I was interview by April Chan from Enumclaw Patch the other day. She wanted to know about my “Go Fund Me” renovation campaign. Most specifically she wanted to know why I was doing it. She was curious what motivates me. I’m not sure how well I answered her question when she asked it and have been giving it more thought.
What motivates me is pretty cliche really, yet so simple. I am motivated to make a difference in peoples lives while providing a valuable service to my community.
Many years ago I took my first yoga class. I did not know what to expect. Up until that point I had only done yoga once with a few friends in my home and loved it but I had my doubts about a group class. I told my friends “if there is any weird chanting you can count me out”. After a few minutes of reassurance I agreed to go to a "yoga studio" with them.
The instructor ended up being someone familiar which helped break down the barrier of discomfort and fear and his teaching and class had a huge impact on me, even the chanting.
I arrived at yoga after being in pain for almost 5 years from an auto accident. Through the constant pain I continued to work out with weights, play volleyball, run and operate a business as a custom seamstress making curtains, pillows etc… As the saying goes when you’ve suffered long enough you will try anything.
After 5 years saying “NO” to yoga I had finally said “yes”. I had never felt so good during or after a physical activity. The whole time in savasana (final relaxation) when I was suppose to be quieting my mind I was plotting and planning how to afford to pay for classes. After class I went right up to that instructor and gave him a huge hug of appreciation. My body and especially my neck felt renewed and I wanted to rejoice.
When he asked if I would be at his next class, I did like most people do and told him I could not afford to go regularly. He listened to my “lack of” mental excuses then invited me to come back to a second class as his guest (I think my enthusiastic heartfelt gracious hug made a big impact), then a friend started gifting me classes. They knew I just spent 5 years with astronomical medical bills and my need was real…I wasn’t hitting the coffee stand 4-5 times per week or keeping up with the latest fashion trends.
Their gift truly changed my life. The day after my first yoga studio experience I called my gym and canceled my membership. I was going to make yoga a part of my life and part of my budget. Through the practice and education of yoga I learned to live more abundantly and with greater purpose. I began letting go of negative things, from the type of work I was doing to the harmful effect volleyball and weights had on my injury.
I started taking more breaks to rest, stretch and meditate. I removed myself from a stressful relationship. The more I practiced yoga the better I felt and more positive things were drawn into my life.
By giving up a few things in order to afford yoga I got so much more in return.
I am still working towards finding greater ease and calm in my practice and in my life. It is a challenging practice and lately I have found myself struggling yet again. This time the struggle is the expansion of my yoga business.
The stories members share of how yoga has helped them renew my motivation to continue regardless of the challenges. Comments such as “A yoga studio in Enumclaw is a beautiful gift to the community. The caliber of your teaching is a blessing.” This was easily the most poetic compliment I have ever received.
Another member came in and shared his assessment of what yoga has done for him. His statement was “yoga truly is the key to longevity”, this member is 71 years young and his first class with me occurred just shortly after retiring at the age of 70. My biggest (though she is very small) inspiration is my mother. Through the practice of yoga she has recovered from triple bypass surgery and eliminated all but one pharmaceutical drug.
These are the stories that make the struggle of being a business owner “worth it”. Yes folks yoga is worth it.