January 3rd, 2021

New Yoga Lab Covid-19 Rules

Announcements > Community

Written by Jay Koh

Dear Yoga Lab Members,

Hope all of you have had a wonderful holiday season, and Happy New Year 😊

As you know, from the very first day we opened, the Lab has taken all sorts of measures to provide the safest place to train during this Covid-19 pandemic. We took steps that no other yoga studio that we know of were taking because the benefits that they conferred far outweighed the small inconveniences. As Massachusetts has tightened its regulations, we haven’t felt any change because we’ve been ahead of the curve the entire time.

The best way to fight a pandemic is with vigilance and being proactive. Therefore, we are going to do something which might upset some of you, but it is for the greater good.

Effective immediately, anyone who has travelled outside of Massachusetts will need to produce a negative Covid-19 test dated at least 3-5 days after you return home. You will not be allowed to train until you produce a negative test.

There are 2 other possibilities:

If you test positive and are asymptomatic, please wait until at least 10 days after you tested positive before signing up for classes.

If you test positive and have symptoms, please do not attend class. All of you know that my only goal is keeping everyone safe. In this case, just let me know that you tested positive and when the symptoms began. 10 days from the beginning of your symptoms, I will contact you and if your symptoms are improving and you have not had a fever for at least 24 hours (without using a fever-reducing medication), then you can attend class, but you will be subject to a temperature check at the front desk. The important thing to remember is that contracting the Covid-19 virus is not a stigma. It happens and we work through it together.   

Also, if you are planning on traveling outside of Massachusetts for longer than a day trip, it is your responsibility to inform the Lab of this.

The CDC guidelines are to get tested “3-5 days after your trip AND stay home for 7 days. Even if you test negative, stay home for the full 7 days.” (link )

I’ve been watching the Covid-19 numbers with tremendous concern. The reality is that we are now in what might be the most dangerous time of this whole pandemic because of a confluence of events, most recently all the traveling and gathering of large groups that happened during the holiday season. And the reality is that when people get together for vacations or celebrations, it’s inevitable that they will forget to socially distance and wear masks.

What I’d like to remind people is that fighting this Covid-19 pandemic is not a political issue. Wearing a proper protective mask AND wearing it properly is not a political issue. Social distancing is not a political issue. How do I know? Because we keep seeing confirmed reports of people from all points of the political spectrum contracting, being sickened by, and unfortunately even dying from the Covid-19 virus.

It’s too easy to say to oneself, “I’m not going to get Covid” or “Even if I get it, I won’t get sick from it.” The worst I’ve heard is, “Even if I get sick from it, I won’t die from it.” If you believe any of that because you’re healthy and not elderly, look up Nick Cordero and his story.

In the end, our duty is to our community.

The freedoms we so gladly enjoy were built on the sacrifices of so many who selflessly fought and died not to protect those freedoms but rather to protect the society that allows those freedoms to endure. Similarly, the Yoga Lab is all about doing what is best for the community first and then the individual.

This might seem a bit contradictory to what we so often hear from different leaders in the yoga world who espouse the importance of the individual. The individuality of yoga and becoming more aware of the intricacies of your minds and bodies is indeed a lifelong journey well worth traveling. However, this must be balanced by protecting communities.

What has become clear during this Covid-19 pandemic is the huge toll that social isolation has taken on all demographics, from kindergarteners all the way up to the elderly. It’s not like we didn’t know this decades ago. There is an old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

It’s funny how we all agree with it. Yet so many are unwilling to do their fair share of prevention, and it is this choice which has heavily contributed to the current state of the Covid-19 pandemic in the U.S. and the deleterious effects of social isolation.

Those of you reading this who have never been to a class at the Yoga Lab might think that these new requirements are draconian and that people should have the individual freedom to do whatever they want. The reality is that you cannot imagine what you don’t know. Ask anyone who regularly trains at the studio, and they will tell you that it is unlike any place they have ever been to in terms of how caring the community is. It is the recognition of how important this community is that makes it imperative to protect its well-being and health to the best of our abilities.

Therefore, we are proactive about protecting our community because the thought of losing even one member to Covid is horrifying. As a general message to everyone, the next time you are contemplating whether or not you should take that extra step to protect yourself – and by extension those with whom you will interact – understand that your choice matters because as stated in the Talmud, “He who saves a single life, saves the world entire.”

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