As the year continues to creep by ever-so-slowly, we’re all still living in a world where COVID-19 is prevalent and present.
Though time has passed since the early stages of COVID (that unsure time in 2020 where everything was shut down) and progress has been made, there are still new variants popping up, vaccination rates fluctuating, and some shaky surety left over.
In other words, as much as we wish the pandemic was over, the world continues on its era of COVID-19.
What does that mean for your yoga studio? It is more important than ever that you’re doing what you can to keep your studio, your staff, your yogis, and you as safe as can be.
But how can you work toward safety in your studio while ensuring that you’re doing all you can to keep the pandemic at bay in your own space?
While there’s no guarantee that following these guidelines will promise that COVID doesn’t darken your doorstep, these practices can help you on your path to keeping your studio open in a safe and responsible way.
Not quite ready to open your studio back up to the public?
That’s entirely up to you and your local/state guidelines.
We’re living through an unprecedented time, and how you choose to handle it is up to you.
If keeping your physical space closed is the right choice for you, we’ve laid out a few helpful ideas for how you can keep reaching your students without opening your doors.
Five Practices for a COVID Safe Studio
1. Take Sanitizing—Not Just Cleaning—Seriously
This might go without saying, but cleaning your studio is crucial—and obviously, we’re not talking about just dusting, vacuuming, and sweeping.
Cleaning your studio up to COVID standards is massively important if you’re planning on welcoming students into your studio for live, in-person classes.
This means regular, frequent sanitizing is a must. Create and implement a mandatory sanitizing schedule before and after every class.
Follow a guideline so you never miss any important sections of your studio and don’t slack on this part of the process.
Purchase the necessary antibacterial cleaners that will kill the virus on surfaces and don’t settle for non-sanitizing sprays.
If possible, mandate that students bring their own props, mats, and materials to class.
This will make the sanitizing workload a little less for you.
2. Require or Request Masks
As we mentioned before—we’re in an unprecedented time, so you need to do what makes you comfortable in your space.
Whether your city or state is requiring masks or not, don’t be afraid to make your own rules about masks in your studio—that’s your right to do so.
If you want to recommend all students wear masks in your space, do it. If you want to require that students wear masks in your space, do it.
Of course, this doesn’t mean every student is going to agree with your stance, and that’s OK—but don’t waffle on mask policies if implementing them is important to you.
Remember, it is your studio, you get to make the rules about safety.
As a bonus, have some spare masks available, too! Even if students are totally on board with your mask preferences in the studio, they might still forget to bring theirs from time to time. Make sure you don’t have to turn folks away by providing some spare masks if and when you can!
3. Occupancy Limits for Plenty of Space
Social distancing is still an important piece of dealing with the spread of COVID-19.
As such, it’s necessary to make sure that you’re giving your yogis plenty of room within the space you’ve got.
If you normally take walk-ins, try opting for a reservation system with a set number of spots available.
Try marking specific areas in the studio where students can lay their mats—ensure a proper amount of distance for safety.
Don’t be afraid to stand firm on the number of people allowed in your studio at a given time to ensure there’s no overcrowding.
4. Offer Outside Classes
If you have a public park nearby, an outdoor area at your studio, or a green space you can rent, consider offering classes outdoors!
Outdoor classes aren’t just a way to offer safer, more distanced classes, they’re also a refreshing part of any yogi’s practice.
Give your students a chance to reconnect with nature and socially distance without the need for masks in a beautiful, outdoor environment.
5. Be Open With Your Yogis—Explain Your Policies Transparently & Professionally
Though this tip isn’t necessarily as straightforward as sanitizing or wearing masks, it is incredibly helpful for keeping your studio space safe.
If you’re transparent with your yogis, they’re more likely to be transparent with you.
Talk to them about your policies, encourage them to not come to class if they feel ill, and don’t be afraid to tell them how you (as a yoga instructor and business owner) feel about the pandemic.
We don’t have a choice over the pandemic happening—but we can choose how we deal with it and what steps we take to keep others (and ourselves) safe.
Don’t Feel Comfortable Opening Your Studio Doors? You Have Options
If you’re not ready to open your studio doors, then don’t!
Of course, we know that simply saying no to business isn’t always easy.
You care about your students, your health, and your studio, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a business to run!
Just because having live, in-person classes isn’t in the cards for you right now doesn’t mean you have to give up on teaching! Consider options like:
- Live-Stream Classes
- On-Demand Yoga
- 1-on-1 Online Private Sessions
- Social Media & Video Platform Instruction (YouTube/Facebook/Instagram)
One of the beautiful things this pandemic has taught us is that we can diversify and amplify our income streams by opting for digital technology and teaching yoga online.
Need a little help taking your normally in-person classes online? Check out our How-To Guide for Teaching Yoga Online!
Don’t forget—if you’re planning to swap over to online yoga, your current insurance might not cover you. Check out everything you need to know about online yoga insurance by reading our Online Yoga Insurance Guide.