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It’s Not About the Place

Dear Yoga Matrika Community:

At the end of April, almost four-years ago, I opened Yoga Matrika as a studio at 1406 S. Negley Avenue. At the time, my son was just an infant and I had newly returned to Pittsburgh after 17-years of roaming in various cities in the United States and countries in Asia. In these few years, Yoga Matrika has truly developed from a yoga studio into a beautiful community. This community has offered consistent support and encouragement both in the healing work that I am committed to doing and in my personal life. Since opening Yoga Matrika, I have experienced kindness and generosity and developed relationships that have enriched my life in ways that I could not have predicted. This work would not have been possible without the dedication and commitment of hundreds of students to this mindful and healing practice of yoga and meditation.

Although I may have opened Yoga Matrika, I have not acted alone. Our community has had the benefit of the dedication and the selfless efforts of so many teachers, both past and present, who gave their hearts and shared the wisdom of their own practice and training for the benefit of the physical and spiritual development of this community. These teachers have made many personal sacrifices over the years—the sacrifice of time with their own young children and, for many, the sacrifice of the financial income that would have come with teaching at a larger or more established studio. I would be remiss if I didn’t express incredible gratitude here for my husband who, only out of his love for me and commitment to my happiness, renovated both of the spaces that have been home to Yoga Matrika. He has shoveled, replaced light bulbs, taken out the garbage and completed hundreds of tasks on a daily basis to make sure that we all had a safe and comfortable place to practice. Not to mention the hundreds of hours of high quality solo-parenting he has done so that I could go to school, work and run this business over the past couple of years.

As many of you know, I am expecting and due to have a baby this summer. Knowing that it would be impossible to manage the studio and maintain the space over the summer and as I move forward as the mother of a newborn and another young child, I was forced to make the very difficult decision to close Yoga Matrika. The last classes held at Yoga Matrika, 6520 Wilkins Avenue, will be Saturday, February 26, 2011. This is the bad news. The good news is that Yoga Matrika ceased being “just a place” a long time ago. I will continue to teach group classes at a variety of locations through the city and hope that these will offer value and convenience so that we can continue to practice and work together. I am available for private, small group and corporate yoga by appointment and will continue with my childbirth education programs and teacher training programs. In addition, all of the teachers at Yoga Matrika teach at other locations in the city and I encourage you to support other studios and your favorite teachers and continue your practice. I will list all of the instructor information on the Yoga Matrika website so you can easily contact and locate your favorite teachers. Information about my classes moving forward from March 1, 2011 will continue to be available on this website. You will continue to be able to use the web scheduler to pay for classes with me with a credit card and to enroll in classes online. It is my intention to teach group classes at least until the beginning of June when I will most likely take 2-3 months off for maternity leave.

The financial aspects of the closure will be handled as responsibly as possible. I have outlined how class packages, memberships and registrations will be handled below. From now until the studio closes, we are not selling any additional packages and you can only purchase tuition for single classes. There is also a $50 unlimited pass that is valid for unlimited classes between January 18 and February 20 ONLY. It will remain available for purchase, but please make sure that you will be able to take a minimum of 4-classes before February 20th so that the fee is worth your while. Otherwise, please just pay for the drop-in fees. The cost for single classes is: $15 adults and $10 for full time students.

How can you continue to support this community and me personally through this transition?

  • First, it is always meaningful to receive feedback on what Yoga Matrika has meant to you personally. I cherish all of the positive messages I have already received and assure you that I save these and they are a part of the permanent record of the studio.
  • Second, if you are open to offering some testimonials that I can use on the website and in promotional materials, please send me those. These are incredibly valuable and help potential students and private clients make their decisions about teachers. Please make sure that you label anything you send me as private communication or as a statement or story that you are willing to share.
  • Third, please continue to practice yoga with me and other teachers that you have met through Yoga Matrika. Even if it means going a little out of your way or discovering a new neighborhood, your efforts to continue your practice with us will be greatly appreciated.
  • Finally, there is a Paypal donation button at the very bottom of this page. If you feel generous and inclined, your donations will go towards the costs related to the closure of this studio and towards the deposits required to rent space moving forward. As we are not a non-profit organization, your donations are not deductible, but they will be very helpful and greatly appreciated.

I look forward to continuing to serve this community wherever we may roam.

With gratitude,

Sharon

The Business Aspects of the Closure

  1. Please note that all personal property left at the studio after February 20, 2011 will be considered abandoned. Please take your mats home and be sure to leave each time with your water bottles, clothing, etc.
  2. If you purchased a class package in 2010, it most likely should have expired before February 26, 2011. If you received any kind of personal extension or exception, please note that there will be no way to honor any package purchased in 2010 after February 26, 2011. Please take as many of these classes as possible while the studio is open. There are a few student accounts that will be an exception to this: 1) prenatal packages purchased in 2010 AND 2) students who registered for a winter series that was to run through March. I will personally contact anyone who requires an exception and make arrangements.
  3. If you purchased a class package in 2011, it will remain valid to its expiration date. In a few cases, this will mean using the package for payment of classes at other locations. There will be NO refunds or extensions on these packages for any reason. If you are not able to attend any of the classes that are offered at other locations in March, then any classes remaining after February 26th will be forfeited.
  4. If you purchased a one-time payment, unlimited SALE membership (student or adult) in August 2010, these will be cancelled as of February 26, 2011. Please take as many classes as you can while these memberships are still valid. In most cases, the few holders of these discount memberships have already received excellent value for them.
  5. If you are an unlimited member and are having auto-payments made on your credit card, your final payment will either be in January or in the first 7-days of February depending on your anniversary date. I will cancel all future membership payments. If, for any reason, you are incorrectly charged, you should contact me by phone or e-mail and I will immediately remedy the issue to your benefit.
  6. If you have a Living Social voucher ($10 for 5-classes), you can exchange it at any time before February 26, 2011 for as many classes as you can take before the studio closes or 5-classes, whichever is greater. After February 26, 2011 you should contact Sharon at: sharon@yogamatrika.com to find out how to use the cash value ($10) of your voucher towards currently available yoga services.

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