While in Lockdown due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, I created Dharma Cottage Connect, online yoga and meditation classes in April 2020 and later in October, the online store was born while in the Himalayas in Northern India.
In July 2019, I was on a three year world tour in search of unique venues in several Asian countries to facilitate future yoga and wellness retreats. While in Kandy Sri Lanka, and eight days into a silent Vipassana meditation retreat, I received news of a family sickness and decided to return home on October 20, 2019 to be with my father.
After spending 5 months with my 85 year old dad coordinating home services and preparing his wellness routine, I decided to fly to India to continue my travels and vipassana meditation training. A short time later, I was very grateful that I had this time with dad, to ensure he was well prepared for the pandemic.
First stop was Kolkata, to volunteer with the Mother Teresa organisation. I arrived on March 1, 2020. Working with the sisters and other like minded volunteers from all over the globe was a very rewarding experience.
My time working with the organisation and caring for the destitute and poor was cut short when the vibe on the streets of Kolkata felt a little strained and unsafe. I decided to exercise ‘Social Distancing’ and booked a flight to Dharamasala in the Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh, India. After arriving in the mountain town on March 19, the whole country went into lockdown on March 21.
During April, I decided to start recording my rooftop yoga practice each morning and taught myself to edit and upload the sunrise practices onto the Dharma Cottage Yoga website. Before long there were over 100 classes available for members to practice in the safety of their own homes. I add new classes every week and when the world opens up for again classes in new locations will be added as I travel.
Living in a small Himalayan mountain community dependant on tourism, it became clear that I could continue on my Dharma path and try something new that could help boost the income of some of the locals – and so Dharma Cottage Collective was born. All hemp items are handmade by a small group of local tailors, while other products are supplied by two young local Indian and Tibetan families.
I believe the best way I can help this community is by placing ongoing orders via Dharma Cottage Collective. Developing relationships and working together during Covid has been a unique journey, a very special time in uncertain times….
I promised the Universe in 2018 that as long as I was able, I would travel, live my Dharma and continue to help as many people as I could along the way. Born in this Global Pandemic, Dharma Cottage Collective Yoga classes and online store hopefully will contribute to that promise.