In January, Kay Keyhani. opened her own yoga studio, YogiSmile, on Main Street and welcomed a steadily growing clientele before the pandemic’s arrival forced her to close her doors in March.
“We started offering free community classes to help the community with the shock of staying at home situation,” Keyhani wrote in an email. “We continued to offer Live-stream classes [either free or ‘pay what you can’ donation based] until June 29″ when Prince George’s County authorized the reopening of gyms and studios.
“As you can imagine, this situation put us in a very difficult financial situation,” Keyhani wrote. “Although membership has increased in the last couple of months, it is still very slow and most of our clients prefer to practice from home. With the arrival of the cold season, the membership is very unpredictable.”
With COVID-19 numbers on the rise, Keyhani decided to offer a free community session in nidra yoga, a practice of yoga that helps individuals cope with stress and anxiety, to promote relaxation and better sleep.
“This was my first time taking Yoga Nidra, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect,” Vanessa van der Have, a Laurel resident who attended a yoga nidra session on Nov. 18, wrote in an email. “After a gentle warm up, Kay guided us through a ‘body scan’ intended to relax you from head to toe. By the end, I had actually dozed off. It was so relaxing and I slept like a baby that night!”
In addition to free classes, Keyhani offers a variety of paid classes, including moderate flow, rise and shine with a smile and prenatal classes - both in-person and streamed live.
“To show our gratitude and intent to serve, we have reduced our prices to accommodate our clients in this difficult time. We also offer discounts upon request to military staff, health care workers, seniors, students and anyone who is experiencing economic hardship,” Keyhani wrote. “We are grateful to the community for their continuous support to our small business to survive and serve the community.”