Lila East End Closing

A Letter to the Lila Community,

In this time of illumination, socially, politically, culturally, environmentally, it has become clear that Lila East End Yoga, in the way that it existed pre-quarantine, is a thing of the past.  The spread of Covid-19 and its international order to go back to our homes and hold tight to that which nurtures and restores us, has revealed another way of being.  At first, I was heartbroken for all the doors that were closing, the growing debt, the lost jobs, the growing responsibilities, the increase of the economic divide, and the many friends and families dying.  Amidst the sorrow and pain, however, I watched, listened to, read, and witnessed countless acts from around the world showing the growth of love, connection, creativity, and beauty.  With every death is an opportunity for a new birth.  This was revealing itself day after day, both inside and outside of me.

As my own heart softened post-closure of the studio doors, I myself sank deeper into the gifts of this strange time.  I landed in the arms of my family and dear friends.  I planted seeds in the earth around my own home.  I spent hours in nature and watched Spring come into bloom.  I spent day after day with my two precious boys, now 6 and 9, and my loving husband.  I discovered the sacredness of the woods that were just a stone’s throw from my home.

As the months kept going by, the truth of what I needed, wanted and craved became more clear.  My time was being divided as a businesswoman, a community leader, a teacher, a mother, a sister, a friend, and lover.  I felt like I was failing in all ways.  Stretched thin, worn out, and not available for anything or anyone.  As chaos ensued in the world, so too did it spin in and around me: confusion, sadness, anger, rage, sorrow, and pain.

As the world slowly woke up to more Justice, it strummed a sleepy cord of passion within and around me.  We are all being called to become more illuminated, for all that we are.  If we could all speak our needs more clearly and have others hear, witness, listen, perhaps we can begin to lean into the truth of Justice in our bodies, minds, and hearts.

My truth: I am really tired.   I am yearning for more ease to flow in my life as a mama, a sister, a friend, and a steward to our communities and the land.  I am wishing to have time to sink back into my own heart and learn again what it is that I am passionate about creating and sharing.

Yoga has and always will be a practice that is not just about the forms (asana), but, a practice in how we move with intention, clarity, and choice through our days, how we look into each other’s eyes, hold each other’s pain, drink in our joy, and embrace the many waves of this life together.  The practice has always moved beyond the mat and woven into my life as a practice… how do I Live Lila.  I went into owning and operating Lila out of a place of heart and love.  I wanted Lila to be a safe haven for students to feel at ease, available, embodied, and open to feel their hearts.  As the current regulations to uphold health standards for Covid-19 prevention continue to be required for unknown amounts of time, it is clear that the safe haven of practicing in the intimate space of Lila is no longer an environment that is free of stress and accessible to all.  With the added health regulations and parameters, it creates stress for me as a studio owner, the teachers, and you all as students.  One thing our world does seem to know, is that this virus is not going away any time soon.  The regulations would require spatial distancing in a studio that is small and not able to accommodate the numbers that we would need to sustain a viable fiscal budget.  I imagine this next year will be one with continued heightened caution, and as a studio owner with a heart for humanity, I can not bear the idea of opening in a way that compromises anyone’s sense of ease or safety.

And, so, with all that said, Lila East End Yoga at 251 Congress Street will not be re-opening its doors.  Lila will continue to host online classes, as well as events, pop up classes, workshops, private sessions, and trainings at Lila West within Good Medicine Collective at 231 York Street. For those who practiced within the walls of 251 Congress Street, please know that those walls, even though having now sat empty for months, are still saturated with your love, your energy, and still hold such a sacred space in my heart.  I am so honored for the many beings I met within the brick and wood-lined walls of Lila East.  I am deeply touched by the teachers that showed up, again and again, to offer space to move, breath, be, and feel.  I am humbled by the trust you all put in me to guide and lead the way as a yoga studio in the East End of Portland for a decade.  Thank you.  I honor you.

I want to name and share thanks with the many teachers, artists, creators that showed up to hold and create space within the walls over the last decade:

Skye Adams

Heather Altenburg

Elizabeth April

Chelsea Beliveau 

Lucy Bergan

Matt Bingham

Mitchel Bleier 

Tracy Bleier

Tisha Bremner

Elizabeth Brazier

Lydia Burnham

Jessie Chalmers

Valerie Costello 

Cathie Devore

Melissa Emerson

Jess Emilfarb

Kat Oakes Englishman 

Tizzy Ernstoff

Shannon Fallon

Megan Foster

Jane Fredrick

Mark Fruehauf

Michelle George 

Todd Glacy

Caroline Ginsberg

Matt Girodano

Danielle Gismondi

Danielle Gorman 

Melora Gregory 

Susan Hoffman 

Richard Hudak

Stephen Kirsh 

Sam Kyzivat

Nate LaCriox

Cynthia Loving

Jeanie Manchester

Pamela Marshall 

Bill Mead 

Sam Migliozzi

Bethany McCorkle

Taylor McFarlane

Cindy McKay

Carol Morrison

Heather Murray 

Mary Kate Murray

Lara Nordenson

Todd Norian 

Jen Queally 

Margo Rosingano

Desiree Rumbaugh 

Brett Russman 

Kristy Scher

Christina Sell 

Kara Seymour

Christina Spencer

Marc St. Pierre

Liz Strawbridge

Liz Stockbridge

Sheila Sullivan 

Dd Swan

Kathleen Swinborne

Sarah Tangredi

Hoa Tran

David Vaughan

Kelley Voegelin

Kate Whittemore

Sarah Whiteridge

Kevin Wicks

Marit Wilson

Jamie Worster

Amy Wren

Maxeen Wyatt

Allison Zuchman

Though Lila will live on in other forms, if feels necessary to mark this closing with ceremony and celebration.  Please join us, as a community, to come together to remember, honor, celebrate all that was held within the walls of Lila East End Yoga at 251 Congress Street.  The lovely Danielle Gismondi shared a vision of the doorway of Lila becoming an alter, receiving blessings, offerings, representations of gratitude in various forms.  From now until July 15th, we welcome you to stop by and place something that reflects your gratitude.

  • Offerings to a doorway alter at Lila East End Yoga – 251 Congress Street.  Now thru July 15th.

  • Wednesday, July 15th, 2020, 5-6 pm Genell will teach her Wednesday pm class outside on the Eastern Prom in front of the community gardens.  Proceeds from this class will go to Maine Initiatives.  Maine Initiatives is a network of individuals supporting greater social, economic, and environmental justice in Maine through informed, intentional, and collective philanthropy.  As we are still within Covid time, we will require that you sign up ahead of time to attend the class.

  • Wednesday, July 15th, 2020, 6-8 pm we will gather in front of the community gardens on the Eastern Prom to toast, dance, sing to what was and welcome what will be.  BYOB and glass to toast.  Walk, bike, or drive and park towards the cross section of Eastern Promenade and Melbourne Street.  You will see tennis and basketball courts.  There is a walkway through the courts that will lead you directly to the gardens, then out onto a field in front of the gardens.

It is not beyond me that a decade ago, when Lila was being created, the one url that was available for Lila to use was  Lila will keep on living.  But, its form is shifting.

Over the last few years I have been growing the wings of Lila to span more into the lifestyle of yoga off the mat.  From Seasonal Cleanses to Health Coaching to Teacher Trainings, 1:1 sessions and Retreats, these new wings now hold my passion.  If any of you have been with me for any of these offerings, perhaps you could feel me taking flight.  I felt my teaching come alive in the open deck sea-side studio in Costa Rica.  I settled deep into the community around the fire under the stars on Hurricane Island.  I was cracked open by the truth sharing of sacred circles in Teacher Training.  I shared honestly and humbly in conversations on health and on how Ayurveda has shifted my spirit and wellbeing.  These offerings will continue to be planted and grow with the future of Lila.

I plan to continue to teach and keep on the amazing teachers who have kept teaching in this new online platform.  Lila’s website will remain the hub of all things happening in the near future.  I plan to continue to offer workshops, retreats, and offerings using existing venues (Good Medicine being the main hub).

I do intend to pull back, take a pause, and lean deeper into my own creativity.  I know and trust the best way to honor and do that is to rest.  I will have the other amazing teachers sub out a few of my classes over the summer so I can truly step away for a bit of time here and there.  I will pause on the bi-weekly offerings of Asana junkies (Exploratory Play), and move them to 1x per month offerings.

The current teachers who are on the teaching schedule will stay on deck as long as there remains demand for their classes.  New weekly classes will not be added to the existing schedule.  Series offerings and workshops will bubble up and will run based on interest and demand.  Outdoor Classes will continue too as long as there is demand.

Those with existing class passes, you will be able to continue to use your passes.

The 10 class pass will move back to the discounted value of $108.

Those who have existing monthly memberships, your last regular scheduled payment will be run this month of June.  Beginning July 1, we will move to a new membership model, rates are listed below.  If you currently are a member, you have the option to switch to this new payment plan.  You will also have the option to cancel the continuation of your membership payments moving forward.  Please email us by June 30th at and let us know what you prefer to do moving forward.

The 1 month unlimited pass will now be priced at $100.

The monthly contracts will begin in July to be priced at the following rates:

  • 3 months – $75/month

  • 6 months – $68.75/month

  • 12 months – $62.50/month

*Note, these contracts you agree to commit to the allotted months and payments are set up on monthly automated withdrawal.

The ongoing membership benefits will continue to be:

  • Unlimited access to all the classes

  • Continued access to recorded classes on the online resource hub – content continues to grow

  • Free Health Consult w Genell

  • 20% discount on future workshops and events

Those members who have paid for the year in full, in addition to having all the ongoing membership benefits listed above, you will also have the option to join the Fall and Spring Seasonal Cleanse free of charge.

I hope you will continue to grow with me on this journey of letting go, allowing, trusting, and growing.

I want you to know that I see you.  And, I want to continue to see you, as you begin to see me more clearly.

May there be more ease and Peace for us all.

With love,


2020-06-29T14:56:48+00:00 June 29th, 2020|#LiveLila Reflections, Lila East End Yoga | Blog|Comments Off on Lila East End Closing