Dear Found City Yoga family,
I am writing to you with a full and heavy heart today to let you know that Found City Yoga will be closing at the end of November. This news is very hard for me to put into words, and I know that it will be harder still for many of you to receive. I am asking you to please read this letter to the end, to allow the message to begin unfolding, in faith that each end begets a beginning.
This letter is the first of three communications. I will send two more letters over the next couple of weeks with specific information about the closure and the next steps. I and my colleagues will be available to walk with you through the transition. If you own a pass at Found City Yoga, there is no action required by you at this time. We will directly communicate what you need to know in the coming weeks.
The pandemic has dealt the business a staggering blow. In this context, the particulars of our corporate structure meant that we desperately needed a commercial arrangement in place to sustain the business at its current location through ongoing COVID restrictions, and to see us into a recovery period. More than six months into the pandemic, we have exhausted our resources, and our commercial landlords have agreed to terminate the lease at the end of November. While it breaks my heart to lay Found City Yoga to rest, I am extremely grateful for this unexpected outcome. It enabled me to avoid a painfully sudden closure, and instead to provide some notice to our community, and to continue classes until late November.
And there is some welcome good news: I am very pleased to be working with Yoga Lab Victoria on a creative offer to Found City Yoga members. It is a privilege to connect with this established yoga organization that represents such a consistent positive presence in the local community, and I am really looking forward to seeing what may come. We will provide detailed information soon. For now, please wait until you hear from us before directing inquiries to either studio.
I want to share some perspective on the situation. October 22 will begin the studio’s thirteenth year since opening in 2008. December 1 would have begun my seventh year of studio ownership. The last few years especially have been transformative for us. By March 2020, after investing in a major renovation last summer and embarking on several projects involving our greater yoga community both here and abroad, we were preparing for a promising next decade full of opportunity. Then everything upended, and here we are in these important, complex, changing, uncertain times.
In these recent years at the studio we concentrated on teacher development, continuing education, immersive programmes to dive deep into practice, training, meditation, healing. What stands out most to me, and to the many dedicated yoga professionals with whom I have been privileged to work, is the profound impact of coming together in this way to build community.
Here is what that looks like: you came to classes early, to wait quietly on the bench and gaze at the Found City canvas hanging above the fountain. You practiced often beside its creator, by the way. You came to have a half-hour savasana before class; some of you came daily to do this because, even before the pandemic, you knew that you needed a nap. You came to talk to Oliver, and frequently to bring him gifts. You came after hours to help with the cleaning, provide extra security, fix the plumbing again, or just to say hi. You came for private lessons, private classes, coaching sessions, advanced practice, for meetings to discuss your injuries, surgeries, rehabilitation, to lean on someone, to hug someone, to be near someone.
You talked about your children and your parents. You shared with us your family situation, life goals, achievements, griefs and losses, babies and grandbabies, and more and more babies, so many babies. You laughed during class, stormed in or out, sang in the shower, groaned through your practice and felt better after. You sweated buckets. You unveiled your frustrations, ecstasies, compliments, complaints, boredoms, and philosophies. You peeled away layers and layers. Some of you left and came back. Some met one another through your yoga practice, found yourselves, and changed forever. Some are forever changing. You are students, workers, makers, companions, keepers, seers, and caregivers. You showed yourself and shared yourself, even when you were hiding, and I am so honoured. I am so honoured and challenged by you.
This is community. It is yours to claim and ours to grow, and it exists beyond the studio itself. It is what I meant by “found city,” when I named it, and it is all right in front of you.
I love you.