Lockdown and beyond: the story of Peta and her tree

At the end of June, I signed the lease on the Elizabeth St yoga studio. About one day later Sydney was locked down. The studio doors have not yet opened. It’s been 11 weeks. Yes, it was very bad timing! But, many good things have given me a sense of purpose and kept my spirits up over this long 11-week period:

Maple tree
My recently replanted Maple tree

Establishing our new school, with an enthusiastic team. We have a name, a logo, a website, an online booking system, a social media program, new props, a new street sign, and an online teaching timetable supported by 4 committed teachers. It feels good! Thanks to Kate Oliver and Belinda Piggott in particular for your support and initiative throughout this time.  

The support of students and colleagues. It has been heartwarming to see so many attending online classes, sending notes of encouragement, providing marketing ideas and technical advice, even buying class passes with no intention of using them!  Yoga community has sustained me…and I hope we have helped sustain each of you. 

The kindness of my landlord, who “scrubbed’ my September rent. 

And, of course, yoga itself. What a helpful practice yoga is! Rich and life affirming, it always brings me to an integrated, connected place.  Getting on the mat on a daily basis has given structure to my locked down days.

I have been supported by standing poses that energise, and bring stability and balance, ….so important at this time of uncertainty and loss of direction;  by backbends bringing space in the chest, creating optimism and lifting the spirits; by inversions stabilizing and supporting the nervous system, so vital to our mental/emotional well-being; and by pranayama that brings me so deeply and clearly into the present and my inner self. 

Outside the yoga world, lockdown has given me time to tend to my garden … including our grafted maple. Planted in a pot for 30 years … it’s had a hard life, it’s been knocked around, and like all of us, it’s far from perfect…but still it is beautiful. And now, at last, we have transplanted it, and given it hope of new life in the garden soil. I hope it will enjoy having more freedom for its roots, that it will branch out and grow, …… just as I hope our new school will build on and strengthen its roots, and be filled with life and energy when we can finally open the doors in 6 weeks’ time. 

So yes, my lockdown experience has had lots of good in it. But now I can’t wait for it to end! I am looking forward to getting on with Redfern Yoga Space. To seeing you all again, real people, on the mat, feeling each other’s energy, connecting with a rich, loving and supportive yoga community…in our beautiful Redfern studio.  

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