Dream Into Action - Opening a Yoga Studio
Very recently, a dream held close to my heart has come true: the opening of my very own little yoga studio. It is a small boutique studio nestled in a residential part of the area I have lived in for the past 20 years, where I have raised my children, enjoyed our home and all the local amenities: restaurants, parks and a neighbourly feel. The area has a strong and vibrant community and I wanted to be an integral part of it, rather than an observer as I had been when I commuted to the City for long days sat at a desk. My teaching path started in 2010 after qualifying as an RYT500 yoga teacher. In 2012, I was made redundant from my job in the City and have not looked back since, becoming a full time yoga teacher.
Fast forward to 2016, after 6 years of teaching, I finally find the space to bring my dream into fruition. Opening a yoga studio is a big project: negotiating the contract, possibly applying for change of use with the local council, going through a refurbishment. My project had it all, as it needed a total re-haul as well as change of use consent and the journey was at times tortuous. I remember sitting on my staircase in a puddle of tears one day, telling my partner “I can’t do this”. But the motivation and will were strong and with support from all of those around me, and life itself, the studio materialised.
I met my teacher shortly after opening and mentioned to him that I did not have time to engage with my teachers in the same way as before and as always he had wise words for me: “the studio will be your teacher”. And so it has been. It has taught me so much that I feel I am equipped with a whole new set of skills:
- It has given me new practical skills in project managing, dealing with tradespeople and council staff and officials.
- It has taught me to pull through the tough times and move through the difficulties focusing on solutions rather than obstacles.
- It has taught me to have faith and believe in the project I had at hand. It has taught me that, with hard work and dedication, dreams can come true.
- I have learned to have faith in others and to believe in the strength of the community I live in. We have had endless support from the people around us, and seen such an enthusiastic response to the things we feel we passionately want to share.
- It has taught me that life can be incredibly purposeful and that one can feel like springing out of bed, rather than hitting the snooze button 3 times in a row.
- I have learned that there are so many wonderful yoga teachers out there who live meaningful lives and share yoga with such integrity.
- At a time, when politics and the press are divisive, I have faith in the expressions of unity I see at the studio: students sharing a blanket or offering their bolster, people sharing a cup of tea and conversation or bringing fresh apples from an orchard for the benefit of all.
- At a time, when we may feel separated and separate, the studio and the practice of yoga take on another dimension and bring unity.
Yoga teaches us unity: unity between breath and movement, between body and mind. It teaches us unity with ourselves and with others. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “The reason why the world lies broken and heaps, is, because man is disunited with himself”. Yoga brings us back into that state of union with ourselves and consequently with others. It allows us to live lives that become more purposeful and meaningful.
Mother Theresa said: “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other”. I truly hope that yoga and the many yoga studios sprouting within our communities can help bring more peace and a sense of communal belonging to all and that we can continue to learn from the wisdom of this wonderful ancient practice.