Losing My Yoga Studio and Keep Colony
It is mid-day June 30, 2014. Today I have a yoga studio to share with my clients. I have been able to slowly develop the space, making it clean, consistent and safe and in turn the space has afforded me the ability to grow my practice without having to take huge financial risks or use a space that is less-than-ideal for yoga. But tomorrow I must move from Keep Colony, the space that has housed my business and community endeavors for almost two years. In the process of the move I will lose my yoga studio. You can pack books, dishes, take your bed and your clothes (if you have enough space) but sadly a yoga studio doesn't fit neatly into packing boxes.
This has been a hard move. Sometimes there is an exciting sense of adventure and something new when a person undertakes to move. In this instance, however, I am being forced out against my will. I do not own the building and the man who does no longer wants people in his space. Over the years the building was a school, a church, and eventually became a community space for thousands of people as Keep Colony.
"...The law of yoga, and of life - that when important good things are starting to happen, then powerful bad things are stirred up too, and they come and try to stop the good things."
How Yoga Works
Michael Geshe Roche
As an artist-in-residence at Keep Colony it was a dream come true to live, create and share under one roof. That dream was shared by the others in the immediate community and it has been very hard to watch that dream be extinguished. We paid our bills, renovated the building, shared the space with the community but sometimes doors close and stay that way. Luckily, yoga prepares a person for such events and vinyasa yoga in particular allows a person to experience real adaptability. Just when I am most mentally and physically exhausted and spiritually downtrodden, the cure that I need the most is my daily yoga practice.
My Yoga Practice Lately...
Perhaps you know me and you know that I love explosive and dynamic movements. Perhaps you can infer that I enjoy some intensity in my practice by my Instagram feed or from my website. It is true that when I am feeling good in my body and life I love nothing more than to handstand and tumble and do arm balances and power poses. I have even been known to do a Crossfit workout here and there. As this move has taken its toll on my mental endurance and emotional fortitude I have observed that I find myself seeking slow seated practices, grounding postures and deep meditations. Those are the only things that have kept me from balling my eyes out constantly or being very angry at being displaced and disenfranchised.
I have stepped my power practices back to only once or twice a week. My handstands, if at all, are done with a wall assist and for the most part I do shoulderstand in lieu of handstands all together. I am using both my body and general chakra theory to help guide me through one of the most disruptive seasons in my life to-date. The root chakra governs a persons feelings of stability and his or her connection to his or her environment. Right now, while my environment is being wrested out from underneath me I am craving that feeling of being one with the ground that comes after a long savasana - that sense of being supported totally. I can't ask anyone else to give me that feeling. I have to give comfort to myself and thankfully yoga enables me to do just that. My boyfriend, who is one of my students, has given me similar feedback about his body and practice. We can only support one another if we feel like we have a stable individual foundations.
"The body never lies."
Congruence Yoga: Now and Future
My yoga practice has become the foundation of all other aspects of my life. It is as important to my spiritual development as attending church, as restorative to my mind as sleep and the keystone to my physical well-being. If there is anything that is more exciting than finding such a major life-hack for myself it is that I have seen this begin to happen for my students as well. I have a small but fiercely dedicated core of yogis that come to me every week. I have set the intention that losing my studio is only going to open more opportunities for them to practice.
What is next for Congruence Yoga is a demonstration of the true adaptability of vinyasa yoga. Yes, it is great to have a safe and consistent studio, but vinyasa is meant to be practiced everywhere. One of the greatest strengths of the yoga that I teach is that we do every pose in every combination and now I will teach you to do them everywhere. You will begin to feel empowered to take pigeon pose in the airport while you wait for your connecting flight or legs-up-the wall after your Disney vacation. You don't need to be confined to one space to do yoga. In "losing" my studio I am merely shedding the physical boundaries that make my yoga seem exclusive. This is, if anything, a cause to celebrate a new paradigm of yoga for Lynchburg. Yoga is accessible, adaptable and relevant in today's society and no longer needs to be cloistered in a studio.
Already opportunity has manifested into a new partnership with Toolry in downtown Lynchburg! Monday through Friday I will offer 6 a.m. vinyin classes. They will be 45 minutes and low-intensity so you can get to work in plenty of time. Another opportunity is to take yoga to the parks. We have gorgeous natural resources in this city! In cities across the country yogis gather in large and small groups to get one step closer to feeling connected by practicing under the sky and resting on the earth. Now when I say "reach up to the sky" it will be more than just a manner of saying reach up. I like that. I practice outside as often as the weather allows and I hope you will enjoy the opportunity to join me in doing so while the weather is good.
There will be other locations and other Congruence Yoga Studios in the future. For now, please pay close attention to the schedule as it may change daily to compensate for rainy days or accessibility of new great spaces. Evening classes will resume Wednesday. Meet in the parking lot of Riverside Park by the Sprayground. Be prompt because we will have to walk to our location. It will be an adventure.