What a year! I was given an incredible gift from Blue Sky Yoga that has made a lasting impact on me. Approximately one year ago, in January 2018, I walked into Blue Sky Yoga for the first time. I had been practicing yoga for years and had just completed yoga teacher training and decided to attend a class at Blue Sky Yoga. Walking in the studio I immediately enjoyed the warm atmosphere and beautiful sense of community. I was eager to begin the January challenge and enjoyed embracing a challenge for myself of 25 classes in one month. It was a busy month. And many of you saw that I was just barely getting there in time for a class to start! But, I did it. Not so I could puff up my ego, not to let the whole world know, and not with the intention of reshaping my body. I did it to further develop my practice, to experience yoga with a myriad of teachers, to infiltrate my mind, body and spirit with a sense of peace and renewal through mindful yoga practice.
I spent the last evening of January 2018 practicing yoga in two classes in order to reach my 25-class goal. That evening, as I left the studio, I drove home feeling energized as I reflected on spending the first month of 2018 gaining focus, clarity, energy, and peace. I truly felt full and grateful for the physical and emotional space to grow my practice at BSY. I was thankful for each breath I’d been given and the physical body that had allowed me to show up each day at the mat. My body was tired, but one of those good “tireds” the kind of tired that leads you to an amazing night of sleep.
The following morning I headed into work like any other day. As I pulled into the school parking lot I noticed I had a facebook notification from someone and it caught my eye. I was prompted to open it up and take a look. I kept staring at my phone in disbelief, at first not allowing myself to get excited because I might not be reading it correctly. After a double, then triple-check I realized I had won the grand prize ONE YEAR FREE Unlimited Yoga! I was beyond thrilled and bounced out of my car as I literally danced up and down the sidewalks. I began to draw a crowd as teachers gathered at their classroom windows attempting to understand what was “wrong” with me. I bolted into the school, made an announcement to staff of my winnings and continued to dance up and down the hallways, in and out of classrooms! It was a day filled with excitement and pure joy! It was just the beginning of an incredible journey!
In the first months of the year I found myself indulging in classes I’d never attended, meeting fellow yogis, and being led in practice by a variety of instructors. Each time I parked and then bounced my way to the doors of the studio, I felt a surge of gratitude. Gratitude for the space that was beginning to feel like home and the faces of those who were becoming more familiar. Gratitude for my body, my breath, and opportunities to calm my mind and accomplish a sense of grounding.
During the winter and spring months I found enormous challenges in my job. These challenges were stressful, emotionally draining and took a physical toll at times. Those who were close to me often pointed out how this gift from BSY couldn’t have come at a better time, and I agreed. After a long day at work, a day feeling defeated, I eagerly anticipated my outlet and retreat at BSY near the end of the day. During my yoga practice I was reminded to return to the breath and found myself melting into my mat, letting go of the stressors. Enjoying another opportunity to find peace, strength, and gratitude.
As the summer months approached, I began establishing a routine. There were specific classes I found myself gravitating towards and it felt strange whenever I wasn’t able to attend them. Not only was I becoming more comfortable at the studio, but I was also becoming more comfortable with myself, my practice, and my body. I was also finding a sense of balance in various areas of my life, with family, friends, responsibilities. As I pursued new career opportunities, I was eventually led to a new position in the fall. This new position was full of promise and change. I found that yoga led me to a place within myself that was healthy and strong which allowed me to prepare for the new adventures that were ahead.
Autumn isn’t typically viewed as a season of renewal. However, it was for me. New adventures, routines, and people to meet as I began a fresh new opportunity. As this renewal began in my life, it also created a space in my yoga practice. I found myself settling into the familiar space with a renewed sense of excitement and anticipation. I began pursuing a deeper sense of inner peace and stillness. I challenged myself to find a deeper sense of love…for myself and others.
As the end of my free year approached, I found myself trying to squeeze in as many classes as I could although I knew I’d be returning to BSY long after the year was completed. How could I not return to this space that has held me through so many different emotions and allowed me to experience and grow so much? My heart is full when I look back on the year I was given at BSY. It’s an experience I will always look back and remember as a time of growth and I will return to that strong sense of gratitude for the gift and opportunity.