That this has been a challenging spring for everyone is an understatement. That we will continue to face challenges as we navigate re-opening businesses and activities this summer and fall is a given.
When in-person programming everywhere shut down, Breathing Space pretty quickly pivoted to offering online classes, but the reality is that most of our students did not come with us.
Now looking to summer and fall, we are trying to figure out what programming would best serve our families – current students, prior students, and students we haven’t even met.
Re-Opening Scenarios – Family Yoga is Not A Category
Breathing Space strongly supports the public health experts and government officials doing their very best to protect the city’s residents. Given the stakes and the uncertainties, that is a very hard job! The discussion below is not intended to argue against a measured and careful re-opening plan. We are simply exploring how Breathing Space might fit within it.
There are many uncertainties at this point. There is no “family yoga” category in the city reopening task force report. We’ve been reading the fitness, childcare, and arts education sections for a sense of future rules and recommendations for reopening. Because we teach yoga, odds are good that Breathing Space will be treated as a fitness studio as far as the city is concerned.
While the mayor has not provided guidance beyond Phase 1 – during which fitness businesses must remain closed* – recommendations for Phase 2 and 3 are among the most restrictive categories. At least in the report, fitness studios will be allowed to host no more than 5 individuals, including the instructor, for every 1000 square feet they occupy. If that requirement is written into final re-opening rules, Breathing Space classes will remain virtual-only until there is a vaccine.
Again, we operate at a weird crossroads between business types: we are not a fitness studio. Our risk profile is not the same as aerobics, cross-training, or hot yoga. In some ways, our program is much lower risk. In others, perhaps not: toddlers and young children. They are slightly impulsive; may have limited language capacity; and they are naturally super social. But even childcare and arts education are limited to 10/1000 square feet or 10 to a group. For us, that’s 4 families to a class, well below break-even on our current costs and pricing structure.
Mostly Virtual Programs for the Foreseeable Future
Looking forward, we expect to offer virtual programming, certainly for the summer, likely for the fall, possibly into winter and spring. We will keep reevaluating as conditions and recommendations change.
We may have the opportunity later this summer or fall to offer in-person, outdoor classes. We will do so if we can and may even offer part-day, outdoors-only camps if that becomes an option (anyone registered for virtual could of course switch if we offer something in person).
Your Input Needed: Summer & Fall Programming
For those of you we’ve been seeing every week – or several times a week – thank you! We’ve loved seeing you and your children grow and thrive. We’d love to know what you’ve enjoyed most about classes and if there’s anything we can do differently going forward.
For those of you we’ve been missing, we hope you are well. We’d love to know if, now that we are a couple months into physical distancing, if there’s a way you would like to engage with our programming again? Are there formats, schedules, or subjects that would suit you?
If you’ve never taken our classes what might encourage you to do so?
*There seems to be some wiggle room for outdoor classes during Phase 1 in the park reopening guidance even though outdoor fitness is not specifically authorized otherwise.
Did you know that your yoga instructor has a graduate degree in public policy with a focus on environment and public health? Yeah. Only in DC.