Over the weekend, we celebrated a BIG day - Yoga Dear’s second birthday! As I reflected on year two, I wrote an Instagram post about how hard I fought this little town of Lewisburg. I thought I’d expand upon that here. You guys, it never crossed my mind that I’d live in another small town. And, it certainly didn’t cross my mind to open a yoga studio. Well, until it did and then I couldn’t dislodge the thought from my mind. Want to know how our studio was founded? How we got to Lewisburg? Here goes…
In the spring of 2013, I had an offer to work at Bucknell University. At the time, Eugene and I lived and worked in and around DC - I took the red line (metro speak) from Bethesda to Foggy Bottom everyday. Before that, we lived in the up and coming ‘hood of Del Ray in Alexandria. Life moved FAST. We worked a lot. I studied a lot (hey, graduate school). I did yoga a lot (for my mounting anxiety about said work and school). We went out a lot. We lived the “rat race” that is/was the District life and I kind of liked it for a time. So, when this offer came knocking it was a chance to slow the heck down. And, we took it.
Moving here was otherworldly. Sure, we’d grown up in Southern Maryland, but it was nothing like this place. I remember yelping the first time a saw a chicken next to my car door at the farmer’s market. I remember staring at the rolling hills and all the space driving in between here and Danville and State College. I remember having time to look up at the cotton candy colored sunsets (they really are pretty here, aren’t they?).
But, within a few months, I started fighting this place. Like crazy. I missed DC. I missed the Del Ray 'hood in NOVA with my favorite yoga spot. I missed the Greek restaurant with the Opa fries and the restaurant in Bethesda where all my gluten free dreams came true. I missed our family being 45 minutes away on the other side of the beltway. I missed seeing the monuments lit up at night. I missed it all. I felt like Lewisburg was too small and I wanted out.
To be truthful, all this missing and longing for the past did not make me happy. It made me nuts. So, finally I surrendered. I saw a quote, “Grow where you’re planted” and I started to say it and write it everywhere. Around that time, I had left my job at Bucknell and was working in major gifts fundraising for a foundation. I started building my yoga gig on the side - classes, private clients, workshops. And, it really seemed to grow. A thought popped into my head that I couldn’t shake. Open a yoga studio. Do it right here in Lewisburg. You can you can you can. Y’all, I ignored that voice. No way! I thought. That’s crazy!
But then, one day I was delayed in the Dallas airport after a hard weekend of business travel. I was frustrated, sitting on the floor because there were no seats due to all the delays. And, for some reason, I popped open my computer and wrote the draft of a 30 page business plan that morphed into Yoga Dear. I started planting the yoga seeds in town more, teaching often, talking about my dreams. I met with the SBDC. I researched real estate. I found the most amazing contractor. The yoga roots were spreading.
I remember that time fondly. It was SCARY. But, incredible. Once I stopped fighting and surrendering to the moment, once I started following curiosities and possibility, doors started to open. I told Eugene it was like there was this invisible hand on my back telling me to keep going, keep planting. So, I did. We opened our doors on January 9, 2016 - I'll never forget the full classes, the palpable energy and excitement for yoga.
And, I’m so happy because this place that I’d never imagine I’d be has brought me so much joy. Just the other day, I finished working with a private client I adore. My husband knocked on the studio door to show me his new 'do after being at the salon across the street. I ran into a dear friend who helped bring the studio to life a few minutes later. Sometimes, being in a small town has major perks. Don’t you think? Growing here, trusting the process of life, and surrendering as much as I can has led me to you. And, for that, I am so, so grateful. Thank you for reading these letters and our story, for being a part of our Yoga Dear family, and for sharing your joys with me, too.
What has surrender looked like for you? What could trusting the process of life be like? I’d love to hear from you.
P.S. We have a FUN ANNOUNCEMENT coming soon!! It could involve long yoga classes, chai tea, and bonfires with your yoga besties. <3 Do you want in on this magic? Hope so! Stay tuned.
P.P.S. Are you a member of our Private Yoga Dears Facebook group yet? Join us as we keep the yoga conversations going - We share articles, great quotes, thoughts, and take polls. It's a fun way to share the spirit of our yoga community. See ya there!