last update: June 28 2020
Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we adapt to new studio protocols to create healthy and safe studio spaces. On June 26th, the City of Austin and Travis County issued this “Stay Home, Mask, Otherwise Be Safe” ORDER, appealing for and mandating business and public cooperation in slowing the spread of COVID-19. At PURE, we share a collective responsibility to each other, so please be reminded to observe these mandatory rules:
- WEAR A CLOTH FACE MASK at all times, EXCEPT it’s recommended but optional ON YOUR YOGA MAT DURING CLASS. If you do not have one, you will be required to purchase one for $3 at our front desk.
- OBSERVE physical distancing markers and staff directions.
- REGISTER ONLINE for classes. NO walk-ins.
- EARLY CANCEL to allow WAIT LIST students the opportunity to attend class.
- ARRIVE EARLY (up to 5 to 15 minutes before class).
- BE PREPARED with your own Mat, Towels, and Water.
- SHOWERS remain closed, but you may use the restrooms. LOCKERS, and DRINKING FOUNTAINS are now open.
We look forward to seeing your smiling, happy faces in the studios! We have added classes to our schedule to continue accommodating your requests with our staff capacity but new breathing cues and other changes have been introduced. Be extra careful to listen to the instructor!
At PURE, we take the safety and health of our staff and community seriously. We much prefer spending our time in the studios reconnecting with you and building our yoga community, rather than having to remind students of simple protocols and procedures. We can easily get on the same page!
Repeated non-compliance with the above rules may result in suspension or termination of your membership.
In further consideration of the safety and health of our staff, we have made the difficult decision to indefinitely terminate our Mat Rental / Towel Rental services.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued minimum standard health protocols for gyms and fitness centers to operate at 25% capacity and reopen as early as May 18th. The minimum standards also require that locker rooms and shower facilities remain closed. We are eager to open at the right time and in a manner that is safe and healthy for all of our staff, students, and the communities that each of us lives in.
In a recent survey request, I asked for your feedback about timing for opening, class time preferences, appetite for continuing virtual and on-demand classes, and new studio and student protocols. I’ve been welcomed with a range of opinions and perspectives! This blog post will be continually updated to keep you informed of our plans. Our approach to reopening is based on science, best practices, and guidance by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). You can always reach out to me personally with any comments, questions, or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org. – Jeff Chen
One of my favorite Ted Talks is Grit: the power of passion and perseverance | Angela Lee Duckworth. Angela defines:
“Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day-in, day-out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years. And working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Over the last two months, your teachers and staff have demonstrated the grittiness it takes to pave a way forward for PURE Yoga Texas to operate while coexisting with the COVID-19 pandemic. To be clear, we cannot compare what we’ve done to the millions of healthcare workers, first-responders, and essential business employees who voluntarily or involuntarily have had to battle COVID-19 on the front lines. Now that is what true grit is. As a community, we must continually pay our respects to them.
To truly honor these frontliners, we have committed to help keep our community connected, to stay healthy, and to keep our immune systems strong. We’ve remained busy (and gritty) with:
- pivoting to a VIRTUAL class environment through Zoom;
- editing video to build an on-demand library of classes;
- developing new class formats like 30-minute YogaHIIT, Foam Rolling, Meditations, and Kids Yoga;
- welcoming PURE Action teachers to our VIRTUAL platform to provide free classes to our communities, including Vinyasa, Gentle, Seniors, iRest Nidra, and Bi-lingual yoga classes;
- staying connected with yoga friends in other cities through our #MentalHealthMonth #yogaTALK series this month of May; and
- offering our first RYT-200 100% online Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training (June 5 to 28 weekend intensives plus July scheduled sessions).
Since late April, we’ve been laying down plans for reopening. We are sticking to our future, not just for this week or this month, but for years. We are working hard to make that future vision a reality. Hang on for the ride, and remember that it is a marathon, not a sprint!
Get Ready! Wear a Mask to Protect Others
The most important adjustment we will all make together is to wear a proper cloth face covering before entering any PURE Yoga Texas studio and maintaining proper covering (nose and mouth) at all times, including ON YOUR YOGA MAT DURING CLASS.
Many experts say that droplets and aerosols are the greatest risk to spread, magnified exponentially through uncovered coughing and sneezing. This is also why it is critical for people who are symptomatic to stay home. Your sneezes and your coughs expel so much virus that you can infect a whole room of people. Despite our 25% occupancy level ensuring >6-feet physical distancing, every one of us needs to be mindful of nose breathing and completely cover random coughs and sneezes. It is perfectly okay to come out of a pose to do so! READ: 3 Proven Health Benefits of Nasal Breathing
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
” In light of new data about how COVID-19 spreads, along with evidence of widespread COVID-19 illness in communities across the country, CDC recommends that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in the community setting. This is an additional public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in addition to (not instead of) social distancing, frequent hand cleaning and other everyday preventive actions. A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer, but may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others. This would be especially important in the event that someone is infected but does not have symptoms. A cloth face covering should be worn whenever people must go into public settings (grocery stores, for example). Medical masks and N-95 respirators are reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance. ”
Wait! Don’t I have a right to make my own choice with my body? Yes, we acknowledge that there are a range of perspectives on wearing face masks, but we believe that it is one of the most important foundations for maintaining a safe gym/fitness facility to practice in. This is a mandatory requirement for entering into and practicing at our PURE Yoga Texas studios. We can shift our perspective on this by having fun and getting creative. VOTE FOR THE BEST PURE FACE COVERING!
New York City Governor Andrew Cuomo reasons it eloquently, reminding us, “It is not about me; it is about we.”
“When you wear a mask, you say, I respect you. That’s what the mask says to everyone you walk past. I respect you. I respect your health, I respect your privacy, I respect your space, I respect you. I can do anything I want with myself. This is America. But I respect you. And out of respect for you, I wear this mask.
This mask says I respect the nurses and the doctors who killed themselves through this virus to save other people. And I respect the nurses and the doctors, so I’m not going to infect anyone, or allow anyone else to be infected unnecessarily so I don’t cause more stress on the nurses and the doctors.
This mask says, I respect the essential workers who get up every day, and drive the bus, or drive the train, or deliver the food, or keep the lights on so that I can stay home and I can stay safe. It says I respect others. And I respect you. And that is a statement that we should all be willing to make any day. But especially in the middle of this.
Yes, I want individuals to be informed so they make the right decision, but it’s about us at the end of the day, right. It’s a mindset that says it’s not about me, it’s about we. And we have reciprocal responsibilities, and a collective and a mutuality that says, I’m going to respect you, and help you, and you’re going to help me, and respect me. That’s how you battle community spread, with community unity. That’s what the mask says.”
Pounds of Prevention | Cleaning, Disinfecting, Sanitizing
If you have been around the studios over the years, you know that we have always been obsessed with cleaning (removing germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces to lower the risk of spreading infection) and disinfecting (killing germs on surfaces to further lower the risk of spreading infection). What may not be so apparent to you is our obsessive approach to sanitizing (making something hygienic to maintain health and prevent diseases by lowering the number of germs, viruses, and bacteria on surfaces or objects to a safe level).
In addition to regular cleaning, our disinfecting and sanitization protocols include:
- Deploying DIS.IN.FX solutions, including patented RAZOR antimicrobial coating on all yoga rooms, rental mats, drinking fountains, and all common area surfaces and touch points. We have been in this program for over 10 years, with regular treatment, testing, and earning the “Germ Expert Certified” seal. Find out more at www.disinfx.com.
- In all Austin yoga studio rooms, we maintain ducted UV-C sanitizing systems. Hidden in the HVAC ducts for the hot room systems are 4-foot ultraviolet light arrays that kill / disable airborne VOCs, including bacteria, viruses, mold, allergans, and pathogens.
- Throughout all facilities, we disinfect all surfaces with products containing ammonium chloride or bleach several times per day, every single day.
- We run ozone generating machines periodically during the day, when the studios are unattended, to further disinfect and sanitize the yoga rooms and common areas.
Stay tuned to this webpage for more progress reports as we near our reopening dates. In the meantime, here are some steps we have already completed to keep you in the know, just so that you realize we are working diligently towards a smart and safe reopening!
Week of May 4th:
- All facilities sanitized, tested, and Germ-safe certified by DisInFx;
- Cleaning and disinfecting supplies and PPE received and new protocols documented;
- Student Survey
Week of May 11th:
- All facilities’ HVAC heating and humidification systems serviced and tested with maintenance and repairs completed or scheduled;
- Tentative reopening schedule determined based on staffing levels and new protocols;
- Facilities prepared with physical distancing markers and equipped for continuing Live Stream classes
Week of May 18th:
- Continuity plan for PURE Action FREE Virtual Class community program;
- Live testing of all HVAC systems, equipment
- Staff training and run through of new protocols;
- Updating all student communications to combine IN-STUDIO classes, VIRTUAL Live Stream classes and VIDEO ON DEMAND (VOD) classes.
UPDATE MAY 17, 2020…
Many survey respondents indicated a preference to take it slow, preferring a patient approach to returning to in-studio classes. We will begin to open each location, one-by-one, over several weeks, to ensure that we are taking all precautions necessary to safeguard our communities. We will maintain a healthy mix of in-studio and virtual classes.
In-Studio Practice: Minimum Standard Protocols
For practice in-studio, our cleaning, physical distancing, and personal protection equipment (PPE) standards are based on Governor Abbott’s Minimum Standard Health Protocols for Gyms and Exercise Facilities, PLUS additional best industry practices. We are also following, at a minimum, the State’s separate guidance for gym and exercise facilities patrons. Please take the time to read this carefully. What this means to students coming to class at the studio, without exception:
- If you are experiencing any of the COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home! Exercising common sense and extra precautions will enable our studios to reopen successfully and safely.
- Wear a cloth face covering properly (over the mouth and nose) at ALL TIMES in the studios.
- Use hand sanitizer available at the front door and at other areas of the studios.
- Come in prepared with your own mat and towel(s), bringing extra to clean up your mat area after class, along with large waterproof plastic bag(s) to keep it contained as you exit. Phase 1 guidelines do not permit use of the locker rooms and showers except for toilet use. Drinking fountains will be turned off during Phase 1 reopening (an industry best practice), so bring enough of your own or you can buy them at our front desk.
- Fully cover any sudden coughs and sneezes. It happens. If you are suffering from seasonal allergies and have difficulty containing it, stay home and practice virtually. If you are asymptomatic, you can involuntarily spread the virus through your “allergy sneezes.” In The Risks – Know Them – Avoid Them, read how asymptomatic uncovered coughing and sneezing are the riskiest ways of viral spread. Despite that, bring a washcloth that you can use during class if you feel a sudden sneeze or cough coming on. No problem to come out of the pose!
- Observe and follow all posted directional signs and physical distancing markers. Please enter through the front door, and be prepared to leave after class through the yoga room side/exit door. This “one-way” flow will enable our staff to keep the disinfecting procedures running smoothly. Of course, if you need to use the restroom, that is fine! Our goal is to minimize any traffic jams.
- Yoga Room Etiquette. Practice spaces will be clearly marked for you to place your mat down. Keep your belongings near your mat or at designated areas in the back and sides of the yoga room. We will communicate with you each studio’s optimal traffic pattern to maintain proper physical distancing.
- Sign up for class on-line (or waitlist) and ensure that your membership is active and credit card information current and on file. We will not accept any cash payments for now.
- Phase 1 classes will be limited to members only, and guest passes have been suspended temporarily so that we can serve current members first. Given our limited class sizes, we will need to implement “no-show” and “late-cancellation” fees (to be determined). More information to come on reservation policies and practices…
- Studio front doors will be open 15 minutes before class time, and we ask that you exit the yoga room door no later than 15 minutes after class ends. This enables our staff to properly disinfect and reset between classes.
What do you think of all of this? Is it too much trouble to go through to take a class? Are we overly paranoid? Do you think we are not doing enough? We know that opinions range widely, but the benefits of our hot yoga practice are worth the personal adjustments we must make for the good of everyone.
Our goal is to reopen safely, conservatively, and patiently; to take measured risks and observe the data on the spread in the communities in which we serve. We know that at some point, this too shall pass. How we emerge on the other side of this will take a whole lot of determination, patience, and grit, which is what we know you all have!
LAST UPDATE JUNE 14, 2020…
We look forward to seeing your smiling, happy faces in the studios! This week we will try several 45-minute versions of Inferno Hot Pilates, with modifications of exercises to keep us breathing through the nose. Be extra careful to listen to the instructor!
STEP 1: Complete our New Liability Waiver and Release (ONLINE, only)
We require a new Liability Waiver to be completed online for all students before taking their next class. Please log into your MindBody account on a COMPUTER and sign off on the waiver. You cannot sign the waiver on the smartphone app!
STEP 2: Preregister for Class ONLINE
Our system and website is updated to present both Virtual classes and In-studio classes. It may seem confusing at first, but take some time to orient yourself with the new navigation. Check and recheck to ensure whether you have signed up for a VIRTUAL or an IN-STUDIO class!
IMPORTANT: Reservations for a single day’s classes can be made 72-hours prior to the start of that day. EXAMPLE: On Monday at 12:01am (just past midnight on Sunday), you can sign up for Thursday classes. MORE: If you are an AutoPay member and your monthly membership renews within the 72-hour period, you will have system restrictions for class sign-up. Please email us at either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, respectively.
STEP 3: Don’t Forget! Update Your Calendar!
As our IN-STUDIO classes are limited in space, we have implemented a WAIT LIST procedure so that we don’t end up with empty spaces in the yoga room. We understand that plans can change, but to allow wait list students enough preparation time to get to class, please EARLY CANCEL your IN-STUDIO class reservation as far ahead as you can.
For WAIT LIST students, if you receive a text and/or email message from us that you have been activated off the wait list, please be courteous to reply quickly so the next student on the wait list can be notified if you cannot attend.
STEP 4: Get Ready!
As a reminder, class sizes will be limited to 18 students in Austin/Cedar Park and 22 students in Dallas, so preregistration is required! Drinking fountains, lockers, and showers are closed (but restrooms are open). There will be NO mat and towel rentals, so come in well-hydrated and well-prepared. Ensure that you arrive early (5 – 15 minutes before class) and ESIGN our NEW Liability & Release Form ahead of time (STEP 1)
PLEASE REVIEW AND OBSERVE ALL NEW STUDENT PROTOCOLS IN THE IMAGES, BELOW, BEGINNING WITH REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTRY, EXCEPT THAT MASK WEARING IS NOW REQUIRED DURING CLASS (EFFECTIVE JUNE 23)
STEP 5: Get Set!
Make sure before your first class back in to the studio that you are well-hydrated, well-prepared, and ready for the hot room. See you on the mat!
Frequently Asked Questions
- When will the locker rooms and showers be available for us to use? Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued minimum standard health protocols for gyms and fitness centers to operate at 25% capacity and reopen as early as May 18th. The minimum standards also require that locker rooms and shower facilities remain closed. No guidance was given as to when this restriction will be lifted.
- Why are asymptomatic or symptomatic uncovered coughs and sneezes some of the riskiest behaviors? First off, the data is growing about how the virus spreads, but many experts say that droplet and aerosol transmission is the riskiest in indoor spaces. Please read The Risks – Know Them – Avoid Them, written on May 6th by Erin Bromage, Comparative Immunologist and Professor of Biology (specializing in Immunology) at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. The last thing we want at our PURE studios is a “Super Spreader Event.” What is that?
- Why do we have to wear a mask DURING the yoga class? There is a risk when there is prolonged exposure to an asymptomatic (or symptomatic) person’s droplets or aerosol transmissions. With cases in Texas steeply rising, we need to exercise the highest levels of precaution. The growing scientific evidence today says: Wear a mask. Stop the spread!
- Does the SARS-CoV-2 survive in the heat and humidity of the hot yoga room? According to this peer-reviewed article in the Lancet Microbe published on April 2, 2020, the virus appears to survive for ~24 hours at 37 degrees Celsius. At 56C it only survives 10 minutes, and at 70C only 1 minute; however, that would be just a bit TOO HOT for yoga! The evidence does NOT say that the heat and humidity of a hot yoga room will destroy the virus, but it does have a much lower survival time overall. Without any specific evidence regarding the combination of heat and humidity, the takeaway is clear: Keep a safe physical distance from each other, even while in the yoga room.
- What can I do to help keep our community safe? Familiarize yourself with the CDC Guidelines for How to Protect Yourself and Others. Know how the virus spreads. Everyone should wash your hands often, stay at least 6-feet apart from each other, cover your mouth and nose around others with a cloth face cover, cover coughs and sneezes, and clean and disinfect often. Avoid contact with other people who are sick and stay home if you are sick. These are all common sense protocols that we can easily do.