As part of its Canadian Business Resilience Network campaign, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, through the generosity of Salesforce (NYSE:CRM), provided 62 small Canadian businesses with $10,000 grants to help their recovery efforts during these unprecedented times. What follows is the story of Invati Yoga & Wellness from Lake Country, British Columbia, one of the businesses that received a grant.
“Up until March 2020, we were a young, thriving yoga studio and plant-based café,” said Tara Nakashima. “Having won the Rising Star award two years in a row at our local chamber of commerce, we were achieving exactly what we set out to do: support individuals to live to their fullest potential mentally, physically and spiritually whilst creating a resilient community.”
Due to the nature of yoga studios, Invati Yoga & Wellness was mandated to close its doors because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This resulted in all of the staff and yoga teachers being laid off. Although, restrictions have started to slowly lift allowing for Invati Yoga & Wellness to able to open its doors once again.
“We’ve experienced a good reopening over the past few weeks, however, due to the social distancing requirements, we are only able to run classes at 50% capacity for the unforeseeable future,” explained Nakashima.
During Invati Yoga & Wellness’ closure, an online yoga platform was launched in order to continue to providing classes to clients.
“Yoga has been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety, depression and calm the nervous system; we knew that people needed yoga more than ever,” shared Nakashima. “We were also aware, however, that those losing their jobs would not have disposable income for yoga any longer. We, therefore, did not charge for any online classes during our closure and considered it a way to give back to the community.”
Invati Yoga & Wellnessaims to use the CBRN grant to develop its online yoga platform further and allow the studio to continue this service for those who feel uncomfortable going to in-person group classes during this time.
“Streamlining our online classes and polishing the students’ experiences would be our next steps to grow this new area of our business,” said Nakashima. “The potential of reaching not only our immediate community but also the world at large was clearly presented to us and it would be a lost opportunity if not pursued. This additional service will also create accessibility for all, removing many obstacles that often stand in the way of taking care of one’s wellbeing be those obstacles time, resources, illness, or other.”
With its online platform, Invati Yoga & Wellness will also be able to employ teachers that were previously laid off during COVID-19 closures.
Invati Yoga & Wellness is heavily involved within its local community. The business is a part of two hot lunch programs at local schools allowing children to choose from Invati’s healthy food menu for lunch. The business is also strongly aligned with HOPE Outreach that is a non-for-profit night time outreach program for homeless and exploited women. Invati Yoga & Wellness donates 100% of its income generated from their ‘Karma Classes’ toward HOPE Outreach.
“During our yoga classes, we often refer to a resilient mind and body as one that bends without breaking, we take our role within the community with great passion and believe we have a direct hand in creating a mentally and physically healthy and resilient community,” expressed Nakashima.
To learn more about the CBRN Small Business Relief Fund and see the full list of award recipients, visit the Small Business Relief Fund page.