Happy Birthday

A year ago today, I opened the door to HOME Yoga.

Like many small business owners, I faced the prospect with trepidation, anxiety, excitement and tenacity. Clearly, I had no idea what to expect. None.

I was inspired to open by many people, but none more than my friend and owner of The Yoga Loft Jen Ryan. Without her blessing, this never would have happened. The Yoga Loft was my yoga home for years and the community Jen has built is admirable. Much like I couldn’t tell her what to expect with her first baby, after I had my third, there was no way she could tell me what to expect in opening my own studio after hers had been thriving for years. Holy crap. There should be a book: What to Expect When You Open Your Own Studio. I just wanted to teach yoga in my own space, in my own way. That was it.

Of course, intellectually, I knew it would entail a lot of other work. I just didn’t know the extent of it: the drudgery of maintenance, the creativity and persistence of marketing, the chaos of scheduling, taxes (‘nuf said.), hurricanes, blizzards and even one well-timed earthquake in the middle of savasana that shook the entire building. Namaste.

I didn’t realize there would be glamorous hairstylists walking by in high-heeled shoes at the beginning of every class or that the curtain’s would trip up so many people who arrived late — no matter how respectfully they entered. I didn’t even know it was my responsibility to switch the electric into my name. That was a tough and embarrassing lesson learned. I’ll stop with all the growing pains before I embarrass myself more.

I also absolutely did not realize just how fulfilling it would be, despite these unforeseen obstacles. I never think twice about coming to the studio every single morning because I’m always greeted by people who have become my friends. The dedication from the teachers I adore — Anthony, Karen and Vito — and the many loyal students who have shown their support has created a yoga community of which I am so extremely grateful to be a part.

I have to give a shout out to Natasha Rizopoulos, too, who’s teaching has inspired me from the first class I taught. While I learned a ton with her in my first teacher training, it has been all the subsequent trainings and workshops that I have assisted her that have really driven home all the meticulous cues and smart sequencing that have become the essence of my classes. I try to articulate her command of alignment, anatomy and philosophy in my own way. I’ve learned more about yoga from her than anyone else and aspire to teach with the same compassion, control and intelligence that she exhibits every time she teaches.

And last, but certainly not least, I must give credit to my family who has dealt with me patiently for the last year. Thanks to my mom and sister and brother-in-law for helping me paint. Thanks to my other sister for hanging up the darn curtain rods. Thanks to Tom, who believed this was possible far before I did and who fixed my QuickBooks catastrophe in time for 1099s. Sorry, buddy –(I’m on top of it now). I also thank my little cherubs –well, most of the time they’re cherubs– who have adjusted to me being gone more than usual with grace — well except for the times they cry and cling to my leg. — and who gave up half their summer last year to help me decorate. Thank god for foam blocks. Some of you may have noticed the pen holes in some of them.

Now that I’ve written a speech fit for an Oscar I didn’t win, I feel a little bit like the first time mother, or parents, who celebrate the child’s first birthday as a sigh of relief that they made it through the first year. Only later do we realize it’s not about us but about the child. This isn’t about me, though I have certainly made it seem like it is. It’s about the studio we call home.