The Yoga Tree Gardner, MA
As the owner of The Yoga Tree, I want to apologize for my absence over the past couple months as we continue to go through this unprecedented time. Like many of you, I too am personally struggling with all that has changed and where to go from here. Despite the challenges, you have not been absent from my heart. I think of you each and every day, holding space for you to overcome obstacles that you may be facing with this pandemic. Life sure has changed for all of us.
I long awaited the reopening of our state to learn that The Yoga Tree would be in Phase 3 with strict guidelines. Such as, deep sanitizing between every class, wearing masks during class for both teacher and student and abiding by social distancing rules. Maximum capacity in the studio would likely be limited to 4 people including your teacher.
I’ve been mulling over the issue how we enter the studio. The building houses a number of vulnerable people, like Norman (who sits in the lobby), who are more susceptible to death if the virus is contracted.
Soon after closing I spent a lot of time applying for numerous grants but have received no assistance. Bills continue to pile up and I can no longer afford to financially support the studio. I’ve exhausted all my resources.
The mission of The Yoga Tree is “To provide a beautiful, calming and safe atmosphere…” I don’t see it possible to provide a safe atmosphere for a long time to come. We are in the business of breathing, which, as you know, is largely how the virus spreads. The pandemic has drastically changed the yoga industry. Until a vaccine is developed, I don’t believe that it will be safe to do yoga in a small space breathing heavily together. In my eyes, opening back up before a vaccine would be violating many of the Yamas, the ethical practices of yoga. Yet another part of the mission, “At The Yoga Tree, we demonstrate the principles of the eight limbs of yoga…”
It is with great sadness to announce that I am permanently closing the brick and mortar of The Yoga Tree. I’ve been weighing this decision for quite some time and it didn’t come easy. I just don’t see a sustainable way to reopen.
It is important to know that regardless of our physical doors closing, we are still here for you! When one door closes, another one opens, if we allow. This is our opportunity to spread our roots and branch out.
This summer and fall we hope to offer classes in outdoor spaces so we may practice safely. Many of your teachers will continue to teach at their capacity. I will share this information with you here so that you are able to continue to connect and practice with your teacher(s).
I imagine for some of you the decision to close may come as no surprise but others it might be shocking. I understand anything and everything that you may be feeling right now, I’ve been living it for weeks/months. Please know that I am holding space for you to mourn and grieve in a way that is safe and appropriate for you.
Whether you have been a part of the Tree since inception or new to the studio, on behalf of all the teachers and from the bottom of my heart, we thank you for your dedication to the studio, your support and understanding.
This is a bittersweet moment in time. The Yoga Tree always felt like home for me. It is where I learned how to teach, where I built a strong community and served so many. The hardest part for me is missing you and the amazing community that developed. I often think back to my Wednesday night class where people showed up 20-30 minutes early just to catch up with others. I watched a lot of amazing friendships develop as well as people reconnecting with friends from the past. We had many laughs and shed some tears throughout the years. The true reward for me, is to see your transformation through your practice, which is different and beautiful for everyone. These are beautiful memories and I will carry them with me forever as I hope you do too.
I will continue to teach and have some exciting things to offer you, which I will be sharing with you very soon. Until we meet again…
Always know, that the light in me, honors and shines on the light in you. I wish you love, light and happiness.
In accordance with the Federal and State guidelines, I have decided that The Yoga Tree’s physical space will remain closed at least through May 3rd. With so much change from day to day and the sense of uncertainty, you can rest assured that we are still here for you.
As you may know, we have been running a limited number of virtual online classes to bring you some relief in your own home. The response has been great and we love that families are doing yoga together in their own homes. We are pleased to announce two classes are being added to the Virtual schedule and we will offer a special package for the entire family for the month of April. You can purchase a VIRTUAL Unlimited family membership for only $75. Membership is more than just the virtual classes. See home page for more details about membership.
We recognize that some of you have lost your jobs due to the pandemic and may not be able to afford this package. Trust me, I get it, I am right there along with you. As the owner of the studio, I am personally asking for those who are not interested in the membership but may have the means to help, consider buying a gift certificate, donate back to the Yoga Tree to help pay for those who cannot afford.
We are hopeful to reopen doors in May but only time will tell. We hope that you are all doing well and enjoying the time to reconnect with family. We continue to hold you in our thoughts and prayers in this challenging time.
After careful consideration, talking with our teachers, many of you, local business owners and those in the same industry, we have come to the difficult decision to close our doors for the next two weeks to do our part to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. We will reassess the situation over the coming weeks and will keep you up-to-date when the door will reopen.
Memberships will be paused during this time and resume when we open. If you have signed up for a class or workshop, your account will be credited and may be used towards another class/workshop in the future.
We are excited to announce that we will be offering online classes during this time so that you can practice in the comfort of your own home. Stayed tuned for complete details and schedule on this tomorrow!
Be well my friends. You will be in our thoughts and heart.
We recognize that many are concerned about the Coronavirus, as you should be to some extent. We encourage you to remain calm and take necessary steps for your own health and safety. This is a great time to practice “Yoga off the mat”. Your practice gives you the tools you need during stressful times and uncertainly. Some examples of yoga off the mat are; exercising your patience while waiting in long grocery lines, taking a few moments through the day to find your breath to bring a sense of calm, and let go of the unnecessary stress that our minds sometimes create.
At The Yoga Tree your health and wellness are of utmost importance. We encourage anyone who is showing any symptoms of illness to remain home and take care of yourself. We ask that those of you who are more vulnerable with compromised immune systems and/or elderly to stay home as well.
We will remain open for the time being with a possibility of a somewhat limited schedule. More details on this to come soon.
We will take the following precautionary measures along with some ideas where you can help.
The studio will be cleaned daily; floors, bathroom, door knobs to all doors etc. Please feel free to grab an extra paper towel to flush the toilet, turn the water off and open doors. It may be a little extra waste but worth it in these times.
Infused fruit waters will be suspended for now. There is a water filter on the faucet in the back room and plenty of mugs you can use or bring your own bottle to class.
New and fresh washed blankets have been put out on the shelves. Blankets will be switched out more frequently but not daily. We encourage you to bring your own blanket or towel if you are not comfortable sharing with others. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Grab a bath towel on the way out the door.
Blocks and straps have been washed down. We ask if you use these props during your practice that you wipe down before and after use with the disinfecting solution provided.
Bolster covers are currently being washed. We are not able to wash these on a daily basis. You will find one-use freshly cleaned hand towels to drape over the bolsters or other props if needed in the studio. Please put soiled towels in the laundry basket in the middle room after class to be washed.
In the following days and weeks, I will be sharing more about yoga off the mat, offer you Ayurvedic techniques and practices to stay healthy throughout the Spring.
I believe in this time of crisis, there is so much to learn about ourselves and so many great lessons. Attitude is everything!
Don't forget to breathe!
It is with great pleasure and honor to have the amazing opportunity to tend to the growth of The Yoga Tree. I am incredibly grateful to Kara and Jess for believing and trusting in me as the person the take on this exciting task. Kara & Jess planted the seed and built a solid foundation, it is now my duty to tend the tree, extend its roots, strengthen the branches and nourish its leaves.
If you have not yet met me, my name is Jennifer Peck. My journey as a yoga teacher started at The Yoga Tree almost three years ago. While studying yoga at Frog Pond Studio in Princeton, Kara & Jess graciously welcomed me to the Tribe to teach my 10-week practicum required to graduate. I instantly felt the warm loving energy of the beautiful space and the amazing people that showed up each week to their mat. It is funny to look back where I started as a teacher as I initially had no desire to teach, I was simply going through the training for personal growth. As I continued to grow in my own life, my passion to teach grew strong and has become a way of life for me. Of the many places that I have taught and continue to teach at, although I love them all, The Yoga Tree" has always felt like home for me.
Over the past two years, I’ve had the opportunity to teach yoga to a wide-variety of people. Those who are deaf and blind, with intellectual and developmental disabilities, struggling with addiction, suffering from mental illness and significant physical limitations, beginners and everyone in between. It is my belief that yoga is for everyone no matter who you are or the challenges you face. My motto is “If you can breathe, you can do Yoga.”
As you make your way in to the studio over the coming days/weeks, you will notice some small physical changes of the space. What’s not going to change is the talented teachers who provide you a great yoga experience. We will begin to offer new workshops and services for you own personal development, growth and enjoyment. Stay tuned for more on this!
Thank you to all for your outpouring love, support, and encouragement to take on this great task. I have big shoes to fill but ready for the challenge. A special thank you to my biggest cheerleader, Owen, the love of my life. He has been by my side since the day I stepped on my mat for the first time; he has supported my growth every step of the way and always willing to do what it takes to make my dreams come true.
In Fall of 2015, driven by the inner desire to bring the transformative practice of yoga to the Gardner community, Jessica and I began our journey of creating what is now The Yoga Tree. Along the way we were met with the support and conditions that allowed The Tree to manifest beyond an intention and to take shape, becoming the beautiful space that serves us today. Since the doors opened in April 2016, The Tree has become so much more than a space; supported by each of you it has blossomed into a beautiful community for transformation, acceptance, growth, healing, friendship, oh! and yoga too!
Our initial vision was to create a studio that could sustain in downtown Gardner. Now here we are, three years later, with a business that is thriving. Jessica and I began this as a labor of love; knowing the time spent teaching and running the business would take any spaces in our already full lives. In the early days, you would see our boys taking class or patiently lingering in the lobby or the back room while we attended to the studio. Those boys are now in middle school, and we’ve come to realize that the days are long, but the years are short.
As we carefully assessed the needs of the studio, as it continues along its pattern of growth, as well as the needs of each of our lives outside of the studio, we came to realize that our lives as well as our hearts are overflowing. For this reason, Jessica and I have decided to give the task of tending to the growth of the tree to Jennifer Peck. As of September 1st, Jennifer will be the sole owner of The Yoga Tree.
Many of you already know Jennifer as one of our teachers. She began her teaching journey at The Yoga Tree and has since taught our Gentle/ Beginner classes and our beginner’s workshops. She has greeted many of you as you first stepped onto your mat. Her love of yoga, the compassion she brings to her classes and her students, and the years she spent in corporate America before becoming a full-time yoga teacher makes her not only capable, but in our eyes and heart, the right person to take the lead.
The studio you love will continue to be here for you. The teachers you love and trust, including Jessica and myself, will remain on the schedule. Jennifer is committed to keeping the heart of the tree alive, well and growing. We will be closed August 31st through September 2nd reopening September 3rd to accommodate the transition.
Jessica and Kara
We are always developing workshop ideas and
are open to hosting workshops. If you
have an area of interest you'd like to explore or
provide, contact us to let us know.
12 hour notice of cancellation required for regular classes.
24 hour notice of cancellation required for all specialty workshops.