In June of 2016, Stepping Stone Yoga opened its doors at 16 Iris Lane, in Jeffersonville, Vermont, situated in the beautiful foothills of Mt. Mansfield and surrounded by the Mazzarese family homestead. Stepping Stone grew to be a thriving community of folks from all walks of life who came together to study the nature of self and community through Yoga; a community within the larger community was formed.
After four years of growing these magnificent roots the pandemic hit in the late winter of 2020, and, unfortunately knocking us off course and forcing us to close the doors of our studio-with-walls to the public (then quickly, and inevitably, to our members as well). As the wave of Coronavirus came in, like most other Yoga studios we too moved online, yet, luckily (or maybe with stars aligning) we had just completed a 30-foot octagonal deck outside of our studio space so we could try to continue safely in-person outdoors in the Spring, Summer, and Autumn of 2020. However, the wake of the pandemic
Needless to say, this forced movement to online Yoga has had its ups (not much driving needed) and downs (let us count the ways). Of course, it has given us a greater understanding of the importance in-person gatherings have for our wellbeing.
When we first opened in 2016, it was a tiny space that fit eight students intimately. After six months though, we quickly learned that our next step would be to increase the size of our space to allow more of us to gather, and so we moved to the other side of the building in a space double the size. That was where our studio really took on roots and transformed from an idea to an actual community.
We wove this community together, in a natural way. We have provided a constant flow of excellent teachers throughout the years. In alignment with the nature of impermanence (inevitable change), we knew that in the creation of this space that this would be an evolving journey...Therefore, in today's post-COVID world, we will continue to meet on our lovely Octagonal Yoga Deck looking out at Mt. Mansfield, Madonna & Sterling Mts. and will continue to be serenaded by the homestead's sheep and chooks.
While we maintain our online presence in the post-COVID era, we still believe that the quality and health benefits to the in-person exchange of energy is essential in the process of learning Yoga and developing self-inquisition. Community is a very important piece to the puzzle of self-discovery so we will continue to honor that path in creative ways even through a "studio without walls".
Pippa, I can not tell you enough how much your yoga has helped me over the last year. As you know, I joined the Stepping Stone yoga community because of Holly's encouragement just about a year ago. I love Healing Core and I tell ALL my mama friends about it (in fact, I was just telling a friend of mine all about it this morning on our morning skin up Jay Peak). I am fitter, healthier and more active than I have been… I think since I played varsity college hockey! No only that, I am (mostly) pain free. I know that your yoga classes gave me back strength that I couldn’t find since Oden’s birth and has enabled me to get back to my body. I have since learned to just plain love yoga - all of your classes, not just healing core. I can see myself in it now, and I can see the benefits for my body and mind.
All this to say, it is a huge struggle for me to make it to the Friday and Saturday classes, but I will continue to move figurative mountains to make the space in my week for your classes. It is my gift to myself.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for all that you do."