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Reflections and optimism as we return to lockdown

06 January 2021

Written at the start of the second major Covid lockdown in the UK.
Originally published on the Yoga Torquay blog.

As I closed the doors of our yoga studio today once again, I had some time for reflection on recent events. It's been a difficult year for us like all small businesses. When the first lockdown hit, we’d been open for just 18 months. We were still very much a fledgling business. Alice and I had worked tirelessly in the preceding year - effectively having to start from scratch as teachers in a new area, plus renovating the studio, getting the word out and building classes & workshops. When the first lockdown was announced - the studio was just starting to take off. Our efforts were paying off - classes were busy - workshops were running every weekend and we had workshops booked for the next 9 months. So, to close our doors at that time came as a tremendous blow and like all small businesses we were left with a lot of stress and uncertainty about our future.

And yet - nearly a year later - here we are: we’re still here! And the studio is here - it's looking wonderful and is waiting for more yoga. I’d forgotten just what a great little space it is. It's peaceful and quiet and even today in the middle of winter, warm and cosy. Meanwhile, Park Lane has transformed from a shabby backstreet - into a very pleasant town-centre mews.
I’ve got lots of ideas on how we can improve the service we offer Torquay in 2021, and will be using this time in lockdown to work on those.

I’m proud of what Alice and I have achieved so far and also the incredible team of teachers we now have teaching at the studio. I’m grateful to them for choosing Yoga Torquay to run their classes and also for sticking with us through these difficult times. On reflection, it's been an amazing couple of years - we’ve met so many lovely new people, got to know some of our brilliant neighbours on the Lane and had some incredible world-class teachers gracing our little space - from as far afield as India, California, and also Cornwall! Personal highlights for me were Barry's Kirtan and workshops with two of my long-time teachers, Doug Swenson and Duncan Hulin.

I’m very optimistic about the future of Yoga Torquay, and I'm looking forward to reopening again. Perhaps another Kirtan will be in order?!

Keep well & safe and keep practising yoga if you can. It helps!

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you soon. Hari OM James

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James Russell Yoga Teacher

About James

James is a yoga teacher & researcher who's practised yoga for 24 years. He holds an MA in Traditions of Yoga & Meditation from SOAS, University of London, where he specialised in premodern yoga.

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