Covid-19 Protocols

COVID-19 Protocols
Hi powerful yoginis and yogis,
By now you know about this big world situation, or have been living in isolation for the past couple weeks.  I have been, as everyone has, deeply considering what action is called of me in the world, especially as a small business owner, open to the public.  To close or not to close, that is the question.  If you have been attending classes for any length of time here, you know that what I’m trying to teach here is ultimately to follow the Inner Feeling.  The hardest part of getting clarity on this question was attachment and the loudness and confusion of the mental world right now.  The last part of the reading from Erich Schiffmann’s Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness was, “The fulfillment of your highest potential is directly proportional to your ability to be a clean and efficient channel [of the creative God Force].”  This was particularly meaningful and apropos for me.
Finally, by the Goddess’ Grace; from insight, advice and research from several of my long-time students who are MD’s; and from my own effort in the direction of depth and clarity, I was able to get quiet enough inside and to drop the attachment to a particular outcome and to find a solution that felt solid and guided from the same Inner Feeling/Connection I endeavor to operate from in classes, while also being informed by practical, appropriate worldly needs.
For the time being, Loving Kindness will remain open, WITH some VERY firm protocols in place (see below) to keep myself and students as safe as possible.  This decision is, of course, a day-by-day and week-by-week, even moment-by-moment one; I will be keeping my eye on state and local recommendations, and thankfully we have very informed and educated local and state decision makers on this.  I will, of course, happily comply with any directives, which will quite possibly come later, and if recommendations suggest that even modified classes are discouraged, I will make the next plan.  I do think it’s wise that large gyms and large yoga studios close,  as other local ones have, but I don’t belong to either of those categories, and if I did, I’d close now.
For this course of action to be successful and able to continue, it will need everyone’s focus and attention.  As my MD students rightly pointed out, I can’t stay open, and should not stay open, if people (you and me) are lax.  Together we need to do everything we can to allow us to practice together.  If you choose to attend, you need to do your part so I can do my part.
What I and Loving Kindness ask you to do:
  • Please check the schedule before you leave to attend class to confirm that it is still happening as the situation is changing very quickly, as you noticed. Going by the Inner Feeling is also a moment-to-moment thing.  Some classes already are canceled till the week of March 30, to be reevaluated after that.
  • Wash your hands OR use hand sanitizer upon entering and leaving the studio.
  • BRING YOUR OWN MATS AND PROPS as the studio will not provide any in the near future.  All non-easily-wipable props have been removed from the studio.  Only mats and foam blocks remain for the near-future, at least.  If you use those, wipe them down well after class with the provided sanitizing wipes.
  • Go ahead and keep your jacket/purse/etc next to your mat to avoid clogging/congregating at the metal shelves.  Shoes staying outside is probably best for this reason as well.
  • DO NOT come to class with ANY symptoms of runny nose, cough, fever, sore throat.  If you arrive with symptoms, that puts the teacher in an uncomfortable situation, but we will ask you to leave, so don’t even show up in the first place.
  • Sign up for classes online if possible. (I, Ti, will give preference to the regulars at my classes, so check the sign-up list later to make sure if you are not a regular at a particular class.)  Drop-ins will continue to be welcome, but preference will be given to those signed up in advance who arrive at least 5 minutes before class begins.  Also understand that in order to stay open, we now have a max of 10 per class to give the recommended 6 feet of space.  The floor is marked to indicate mat locations for those classes that happen to fill.  Non-full classes, you can creatively arrange with plenty of space.
  • Refrain from hugs, of the teacher or others, and try to maintain the recommended 6’ of social space as much as possible. There’s a mark on the bridge now so you know what 6 horizontal feet looks like.  The tradition of bowing in yoga is a good one to employ at this time.
  • Volunteer to help with cleaning (wiping door handles, bathrooms) after each class. We would love the help.
  • Notify us if you become a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.
What we are doing/will do:
  • Everything in our power to continue to offer classes without interruption, with your assistance.
  • Set up an online honor system for sign-ups (maximum 10 students/class).   To sign up in advance, here’s the link again.
  • Continue to have hand sanitizer at the entrance door and maintain the bathroom for hand washing, as always.
  • Thoroughly clean the space and all surfaces, per CDC guidelines
  • We will offer practice that will not need props, but if you know you will need/want them anyway, please bring your own.
  • Routinely ask at the beginning of class for people to inform the teacher if they do or do not wish assists.  In general, we will minimize these and be very careful of body/breathing placement; and no more neck pulls in shavasana 😦
  • All teachers will affirm everyone’s thorough handwashing before every class.  Teachers will sanitize their hands after any hands-on assists.
  • Offer blessings, love, wishes for your health and peace in your heart….without a hug.
  • Endeavor to have streaming options, possibly for each class, in the very near future.  There will be a way to contribute by PayPal if you feel inclined.
  • Notify you if you have practiced at the same time with a student who is subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19.  We will maintain the privacy of that student while seeking to minimize spread.  We may need to temporarily suspend classes for studio cleaning if there is confirmed COVID-19 in one of our students.
It’s going to have to be a team effort, and those who feel safe enough to attend and dedicated enough to work to be as safe as possible for everyone, please show up.
One final thought is to self-reflect what is your worry-to-prayer ratio, or your “researching”-to-prayer ratio is.  If those ratios are high (much more worry than prayer, for example), Eek!  Do whatever you can to flip it, for your own sanity AND to increase the likelihood of a more positive outcome in this situation!
Again, please know that I am continually evaluating the situation, and I care intensely about everyone’s health and well-being, on all levels.  I also invite everyone’s suggestions of how to make this a sufficiently safe place to remain open.  I also understand that not everyone will agree with this decision, but that’s probably true of any decision anyone makes at any time ever.
Love and health to all!
-Ti Harmony