2020 round up and a huge thank you

Well what a year 2020 was. Here's a round up of some of the things we got up to this year (the C-word will not be mentioned once!)

2020 round up, Russian doll

There are many expletives we could use to sum up this year but even a global pandemic can’t keep the good folk at EkhartYoga down! Here’s a round up of some of the many things we got up to in 2020. We know it’s been tough for many of you and we thank you, as ever, for your support.

January & February 2020: Innocent optimism

I tried casting my mind back to the first month of this year and a couple of things sprang to mind: 1) how incredibly far away it seems, almost a different lifetime and 2) how innocently optimistic we all were! The year began innocuously enough with an EkhartYoga annual meeting and brainstorm where we discussed all our exciting plans for the year to come.

Little did we know what was in store….

March to June 2020: The world turns upside down

In years to come, March 2020 will probably be one of those dates that is indelibly imprinted on people’s consciousness. Devastating bushfires in Australia, civil war in Turkey and Yemen, Brexit trade talks (or perhaps that’s just every month?), a welcome prison sentence for a prominent film producer … And of course, the defining moment of a generation: the World Health Organisation’s announcement of a global pandemic. 

Whilst acknowledging we are far from providing an emergency service (and our thanks and hearts go out to those who are literally putting their lives on the frontline), at EkhartYoga we believe in the power of yoga and meditation to create positive transformation in the world. And so we launched our…

Relief campaign – free classes for all

In March we launched our Relief campaign – free yoga and meditation classes for anyone who needed them. Almost 50,000 people signed up and the initiative was even featured in the New York Times.

Live classes with Esther – Building resilience, connecting community

At the same time, Esther Ekhart taught daily, live movement and meditation classes on YouTube to offer support and facilitate connection. The response was overwhelming; thousands tuned in from all over the world to practice together and many reported how much this daily event meant to them. Meanwhile, back at camp…

The transition to remote filming

Like all office-workers, transferring our working days from our airy, open plan office to a laptop on a kitchen table brought its own challenges. Though this was a drop in the ocean compared to the challenge faced by our videographers and huge team of multi-national teachers.

Pretty much overnight, the yoga landscape as we knew it, changed. Studios were forced to close and yoga teachers quickly had to move their live classes online. Our own teachers are, of course, very familiar with teaching online. What they’re less familiar with was having to record their own content.

Thankfully for us our…

New videographer joins EkhartYoga

Fortunately for us, we’d just recruited a new videographer – Louise – to the team. Unfortunately for her, she had to settle into a new job at the beginning of one of the strangest periods we’ve ever known – lockdown. Louise’s calm, steady, patient nature – characteristics she shares with her co-videographer, Lyanne – meant that our teachers were in the most capable of hands.

And never, perhaps, was that put to the test more thoroughly than during…

Our first ever online yoga festival!

In an attempt to inject a little joy into what had so far, been a pretty taxing year, we decided to host our first, online yoga festival, featuring over 40 different teachers and covering multiple timezones. It was an ambitious feat and though at times, we were defeated by ‘pesky pixies’ [AKA: technical problems], we were really proud of our teachers, and grateful for the support and lovely messages we received during and after the festival.

The growth of our online Facebook community 

Seeing the steady growth of our community Facebook group has been one of my favourite things this year. The group – which was set up so members could share the peaks and pitfalls of their practice and to connect with fellow yogis and EkhartYoga teachers – has more doubled in size since the start of the year. It’s been lovely to get to know you better and we love seeing your class recommendations. Here’s to greater connection in 2021 – who knows, we might even meet in person?!

October 2020 – 4 free yoga programs for mental and physical wellbeing

After months of collective uncertainty, money worries and isolation and acknowledging we were far from out of the woods, in October we launched another free program of classes. These were designed to help relieve stress, boost strength, release tension and aid better sleep. These classes are completely free of charge for you and your community.

If you like this initiative, and know someone who could benefit from this, please share.

At a glance

So, as you can see above, we’ve not been resting on our laurels! Throughout all this, there have been regular classes from our teachers, plus:

10 new guided programs

  1. Complete Yoga Program
  2. Functional Yoga Program
  3. Balanced Body and Mind
  4. Home Yoga Studio
  5. Summer Sessions
  6. Energy 101
  7. 30 Days Yoga Challenge
  8. 20 Mindful Minutes
  9. Simply Hatha
  10. Day Yoga Retreat with Esther

6 new Academy courses

  1. Respond from Love with Esther Ekhart 
  2. Yin Yoga and Meridians teacher training with José de Groot
  3. Fundamentals of Ayurveda and Ayurveda for Pregnancy with Irina Verwer
  4. Expanding Horizons with David Lurey
  5. Introduction to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras with Anat Geiger

Plus, the launch of new online group coaching sessions on the Academy.

4 new teachers

Laia Bové, Harry Dijkshoorn, Burgs, and Amy Slevin

And a partridge in a pear tree

Okay – no partridge, but there WAS a lot of preparation work in the background to bring you new features, teachers and improvements in 2021.

Thank you, dear members

And so concludes our round up of 2020 – a truly unforgettable year. We cannot thank you enough for your continued support; your messages, questions, contributions, recommendations, positivity and love have kept us going through some tough times. 

Here’s to a happy, healthy and hopeful New Year.

Thank you and love from us all at EkhartYoga.

Image courtesy of Evgeni Tcherkasski on Unsplash.

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Kirsty TomlinsonKirsty took her yoga teacher training with Esther Ekhart in 2013 and moved to the Netherlands from the UK to work for EkhartYoga in 2015. She's previously worked in publishing, graphic design and legal recruitment. Her role at EkhartYoga is a varied one - content creator, teacher manager, copywriter, and dog lover. You may recognise her beloved canine, Hunter, hogging the limelight in several of our classes!