I have been an entrepreneur in the field of yoga for the past nine years. A small business owner, who like other small business owners is currently struggling with stacks of unpaid bills and government restrictions.
The business has experienced both ups and downs through these years. There has been times when yoga has been “trendy” and the classes have been packed with students and there has been times when only one yogi has found the way to the class.
This isn’t a business where you make millions, unless those millions are counted in smiles during the yoga practice. But I have always managed and I feel such gratitude for being able to work in a field that gives me such immense pleasure. Work that improves the quality of life, gives peace of mind, great health and a sense of happiness.
During this past year I have been overwhelmed by worry for the consequences of the Covid-virus on peoples health and also about the consequences this virus has on my business. We are talking about virus that not only causes serious respiratory illness but also mental health problems. Anxiety and chronic stress can also be harmful and even deadly. For many of us the fear of unknown has found a new meaning.
This week has been especially hard on me. I have been curled up and devastated as Southern Finland Regional State Administrative Agency decided to close the doors to all gyms and yoga studios. For many of the small business owners this was the icing on the cake. The point, where there is no other option than to file for bankruptcy. After struggling for a year with the restrictions, the toll that this decision has on a small business is just way to big to handle.
There is some government support for the small business owners and I’m grateful for it, but this doesn’t even cover third of my rent let alone the the running costs.
I have tried my best to come up with different ways to keep my business afloat. I’ve tried to be creative and see the challenges as opportunities to come up with new visions and strategies. Many of the yoga studios have gone online. I myself thought of starting online classes, but I just feel that the sense of unity and energy we create during the class together doesn’t match up to what one experiences practicing online. I do offer YouTube classes, but for some reason Zoom classes feel challenging to me.
My studio has been a hideaway from anxious and distresses thoughts. A place of freedom and healing for many people. The time spent offering the classes at the studio are my highlights during this year of social restrictions. I’m thoroughly grateful for every single class, for every kind word, patience and that’s why I feel so devastated not being able to teach at the moment.
It sounds wrong, but I must say that I feel bit easier knowing I’m not alone in all of this. Millions of people are fighting every day to make the ends meet. Millions are going through the same struggle and unfortunately some have it even worse.
Got to keep the mind positive and see the light at the end of the tunnel. The thing about all hardship and crises is that they all end eventually. The financial predicament and the emotional trauma left by the virus will stay with us for a while and there is no going back to the old, as I think this pandemic has changed the humankind for good.
All this struggle and stepping out of our comfort zone has grown us heaps. We have learned to enjoy the life outdoors and learned to slow down. A helping hand is offered even more easily and people have learned to support the struggling small businesses. Global sense of connection, kindness and patience are just few qualities that have risen from peoples heart during these times of challenge.
I firmly believe that we will win this together.
Love, light and good health