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So...where are we now?

My goodness. How time....does whatever time does. Is it flying or standing still? Or I am I just busy in my own little corner of the world, and everything else is humming along fast on the outskirts? Maybe you get that. Maybe you don't. It's ALL GOOD. You know why? Because there is so much going on, for every single person reading this...good, not so good, scary, lovely, adventurous, mundane but needed...heartbreaking, inspiring...

Everyone reading this matters. Every bit of your life. I want you to know that. And the others who don't happen to see this? They matter, too.

All are children of God. All were born with purpose. This is not a political statement. If you make ANY assumptions based on this, other than it comes from love, you may very well be wrong. This is the kind of thing I would say on ANY given day, no matter the current climate! But as I started to write this blog-post about

"what is happening with Vessels of Clay Yoga after the COVID situation and as we continue to survive",

those words are what came out.

Not what I had planned. Not at all.

So, I am trusting the Spirit that sent them. "and now back to our regularly scheduled program"...

This post has been a little while coming, but the truth is, I have been SWAMPED with the necessaries, and this was not among them...that said, I DID get the information to the people who would be directly affected, some time ago. So no worries! I have not neglected anyone.

The COVID-19 situation basically shut down my business, as it did so many others. For me, the large majority portion of my annual income comes from leading Yoga Teacher Trainings for Yahweh Yoga* , and the COVID situation happened exactly at the time in which last minute sign-ups usually occur, not to mention when this year's training in Missouri was actually supposed to happen. Could I have re-scheduled? Only on a very shaky "maybe".

*see bottom of post, or click link, or both

Consider this: 1--where I live, the period of time in which you can schedule a training that spans about 3 months, because it only happens on weekends, and only every other weekend or so, is a bit limited. You can't do it in the fall, because most people are very committed to school activities for their kids and holiday happenings. You can't do it in the winter, because winter weather is unpredictable. Maybe it only ices and snows one or two days, but what if those days happen to be on the scheduled training days? What if any of the students cannot safely get to the training due to the road conditions? Re-scheduling those dates can be tricky, and people have already arranged their calendars. Paying for private make-up sessions costs the trainees more. And Spring around here is sometimes still Winter, so...late Spring into Summer is the best option. Oh wait...that's when we had lockdown. 2--Not to mention...the cost involved in taking a training. How many people, after a pandemic situation that causes a lockdown situation, will feel able and ready to commit to a training expense such as this? The cost itself is justifiable, especially when you break down how many days involved and the expertise provided, but it is still a sizable expense... can one hope to have enough people able to commit? And if not...what then for paying the bills, if you are the teacher investing the time and setting all those days aside on your calendar as non-negotiable? As for regular yoga classes... My regular classes are full of wonderful, committed folks...but when I say full, I mean that everyone in them is that kind of person (committed, loving, ready to receive, and reflections of the love they are receiving, right back to me)... I don't mean that they are "FULL" in a way that actually makes my full-time commitment a full-time income. And it has been that way for a little while, to the degree that I have been praying whether or not this assignment from God should continue as it is, or be shifting into a new season, new model, new version. I love helping people, and I love my students, so it has been a "wrestling" situation in prayer. So.

One of the blessings of this crazy last few months has been continued time to pray and meditate on what God might have for me to do. My driving force is wanting to please Him, wanting to serve others, and knowing that in a life that is lived freely and lightly according to His Word and His sacrifice, that means I can be passionate about what it is that I am doing, as well. That is just how He made me. That is part of His plan. I know this. Without making this post EVEN LONGER by sharing the many little ways in which I received direction, I will just cut to the chase: I am going back to school for another Bachelor's degree. A Bachelor's of Science in Modern Languages, concentration in French, with minors in Spanish and Italian (personalized). Right now, the eventual goal is to get a provisional teaching certificate at the end of that so that I can begin teaching while still getting my State of Missouri Education requirements for teachers, and then continuing on to the Master's level so that I have the option to teach at the University level, if I so choose. I am also open to interpreter and translation work. Those who know me know that I have a passion for communication and crossing cultural barriers, so this fits right in! (Just ask those I worked with in county government, about sending the english-NOT-as-first-language speakers to me on a regular basis. It was my joy to help, even when tired.)

Due to COVID, there are more online options for school, which we need, as we have a special needs animal at home who requires special feedings and meds at certain times of day. I don't know when we (husband and I both) will be taking an out of town trip again, to be honest. As long as Fuzzy Wuzzy is thriving on his regimen, we are committed, and it is not something easily taken over by those who are not completely in love with him as we are. It's like having a fussy newborn, many days.

I am currently taking 2 summer classes (intense), and making efforts towards getting hired as an ESL online teacher with a few different companies, so that I can bring in income from well as teaching voice lessons either in-person or online. Singing with church, and sometimes the Willie and the Nash Ramblers band...

and trying to fit in some kind of "normal" family and social stuff... but does this mean I am not teaching yoga or paddleboard at all?

NOPE! I TOTALLY STILL AM! here is what that looks like right now---and congrats on making it to this part of the post, the part you probably came for--

For Vessels of Clay Yoga & SUP Fitness (my mobile studio), private classes and lessons are still available, by appointment. I just taught one yesterday, even. So yes, that is still happening!

I am also teaching at 2 other studios, to a certain degree:

1-- Omni Health & Yoga, formerly Ozark Mountain Yoga, in Springfield-- I am still teaching Wednesday morning 9am Faith Flow classes.

The thing you need to know about that is, there MUST be people pre-registered 12 hours before class in order for me to make that drive to Springfield. One of the blessings to come out of COVID has been a better sense of honoring each other's time and commitments, and the truth is, if no one shows up to class, I don't get paid. A 2 hour commute plus 2 hours in Springfield is a challenging situation to face weekly, knowing there may not be any income from it, know what I mean? So I will continue to be committed to the lovely students there as long as my schedule allows, and in return, they are making that commitment to themselves, and honoring the teacher time as well. (It is a fairly common practice now, and I think a quite honoring one. It is also how studios are able to reserve spots for students and keep facilities safe.) The new owner is a person of integrity and love, and I am happy to support her new endeavor!

2-- KOM Hot yoga-- I am subbing in occasionally for a teacher who is out on maternity leave, and if other chances arrive that work with my schedule, I would be happy to help out then as well. I enjoyed subbing 2 classes last week---what a treat! Under new ownership and in a new location. It is a place of light and love, for sure.

Actually, with BOTH of these studios, it is not just my love of students and helping people that has me lending my support, nor is it the hourly wage---it's the owners. They are both amazing, loving women, responding to a surprising call (in both of their cases---it is my honor to have heard their stories and to call them friends!) to step forward. I highly recommend both as places to lend your support as well!

So that's the deal, Lucille. I am still teaching with VOCY, but by appointment, whether on a mat or on a board (and boy, do I need that outside recess!) I am teaching a couple of other places on a limited basis. I am feeding/medicating a sweet kitty who makes it worth it, but sometimes tries my tired self, I am doing my best to fit in joy breaks with my ukulele, my husband, my friends, my church...and certainly, every day with my Savior. It's a good life. It's a challenging one. It's a new normal...and it shifts often, doesn't it? In fact, tomorrow I am leading a meditation called "A Moment of Unity" for a private alumni group of folks from all over the world, in response to the heartbreaking circumstances in the last few weeks, as we continue to take a few steps forward and back in this lifelong lesson of learning to love one another...all one "anothers"... So please pray for me that it is a healing space for all who come. I am praying for all who read this, and all whom you pray for...and all around. And feel free to reach out to schedule yoga or paddleboard or voice lessons or what-have-you!

so much love---it is always the BEST ANSWER! lil robyn

*Referring back to the Yahweh Yoga Teacher Training in Missouri, I did send out emails as things were changing early in the lockdown, to see if anyone would be interested in an online version of the training (from here in Missouri) this summer...there were not enough people to make that a worthwhile investment of time. Following that research, Yahweh Yoga themselves decided to schedule a ZOOM training from Arizona, which FULLY SATISFIES the requirements by the Yoga Alliance. It is NOT just an "online training", which does not meet the in-person requirements, and unfortunately, some studios may not be as upfront about that. It is a training via ZOOM, in real-time, with real interaction, so you will be getting high quality training, just as if you were in-person. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Please consider clicking the link above to find out more, if this is something you are interested in! and tell them Robyn sent ya! =-)

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