Doors Close, Others Will Open

Dear Yoga Mendocino Family,

We hope you have fared well during the months since the Board had to abruptly suspend classes and events at YoMo to keep our people safe. Unfortunately, it is now clear that the pandemic will drag on for some time, and it could be months before it is safe (and permitted) to bring people together in a closed space. Therefore, we are writing you with the sad news that the Board has regretfully concluded that we must give up YoMo’s beloved Mason Street studio. We are sure you share our deep sadness about this unavoidable decision. 

You are probably aware that many organizations and businesses here and elsewhere are being forced to close or dramatically restructure. This includes yoga studios that have a far stronger financial base than ours. We have done everything we can to save YoMo’s studio; but our financial viability depends largely on income from classes and larger in-person events, and without those sources we cannot cover the expenses (staff, rent, utilities, insurance, and so on) needed to maintain a place-based organization.

The Board will use the month of June to move out of the studio and make plans for continuing YoMo as a virtual organization. (To repeat: Yoga Mendocino as an organization will continue!) Our vision is that YoMo will continue to offer resources to the community for nurturing wellness of body, mind, and spirit. We all know how much this is needed during these stressful times. The Board’s vision for YoMo as a virtual organization includes maintaining the website—now being upgraded—as our major communication channel, augmented by emails, Facebook and Instagram. Watch these sources for information as the vision takes shape in the coming weeks and months—and please share your own ideas and visions with us. If all goes well, we hope that someday, YoMo will offer occasional in-person events related to yoga, meditation, and wellness in venues to be determined. In the meantime, we’re pleased to announce that Maggie Norton will offer a Yoga Nidra session via Zoom on behalf of YoMo in July. Watch the website for details.

You are a valued member of the Yoga Mendocino family. If you have enjoyed workshops, presentations, and concerts at YoMo, watch the website for future offerings—including some in the very near future. If you are a yoga student, we hope you can continue learning and practicing yoga. While YoMo can no longer offer yoga class series, we intend to continue to publicize the classes and programs offered by YoMo-affiliated teachers, as we have since March. If you prepaid for yoga classes or events prior to the shutdown, you will receive a refund (unless you let us know soon that you would like that to be a donation towards YoMo’s next creative phase).

Finally, if you are a YoMo sustaining member and/or donor, we are deeply grateful to you for helping to make Yoga Mendocino what it is and for sustaining its presence in the studio for 18 wonderful years. YoMo will keep its non-profit status and Board. As we explore new ways of enriching and supporting our community, we will continue to need financial support to cover our limited expenses.

Whatever your connection(s) to YoMo, please stay in touch! And plan to join us on Friday, June 26 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. for a virtual gathering of the YoMo community to mark our farewell to 206 Mason Street and our transition to new forms of service and community.

With regret, warm regards, and best wishes for your health and safety,

Susan Baird Kanaan, President, for the Yoga Mendocino Board (Kathy Brigham, Pauline Hurme, Cathy Monroe, Maggie Norton, Iris Padgett, and Carolyn Welch)