Dear Yoga Community,

I’m so sad to be making this announcement.

Garden of the Heart Yoga Center is closing its doors permanently at the end of September. With the public health challenges of Covid-19, I am not comfortable with the idea of offering in-person classes for the foreseeable future, and need to let go of the studio space. I will not be renewing the lease, but will continue to offer online yoga classes via Zoom.

Without the cohesion of a location, it feels best to invite you to commit to classes with your teachers individually, so that you can support them personally as you receive the support of their teachings. By releasing the boundary of the physical studio, I feel like we are opening to an opportunity for more freedom, more yoga, and more learning. What a year of learning it has been so far!

Our online class schedule will remain (mostly) the same through the end of September. If you have a 5, 10, or 20 class pass, I highly encourage you to attend online classes before Sept. 30. After that time, outstanding class passes will still be honored through the end of 2020 for online classes with me.

You’ll likely have even more opportunities to practice at your favorite times with your favorite teachers, since we won’t be limited to just holding one class at a time. In the coming weeks, I’ll send out links to the teachers’ individual mailing lists and class schedules.

Starting today, we are no longer be selling the 10 class pass, and there will be different pricing options beginning September 1st, including the return of the $12 drop in. Please keep in mind when making purchases that all class passes and drop-ins are non-refundable, as has always been Garden of the Heart’s policy.

It has been so hard to come to this decision. I’ve been encouraged to keep the studio going for these past 5 months with all of your support, kind words, generous donations, and smiling faces on Zoom. Your stories of how yoga is helping you get through the covid crisis and social isolation have warmed my heart so much. But with the uncertainty of the future of yoga spaces and no end of the pandemic in sight, it feels like the right choice for now to let go.

We’ve been in our space at Ringling Blvd. for 8 great years, and Garden of the Heart Yoga Center has been a pillar of the Sarasota Yoga Community since Betsey Downing founded it in 2003. I’d like to express my deep gratitude for all of the amazing teachers, staff, guest speakers, workshop presenters, volunteers and students who have come through the yoga center in the past 10 years that I’ve been the studio director. It has been a joy working with all of you, and your presence has made the studio become so much more than just 4 walls and a hardwood floor. We all can take the friendships forged, poses learned, and memories made with us forever. Toward the end of September, I’d like to have an online social gathering, where we can see each others’ faces, share stories, and celebrate the beautiful community we’ve enjoyed together. I’ll let you know when.

I keep trying to find the silver lining in our Covid crisis. Maybe for me it’s the idea that it is OK to let go of one thing in order to open up more possibilities for something else. Life is always changing and we are always adapting. That’s one nugget of wisdom I’m coming to more fully understand over these months of being closed and having to adapt to a new way of teaching and taking yoga classes. I’ve completely enjoyed having you in my living room with me each day! In a way, the online yoga experience helps me feel closer to you than having to stay 6 feet apart. I look forward to continuing to develop our relationship, just in a different way. Stay tuned, there’s more to come.

With Love,