Canberra Yoga Space

Director and teacher at Canberra Yoga Space, Eli Haski, has felt the brunt of COVID-19 with moving her business online.

06 August 2020

COVID-19 has affected everyone in our community and has placed significant pressure on our local businesses and families.

Director and teacher at Canberra Yoga Space, Eli Haski, has felt the brunt of COVID-19 with moving her business online, and running and teaching yoga from home, all while setting up and supervising home schooling for her children as a single mum.

“I saw the writing on the wall and I said, ‘right, we have to go online’. I have 20 teachers that still need employment, I have a student base who still need support – they’re going to need yoga because there is a lot of stress and anxiety around COVID-19.

“When we were running online classes I made it super cheap because I was worried – I heard about lots of people losing their jobs and I wanted to make our classes really accessible to help people through this time. It meant we were about 80% down financially for three months or so.

“When gyms could open again, I created a combination of both [online and in-person classes]. Some of our teachers are immuno-compromised so I offered them they choice to teach online, or teach in person, or do both.

“Being back face-to-face is fantastic, but to maintain physical distancing we can have less than half the capacity in the room. From a business perspective that’s not ideal. We all took a bit of a pay-cut as teachers.

“I’m pretty lucky that I get to do what I love. Pre-COVID, we were on a trajectory to expand and do other fabulous things, but that’s on pause for now. A lot of business owners will tell you, it’s not a 9 to 5 job. You’re doing admin late at night, you’re working during the day and you’re thinking about the business all the time. It can be quite lonely as a business owner sometimes.

“It’s super tough and we’re all struggling, but we need to use common sense so we can get through this together.”

Eli is one of many local business owners who, at the start of the year, were talking about expanding but are now working tirelessly just to get back to where they were.

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