The fitness industry around the world is facing enormous change due to COVID-19. With such a vital role to play in the health and wellness of our communities we want to celebrate the studio owners like Marisa (founder of Divine You Yoga in Melbourne) who have dug deep and found ways to bring classes, movement and community to a world in lockdown and beyond.
Romi: Hi Marisa, thank you so much for taking some time to answer a few of our questions which could be extremely beneficial to a lot of other studio owners out there! Tell me, how did you get into yoga?
Marisa: I started yoga asana like many to strengthen and tone in my early twenties. Over time I became increasingly drawn to the philosophy and the science behind it.
I love to question and delve deep, but yoga has taught me to how I can balance, how I can let go, and how I can remain present. States that need lots of practice to get to, but offers so much freedom and choice on how one can live life.
What would you say sets your studio apart from some of the other studios?
Marisa: I currently run all my classes live stream online and offer early morning and evening times daily. My intention is to offer yoga practice to those that find it hard during the day to set aside time.
Obviously COVID-19 has forced us to approach life differently, but I feel live stream online classes are a great option for those that struggle finding time or are not able to get out. My classes are also varied, from gentle to dynamic movements with breath. I also have a dedicated class for Yoga Nidra (guided relaxation meditation) practice.
I wish to make my classes accessible, and hope my 30 minute live stream yoga classes offer those wishing to practice and even try yoga for the first time, can with these short and convenient online classes.
Prior to the lockdown, did you teach any classes online?
Marisa: No not at all!
Romi: How big was the shift for you to move completely online? Have your students become more comfortable with online training classes?
Marisa: Yes definitely, familiarity of the video communications application and online booking system were a little tricky at the beginning. Now it has become second nature almost! Part of the landscape!
“These classes have been my saviour during this time at home!!! Love my morning yoga ❤️”Yogi at Divine You Yoga via @divineyouyoga
Romi: Which online platforms are you mostly using for your online training? And do you find it user friendly for you as well as your students?
Romi: You must be so excited about getting back to training classes in-studio. Does it look like your Government will start allowing studios to re-open with safety measures in place?
Marisa: Yes I believe Victorian State Government will be allowing studios to reopen in late June but I think physical distancing amongst bringing your own mat etc. will be at the forefront to ensure yogis everywhere remain safe and well.
Romi: What is one thing that you will be taking away from your lockdown experience?
Marisa: Practice, practice everyday even if it is only for 5, 10 or 30 minutes, it is worth it for the body, mind, spirit and for those around you!
Romi: What kept you positive during these times of uncertainty?
Marisa: Being able to share my yoga practice, catch up, and meet new faces via live stream virtual classes!! It has been my rock!
Romi: Last but not least, what advice would you give other studio owners who might still be in strict lockdown, or slowly coming out of lockdown?
Marisa: Adapt and hold no judgement or expectation. Remain true with what you are wanting to offer, a reflection of you.
Celebrate the little things and be grateful for what we have! Running your own studio online or face to face constantly offers opportunities to learn, grow and experience life!
‘The yogic philosophy has enriched my life, providing methods and tools for me to live with a greater sense of peace and compassion. For me the practice of yoga is a creative process, it is a time and space to express and explore my inner workings and to nurture my soul’.Marisa (Divine You Yoga)
Follow Marisa and Divine You Yoga below to keep up to date with how things are going once they re-open their doors!