It was such a pleasure to connect with Hannah Franke last week as she has been an integral part of our Sanctuary community since we opened our doors in October 2019. She started leading yoga classes in our studios during the pandemic when the other studios she taught at stopped having in-person classes. Keep reading to learn more about her experience being a yoga instructor during this time and how Sanctuary has supported her throughout this major transition.
~Much gratitude, Emily Kasman, Expansion Director at Sanctuary
Live @ Sanctuary Q&A with Hannah Franke
- When the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, tell us a little bit about your experience.
I think for most of us, it was a rapid shift from our busy and scheduled lives to
suddenly spending all day at home. I think I wasn’t expecting such an immediate decline in the economy and business.
Only two weeks after the pandemic I was laid off from both my 9-5pm job and my yoga instructor job, as were many yoga teachers across the nation. Another unexpected fact was that people still wanted yoga and they were willing to adapt their practice. This created a huge platform for myself and other teachers to shift to teaching online and that’s exactly what I did. I called up five of my close friends and fellow teachers and started to FrankeFlows Virtual Yoga studio.
We hosted eight live yoga classes per week and gave our members access to recorded yoga sessions as well. This shift taught each of us a lot and made us definitely focus more on our technological skills! It was also a delight to get more personal with our students–they were virtually joining us in our homes and likewise letting us into theirs. It was an intimate and special gesture of trust.
- What trends or industry shifts have you noticed from studios classes, privates, and/or online classes?
I think the biggest trend is that virtual and online classes are here to stay. Students want the flexibility to take their favorite teachers classes from wherever they are, so I think every brick and mortar studio will also have an on-demand class library and also be equipped to switch to virtual teaching given another rise in COVID cases, just as we are seeing now.
- What has led you to want to instruct more classes on your own?
Yoga for me is about community. And being able to cultivate that community, even beyond the walls of a studio is essential. I am truly invested in my students' lives and I love to see them grow and be able to grow with them. Yoga is an individualized practice and I simply feel honored every time a student wants me to be a part of that personal practice. Additionally, the freedom of being able to have creative license over my teaching and truly be able to customize classes to the students in front of me, rather than follow a cultivated corporate yoga class template is vital.
- Why did you originally want to lead instructor-led sessions at Sanctuary?
Sanctuary is an experimental studio and I was excited to be able to share the magic of the space with my students.
While I firmly believe you can experience the benefits of yoga from wherever you are — I know I sure did as I practiced in my kitchen during COVID for over a year — the sensory experience at Sanctuary is very special.
Additionally, Sanctuary felt like a safe place to bring my community. While individuals were slowly emerging and becoming comfortable with being in-person, I knew that Sanctuary had strict cleaning guidelines in place that would ease students’ minds.
- What were you struggling with that you thought Sanctuary might have the answer to?
Physical space! Props! Cleaning procedures!
- How has your life and/or practice benefited from leading live instructor classes at Sanctuary?
I would say the most beneficial for me has been being able to teach in person again and feel safe in the physical spaces that I used to crave! It has been a relearning experience for myself and it has just been so lovely to rediscover myself as a teacher and my students as practitioners and humans after our long pause in seeing each other.
- What would you say to somebody on the fence about joining the Live @ Sanctuary program?
I would say just do it! My business motto, while not official, has always been, “if you build it, they will come,” very Field of Dreams, I know.
But with Sanctuary as a partner, you can truly focus on the stellar class you want to teach and know that they will be there for questions, concerns, and customizations you might need.
Every member of the Sanctuary team is kind and set on creating a great experience for you. Trust the process!
Thankful for Hannah!
We are grateful for Hannah sharing her experience of hosting private yoga classes for her community in our Sanctuary studios! Are you an instructor or practitioner of any wellness modality interested in teaching Live @ Sanctuary? Learn more here and apply now.