Hot yoga studio
"I am watching all of the other studios around me scramble to get their classes online and figure out how to continue their memberships and be able to make their online classes work. You have made my life so much easier during this stressful time!"
The community at Emily Henderson's Hot26 School of Yoga is exceptionally tight-knit. When the COVID-19 crisis hit, Emily felt compelled to move classes online after she was forced to close the doors of her Seattle-area space. "I have so many students who survive on their yoga. They're healing themselves with it. I just thought — I can't not have that connection with them."
"This isn't about me. This is about my community and keeping them connected and realizing how important it is for these people."
Henderson has found strength through her conviction that people are looking for someone like her to show the face of leadership. She believes that they value her willingness to stand up and send a positive message of hope — "We're going to get through this. Let's just put one foot in front of the other and figure this out together."
Emily had been considering online classes even before the crisis hit. "My family is all in a different state, and they've been begging me for years to do online classes, and I've just avoided it."
But when the coronavirus caused her doors to close, she didn't hesitate to move online. "We just literally grabbed an iPad and went for it. "
She realized from the beginning that it didn't have to be perfect. "Just being able to see each other's faces and practice together is what it's all about. We're not actors or models here. We are just a really relaxed community here, and we've carried that vibe with us online."
Their online classes have received a really positive reaction from her clients. "We have only had, like, two memberships cancel" despite their transition to online classes.
"Our students have been so supportive. They've been sending us photos of each other taking classes online. It's been kind of fun to expand that part of our interaction — we get to see each other at home in our pajamas. It's the connection that we that we all need right now."
Henderson's clients value the consistency and community she provides, and that they are willing to pay for it despite the availability of free yoga videos online. "The value is that it's coming from their instructors that they've that they've built a rapport with. The value comes from keeping my community connected."
Hot26 is hosting a lot of live classes via the Punchpass-Zoom integration. But they're also saving the recordings and building up a library of pre-recorded classes. They're making the recordings available by adding each Zoom recording link to one of the scheduled classes on their Punchpass calendar. Folks can register online as they normally would to receive the link to the recording, and they can use the class recording for 30 days until it expires. "So even if it's a pre-recorded class and they're not getting that live interaction, they're still getting the value because they can go back and do that class three times."
Now that she's begun offering classes online, she knows that it is going to be a part of her studio's future as well. "We are setting up our extra room to be a permanent online classroom."
She has been inspired by the support she's received, and she has a message for other instructors who might be considering offering classes online.
"Your community will reach out and help you because people want to help during this time. They want to have a purpose — something to do. A lot of people are just sitting home. So giving them something is better than just letting them swim amongst the chaos. That's so powerful.
"Don't make it about you. It's about your students. It's always about your students. It's always about your community. They're the ones that need this in their lives. You're doing a service to them.
"Don't doubt. Just do it. Just go for it. And just know that if you build it, they will come. They will show up.