In June 2019, the Hartford Chamber of Commerce spoke with Root Down Power Yoga Owner Nicole Bengtson about why she chose to locate her new business in Hartford (read the interview). As the Hartford-based yoga studio prepares to celebrate one year in business, MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price checked in with Nicole for an update.

NAN PRICE: First of all, congratulations on your business anniversary! I’m sure it’s challenging to “celebrate” in the midst of this a global pandemic, with all the events being postponed.

NICOLE BENGTSON: Thanks! Yes, we had to postpone the celebration we’d planned.

NAN: Many businesses have transitioned to online classes. How are you continuing to operate?

NICOLE: We decided to close before it was mandated because we saw it as our social responsibility to keep everyone safe. We immediately decided to offer our 40 Days to Personal Revolution program online to help people continue their yoga and meditation practice. We also knew we needed a private Facebook page where we offer short Zoom classes once a day and daily meditations. We’ve gathered more than 100 new members, plus the community we’ve grown over the last year has joined us.

Like many others juggling running a business and homeschooling kids, I had to think about keeping my business afloat. I quickly realized that offering a free platform for everything wasn’t going to work. So, I’m keeping my promise to provide that free platform at some level and providing the free 40 Days to Personal Revolution program. We’re also shifting to offering online classes through the Mindbody app.

We want to keep our community engaged and offer something for everyone. In the meantime, we thought it was best decision to suspend all our members’ memberships, considering everyone’s going to experience some financial strain, at some point. We have no idea how long this is going to last, and we thought that that was the fairest way to go about it.

NAN: Our current situation is changing the way we do business, for sure. How else are you adapting?

NICOLE: It really is. You have to see the opportunity where it exists. For example, we set up a two-week online program for teenagers to provide them with meditation techniques, basic yoga poses and journaling prompts as tools to relieve stress and stay grounded.

As soon as we’re able to reopen the studio, and depending on what’s mandated, we plan to come back with a smaller schedule to start and transition back to our normal schedule.

I think our team is kind of excited about the possibilities that opened up since we’ve had to physically close our space. Now that we’ve created this online way of being, it’s something we will absolutely continue to offer.

There’s really no going back to the old way of doing things. Of course, we’re looking forward to engaging with our community in person, when it’s safe. This experience just opens us up to have a community from wherever you are.

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