The COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has done Yoga Circle Downtown a favor, by bringing the exercise to the forefront. It’s something that people can do at home. 

When the coronavirus pandemic knocked the doors shut at Knekoh Fruge’s Yoga Circle Downtown, she admitted she was “distraught and sad.”

“I thought, ‘Oh well, that’s the end of that,’” she said. “I got emails, texts, phone calls, Facebook messages from students all across town saying I should offer livestreaming classes.”

She “listened to what the universe was saying” to her and did just that. The facility at 400 S. Main Street is livestreaming yoga classes on Zoom and Facebook. 

“After about the fifth or sixth person reached out to me randomly, I sat down and I watched tutorial after tutorial after tutorial on how livestreaming is done, how to set it up and what I need to do,” she said. 

“I researched what platform was the best and I found Zoom. So I got a Zoom account. All of this happened on a Monday, and on Tuesday I Zoomed my first class.”

To connect to classes on Zoom, participants have to send an email to 15 minutes before the class begins. Yoga Circle Downtown will then send them a link and password to get signed up for daily links.

To connect on Facebook, participants have to like and follow Yoga Circle Downtown’s Facebook page, be on the page at the designated time and click on the link when the class goes live. 

Class schedules are available online at Participants can also sign up for a newsletter to receive updates on upcoming classes. There is no charge, but donations of $5 to $15 are suggested through @yogacircle on Venmo and at PayPal. 

Yoga Circle Downtown offers a Yoga Philosophy Workshop Sanskrit, where participants can explore the basics of the Sanskrit language—one of the most ancient languages in India, used as a means for communication as well as a mystical technology to connect to the universe’s energy—and the Devanagari writing system. The date for this workshop is yet to be determined. It will be $25 and $15 for members.

Fruge said the classes keep improving, thanks to input from her students. 

“I asked them for feedback, and for the next several classes I had students stick around afterward and fill me in on what they thought and they did, and every class just keeps getting better and better,” she added.

Fruge is considering keeping the virtual classes as the pandemic resolves. She said it will be beneficial to clients who have moved away. 

“Students who have moved away from Downtown, who have moved away from Los Angeles, who have moved away from the state, even people who have moved away from the country have been able to join my classes again because I’m livestreaming,” Fruge said. 

“For our next class in the studio, we will definitely livestream it. We’ll probably have a camera in the front and the back, so we will be a hybrid in studio and live studio.”

The “yoga therapist” said the exercise is especially important during this pandemic and to the well-being of her students. 

“I’ve seen people transform their lives through the practice of yoga and meditation,” she said. “I want to use everything I’ve discovered over the years and bring that to the classroom. So that yoga can return to its roots. 

“Yoga is a wonderful process for physical and emotional health, and the side effect is physical fitness. It seems, in the last several years, yoga has gotten away from that and it has become just another workout. So, in a way, I believe the yoga industry has been done a favor by COVID. I hear all the time, ‘I don’t know what I would do without yoga. Thank you for being there.’ That’s not because they’re getting a workout. It’s because of the mindfulness, the meditation aspect.”