"Relief, exhaustion, sadness, frustration, thankfulness, excitement about what's next, the feelings of failure and loss, contentment knowing that the studio and it's legacy are in really good hands. All of those things. All at once."
One of the most fun things about owning your own business is getting to find ways to show your teachers you appreciate them. I like to have an annual gathering at my house for our yoga teachers. This one was long overdue.
It's fun to prepare the house, make sure it's extra clean, and then go about preparing the food and put together goodie bags while thinking about ways to entice dialog that will help us get to know one another a little better.
To get to know each other a little better we played the game "two truths and a lie". You tell two truths and one lie about yourself and the group has to figure out which one is the lie. As yoga teachers some of the teachers couldn't quite get it right and they ended up telling three truths. Very funny. Nikki seemed to be the best at calling bullsh*t and was able to detect everyone's lie.
It was so much fun to learn more about these lovely teachers. Greensboro Downtown Yoga has an incredible group of talented teachers and we are poised to bring you lots and lots of great yoga.
If you read my posts regularly you know that the yoga studio is my labor of love. Weeks like this I can't help but be filled with endless amounts of joy and gratitude for what is growing at the studio. All of our classes this week were packed, despite the cold weather. The support we are receiving from our students and the greater community is overwhelming. Our teachers are top-notch and I find that when I leave them alone to do what they do best, that's when the studio wins.
Our classes are regularly filling up the studio and many days I'm hoping that I don't have to turn anyone away. We now have 8 teachers that teach weekly at the studio and there is room for more classes. The teacher training program is starting to fill up and I'm pretty confident we will sell it out (for now there is room if you still want in).
I knew Greensboro was ready for this type of space and this type of yoga. I knew that it would take time, and it is taking time but we have the momentum and it's all moving in the right direction. Thank you for everyone who supports this business! Thank you to everyone who comes out and takes classes, and participates in what we are building. This studio would not be growing if it wasn't for all of you!
The theme of today's power flow yoga class was "Get uncomfortable". Why? Because yoga strips away our layers of defense, but it will do this in a subtle gentle way. The practice of getting on your mat at home or in a challenging class will teach you how to sit with discomfort. Yoga will give you an opportunity to watch what bubbles up inside you and sit with it, either good, bad, comfortable or uncomfortable. Discomfort is a strong teacher. At the heart of it the teacher, the Guru, is yourself. You have to get quiet, still and centered to be open to the lessons that emerge in a yoga practice. The practice of yoga will eventually over time teach you that it's perfectly ok even when things don't feel good. We don't need to push away from things that are uncomfortable.
You've been there, you've felt it. The place in the pit of your belly where your instinct to run comes from, the instinct to push away or mask our reality. It's the desire to turn on music or TV, check Facebook, drink a few glasses of wine, or pop a prozac. It's the instinct to make friends with anyone but yourself. All of those defense mechanisms are ways for us to ignore what doesn't feel comfortable or pleasurable. Life isn't supposed to be pleasant all of the time. If it were you wouldn't learn anything. What would happen if you invited the discomfort, awkwardness and difficult feelings to come in? What would happen if you sat with them and really looked at what they had to teach you? I'd venture guess that the more you get uncomfortable, the more you'll be able to make friends with yourself.
I invite you to come take yoga classes with us at Greensboro Downtown Yoga. I invite you to challenge yourself to get uncomfortable in a new way. I invite you to make friends with the shadow side of yourself, the darker places that might not always be pleasant to confront. I can't promise you happiness and perfection, but I can offer you a new perspective. This practice will help you make friends with yourself.
Growing up in Toledo, OH as a child of the 80's I'd never met a yoga instructor. It's the mid-west, and in the 80's we only liked casseroles, leg warmers in step classes and mass on Sunday's. Yoga instructors would have seemed like aliens. By some stroke of luck my mom had taken a yoga class in college and would talk about it on occasion. That's how I knew yoga and yoga teachers existed. As a child yoga seemed mystical, elusive,and exotic like a pink unicorn. I'd ask my mom if I could take a yoga class when she talked about how much she had liked it, she said if we could find one. I'd scour the YMCA class listings, nada. Don't forget this was before the days of google search. It wasn't until my senior year of high school that I found a class being offered. This class was being offered in the carpeted loft of a new age book store (that no longer exists I might add). The class was what I had imagined, 10 or so of us in a dimly lit room practicing "Easy does it yoga" together for 6 classes over six weeks. Lovely class and great people even if I was the youngest by 35 years, but not necessarily something that would make a 12th grade girl change her "career path." Looking back now, I know that class was fate flirting with me.
After that first "official" class, I forgot about yoga in pursuit of my psychology major and dance minor. The dance minor was the part of me that knew movement was the key, the part of me that has always known there is wisdom in the body. I just didn't know how to make a living in artistic expression of the body and that's a problem when even as a young person you view financial stability as big fat hairy deal. Never one to follow my heart without a way to pay the bills I ignored the desire to double major in dance and art and decided that psychology was a "more practical major". Yeah, I wish I was making this up.
As a grade school or high school girl when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, the standard reply was "actress, singer or dancer". ugh. It's hard for me to look back on that little version of myself and not be frustrated with her generic pursuits and dreams. To be fair to that little brown-haired girl had I realized yoga teacher was an option, I probably wouldn't have chosen it. I guess life had to teach me a lot of lessons before I could figure out what I wanted to become when I grew up. Life had to show me why I needed yoga before I could know that I wanted to teach yoga to others.
I'm grateful to know with 100% certainty that not only do I want to be a yoga teacher and teacher of yoga teachers when I grow up, but I know I actually get to do it.