BRATTLEBORO — Bakasana.
It's one of Kristin Cassidy's favorite yoga poses — her hands planted on the floor, with her shins resting upon her upper arms and her feet lifted up in order to resemble a crane wading in the water.
"This pose, in my own experience, creates challenge, strength, poise, focus, the practice with overcoming fear, especially since needing to keep from falling forward onto your face, and ultimately the sense of freedom," Cassidy said.
The Brattleboro resident would often strike that pose at her Bodhifit studio, which she closed down permanently last month due to the pandemic.
"I am trusting in the unknown and having faith that when one door closes, another one will open. I have no plan B in place," Cassidy said. "I am not without fear; I just have to tame it. I am curious and open to see what unfolds."
The 1987 Putney School graduate started taking yoga classes as a young mother when she could find child care. In 2005, she was asked to teach at the studio where she was practicing. And she would open the studio on High Street, with her husband at the time, 10 years ago.
"Managing 10 instructors, we offered indoor cycling, strength training, Pilates, Zumba, TRX and heated yoga. Collectively, we all created a powerful, fun, non-competitive and extremely supportive environment where all walks of fitness could explore what's possible in their bodies whether they were a beginner or training for an Ironman," Cassidy stated.
In 2016, Bodhifit would undergo a transformation and expansion, continuing to offer various yoga classes for all levels.
"The style I enjoy teaching is Vinyasa, a creative flow-like quality linking breath with movements, both challenging and accessible to any practitioner. It creates vitality and strength in the body and calm in the mind and emotional body, allowing the pathway to greater awareness, ease, joy and contentment," the mother of two said.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, Bodhifit temporarily closed in March and Cassidy began offering online classes. Unable to sustain paying rent and utilities on an empty studio space for an undetermined amount of time and not having a large enough space to distance, she decided to close down permanently, after 10 years in operation.
"I am doing OK, doing my best, doing what I can do," Cassidy said. "I'm figuring a way how I can continue to be of service to others without the physical walls of a studio right now and simultaneously make a viable living."
Cassidy currently offers an all-levels, moderate Vinyasa Flow yoga class at the Retreat Farm. It's there, from 6 to 7 p.m. each Wednesday, where she teaches the Bakasana and other balancing poses.
"Yoga invites us into creating greater awareness and a deeper understanding of ourselves," she said.