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Life and Religion

Next act: Coronavirus pandemic opens a new opportunity in yoga
Laid off pair taps into their entrepreneurial streak
Published Thursday, July 16, 2020 8:29 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

Matthew Weston (left) and Catrina Reeder launched The Joy Mentorship after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down their Charlotte yoga studios.

Even yoga instructors are navigating how to thrive in a new reality.

Catrina Reeder and Matthew Weston are E-RYT 500 leaders (Experienced Registered Yoga Teachers), the highest level of certification recognized by Yoga Alliance. They created The Joy Mentorship in response to a void they felt in not only their respective field, but their community.

They went from opening and managing CorePower Yoga’s two Charlotte-based studios to uncertainty when the company conducted temporary layoffs earlier during the COVID-19 pandemic when studios were forced to close across the country. North Carolina remains in Phase 2 of reopening and spaces like yoga studios are not permitted to reopen until Phase 3, which will not happen until at least Aug. 7.

Despite the uncertainty, they chose to take on a new adventure and help others navigate change.

“You’re trying to physically adapt to what’s happening on your mat, but if you’re looking a little deeper into it, you’re also trying to respond mentally to the new shape you are making on the mat,” Weston said. “What you do there applies to what you do out in the real world, too. With this mentorship, we’re also trying to allow that space for people to start to reinvent themselves, to find adaptability, know that change is coming, [help them] be OK with it, and still thrive in a change that may be really, really chaotic or very confusing. You’re still going to make it through.”

Said Reeder: “If we’re getting challenged to thrive in a different way and you’re seeing specifically people who do fitness for a living, or who have been doing fitness for their career for a long time, of course they scramble at first, and they’re having to reinvent themselves. That’s what we’re doing. We’re reinventing ourselves, and creating something different that’s ours, that’s something we might not have ever done without this [set of circumstances].”

They offer free content, such as workshops, on Instagram (@thejoymentorship) targeting areas like the shoulders, sharing ways to improve should joint health and mobility, followed by a guided meditation. The Joy Mentorship also offers Zoom classes through Free State Yoga with a $19.99 monthly subscription. Reeder teaches on Sundays at 9 a.m. and Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. Weston teaches at noon on Mondays and Fridays.

The month-long Joy Mentorship begins on July 19, and consists of physical yoga practice, journal work and observation with the goal of accessing one’s joy. It is recognized by Yoga Alliance and counts toward 28 hours of continuing education for yoga educators. Educators also have the option to dive into sequencing, as well as optional one-on-one mentorship sessions for class feedback and coaching. The workshop itself is 28 hours for $550, which includes 12 yoga asana practices, 12 guided meditations, and a weekly 2-hour workshop.


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