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  • Jenny Bradford

I'm not teaching yoga right now

When I tell people that I am a yoga instructor, the first question I am asked is, "where do you teach?". I understand the heart of this question is that someone might want to support me by taking one of my classes, and as a fitness instructor and SAHM with basically one income for 5 people, I am grateful for that sentiment! I believe that, as women, we should take every opportunity to support other women in their endeavors, financially, physicallly, and spiritually.


That said, I often wish I could kindly redirect this question to point out that yoga is a not a "when and where", nor is it a specific class in a space we call a studio. Yoga happens everywhere, all the time, primarily as the methodology with which we approach all aspects of our lives. If you are of a Judeo-Christian spiritual heritage, as I am (and even if you are not: roots of this are in Hinduism, Buddism, and even in Wiccan/pagan traditions), you recognize the omnipresence of the Divine in, around, and through all things. The "Universal Christ", as Father Richard Rohr describes. The tools I have learned over 17+ years of practicing yoga are with me always, even when I *ahem* neglect the physical part of the practice for months, even years. But, I realize that gets a little unnecessarily deeper than most people want in a daily conversation!


Yes, I have taught yoga in studios in the past. I spent a lovely year at Super Yoga Palace in East Dallas and several years as a kids yoga sub at We Yogis when their Lovers studio was still open. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly devastating for the fitness studio industry. Yoga studios, in particular, are usually independently owned. They are particularly vulnerable to financial loss without the safety net of a corporate backing. A studio's biggest expense is always the real estate they rent. A yoga studio doesn't "make rent" from what they charge in class fees or even memberships. Most studios rely on additional endeavors such as workshops, teacher trainings, and retail sales. Without the physical presence of students and without even the portion of income that comes from class attendance, I have sadly seen most of my favorite yoga studios in the DFW area close their doors.


That said, I have not always taught in a studio environment. I have taught yoga to kids and adults in parks, living rooms, garages, and inside homes. For 2-3 years, I taught donation-based classes at First United Methodist Richardson in an empty Sunday School class, and later in their brand-new fitness studio. I also taught a small private weekly class to their staff for 4+ years until the pandemic closed us down.


So, where do I teach yoga? Right now, nowhere! But where CAN I teach? Literally anywhere! I am very accustomed to arriving at any space and setting it up to faciliate a peaceful, welcoming, and challenging practice. I bring my own music, mats, props, and even aromatherapy if requested. One of my favorite environments to teach is a regular group private session. You can gather a group of friends or neighbors, set up a regular day/time, choose a space, and design your own style of practice. Make it as relaxing (hatha or slow flow) or challenging (power yoga + mat Pilates) as you like! If this sounds like a potential fit for you, I encourage you to email me and we will chat: jenny.bradford@gmail.com



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