We’ve now been in San Diego for 18 months. In all that time, I’ve been a member of a downtown yoga studio in the East Village. It’s changed names and ownership, but the community has remained constant, strong and vibrant. On Friday, my yoga studio is closing its doors. It’s a bit sad.
This former gymnast started out as a young yogi caterpillar over six years ago. There have been studios and teachers in New York, California and beyond who have made an impact, helped me reach new yoga heights, and change my mindset; but, this studio welcomed me into a new city a few days after our arrival. Only a seven minute walk from our apartment, this little studio greeted me with open arms. It brought me my first new friends in San Diego, helped me delve further than ever before into poses, cheered me on to ditch those asthma meds while helping to give my lungs some much needed love, taught me about flotation tanks, introduced me to acupuncture and yoga wheels and showed me the many benefits of meditation. It’s because of this studio and it’s impact that on my latest travel adventure I traveled with a yoga block, foam roller and yoga mat.
Sarah’s last class this Tuesday focused on hip openers, handstands and breathing practices. It was about saying goodbye to the space while honoring our studio and remembering the good with thanks – as opposed to gripping on for dear life with sadness. She shared thoughts of non-attachment, finding joy in the experience, acceptance, the love of community and new beginnings for us all. Who knows if the studio will ever again be Hale Holistic, The House of Yogi or anything else, but for the time I have been there, it has been my home studio. She kept returning to the question of how we truly feel on our mats in those ritual poses we constantly perform. There was this theme, this idea, that no matter where we do these asanas, they feel like we’re returning home. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons I’m hooked.
As we turned ninety degrees between each sun salutation offering gratitude and respect to all four walls and the space between, this little community in the East Village of San Diego, my community, happily shared thanks, love and oms with each other and the building that brought us all together.
We’ve heard that the seasons continue to turn, a door closes and another opens, from ends grow beginnings and many other well-meaning phrases. Here, truly, for me, there have been months of positive change, growth and perspective. Years ago I might have found myself wincing at the very thought of change and fully focused on the end of this studio. I’d spend more time thinking of the ‘last class’, the ‘last visit’, the ‘last savasana’ in the space, feeling sad about it’s closing, frustrated by the inability to control it, and a loss at the possible end of my community. But on Tuesday, instead of seeing an end, for sixty minutes, (together with my yogi community) we all focused on thanks for what was, joy in what we shared and accomplished, acceptance, letting go, mindfulness and thoughts of looking forward anew. Although all of us in that room have limbs instead of wings, that afternoon, we left that special space as butterflies.
Perspective shifted, growth defined.
A grateful yogi