It’s been four years today since I took the plunge and decided to offer classes in my small hometown of Kenton. I was doubtful that there would be any interest, but my mom and best friend encouraged me to offer a session of four karma classes over the Christmas holidays. I should have known that other people would quickly find in you what I did. Although I was a brand-new teacher lacking in confidence, a yoga community began to grow. Every time people showed up to class, I was surprised. Four years later, here I am, with a yoga studio, sold-out events (still surprised every time this happens), and exciting collaborations with other teachers and healers. You have become more than my “side hustle”. Instead, you are my creative outlet, my way of connecting and building community, and the “job” that leaves me feeling calm and centered after every Namaste.
And then there’s what you have done for me on a personal level. I turned to you at a time when nothing seemed to be working in my life. I had grown to dread exercise classes and time spent at the gym felt like yet another item on an endless to-do list. I was overwhelmed and unhappy. Yoga felt like a reprieve from it all. Private sessions grew into a home practice with online yoga challenges, to practicing in yoga studios, and taking the plunge to sign up for a yoga teacher training. I don’t even know if I was aware I at the time of what you were slowly doing to me. I just knew how you made me feel and I wanted more of that feeling. Stepping onto my mat felt like coming home.
Since beginning our relationship, you have have been a catalyst for ideas and inspiration, new friendships, and physical and mental health. Words for difficult papers have flowed into my brain during practices and ideas have popped into my mind during savasana that have literally made my eyes fly open in surprise. Because of you, I’ve gone places and formed friendships that never would have happened. My desire to practice and be part of a yoga community made me brave in ways that I never would have been before. Thanks to you, I am bendy and flexible, but even more important, I am mentally and emotionally resilient, and strong.
Thank you for sustaining me, yoga. Thank you for being a constant for me no matter what was going on in my life. Thank you for making me aspire to something more–and to be something more. And thank you for giving me the tools to share with others to help them on their personal journeys. I look forward to a long and rewarding relationship with you throughout the rest of my life.