March, 2020), two things happened:

  1. We broke even, financially. The support of the community showed us that we were doing what was asked of us. Financial success is not an indication of true success, but it was enough to keep us going and fighting this good fight.
  2. COVID restrictions hit, and hit us hard. Even with a large space for yoga practice, our community felt safer at home and we supported them 100%.

Within a week, we went from celebrating a hard-fought financial victory to closing our studio and pivoting to an online model.

At the same time, every other yoga and fitness business had to do the same thing. We were not longer contenders in a local, in-studio market, but in a global market of yoga teachers – most of which were offering classes and workshops for free.

Honestly, we did the same thing. We were online sharing free classes, free meditations, free sound baths… none of us knew what to expect next, but we did know that people would need us to “hold space” for them. Because of our mission, we knew we had to keep reaching out to people and offering opportunities to move, breathe, and have some semblance of normalcy. We happily became a fully online studio by the first of April. At the same time, we began looking for ways to cut costs and keep the doors open for those who still wish to learn and practice yoga and/or meditation in person.

We reopened our doors (with a very limited capacity) in July, once we were given enough information to consider it safeĀ  to practice with others. We ramped up our retail and esoteric offerings. We began working weekend farmers markets and bringing in consignment artists in order to supplement income… hoping beyond hope that we would be back “in business” soon and that these measures would be temporary. But, by the end of the summer, we had all began to nestle into our COVID lives, and we knew nothing would be the same.

Our bigger studio was designed to hold 40-50 yoga mats (with people). To this day, we are only able to operate at 1/4 of that. Unfortunately, those numbers don’t support the expenses we are obligated to pay.

Since summer, we have applied for and received a few grants and some small business assistance but we have also had to let our teachers go… with the hope that it was another temporary decision. We have fought hard to bring our costs down, enough to a point where we could definitely turn this around. We just cannot do it alone. We are still faced with COVID occupancy restrictions and the fact that it has been almost a year since we had to shut down and everyone has figured out new ways to practice yoga, to find stillness, and to breathe.

We have a few months left in this fight and we are turning back to you, our local community, for help. Small, local gyms & fitness businesses (yoga falls under these categories) are disproportionately affected by the COVID restrictions, in many cases even more than that of local restaurants. We don’t begrudge our situation; we’re just asking our community to help us move forward one way or another.

Samskara Yoga & Healing is a safe space and we are open and ready to share our time, our hearts, our energy, and our practices with you. We have in-studio, online classes, and once the weather is tolerable, we will be back at the parks and markets.

For the next few months, we pledge to work hard to rebuild our presence within the local community and make a difference while we can. We know the odds are against us, which is why we need community warriors to help keep the practice center open. We are asking for your support in the following ways:

We want to ask one final favor: let the small businesses that are surviving this global event know that you appreciate them and all they are doing to stay open. Give them your support, shout their names on social media or buy gift cards. A community is enriched by the small businesses that continue to provide services, products, and flavor in an area. We are lucky to have an amazing, local, and diverse culture here in Loudoun… all of which is reflected in the smallest shops and backyard enterprises in our area.
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