Mama swing. Mama swing.

Hey there,

Snapped after a morning on the beach and…you guessed it…the swings.

Snapped after a morning on the beach and…you guessed it…the swings.

Bodhi is nearly two years old. And ever since the day he was born, he’s loved movement. I think for a good six months he was rarely put down (Eugene, would you agree?). Babywearing [we had three different baby carriers], rocking, bouncing, walking, swinging. He loved it all. Still does. Perhaps it was all that prenatal yoga and dancing with him in the womb.

Now, there’s a swing set near our house in Rhode Island that overlooks a park, boat house, and a marina with boats and ducks and geese. We literally walk there almost everyday and Bodhi runs to the swings. He’d be there for hours if he could. And, when he started to talk more, he’d point to the regular swing next to his infant one and say, “Mama swing. Mama swing.”

That started maybe four or five months ago. Him saying, “Mama swing. Mama swing.”

Amongst the chilly mornings, the fog, the days where I was so sad about moving that I could barely get myself out the door, we swang together. On the gorgeous days with the sun burning above and creating a mirror effect of the blue sky on the water, we swang.

On the days when Bodhi started having toddler temper tantrums and I was in the throes of figuring out what the heck to do next with my career and/or choose to stay home, we swang. On days where I felt like I would never stop crying, we swang.

And, you know what? After every single park visit, I’d walk home with just a little more buoyancy. It didn’t always last much longer than a few hours, but it was there. Feeling the air on my face and the lightness of being on that swing set brought out a reminder of the kind of joy that children burst with nearly every day. It brought a reminder that everything changes, especially as we watched the seasons change in that park from fall to winter to spring and now summer.

***

The other day, Eugene, Bodhi, and I spent a morning at the beach. After we came home, we decided to walk past the park to the ice cream shop. Bodhi asked to swing, so we made our stop. He climbs in to the infant seat. “Papa push you,” he says (meaning, Push me). “Mama swing.”

So, I swang. I leaned back and lifted my heart and eyes to the sky. I felt the breeze, felt the spaciousness, the aliveness of being, my hair whipping back and forth. I think I was smiling. I caught Eugene watching my moment, too.

My dearest friends, THIS is yoga in action. Not one yoga pose. Not one breathing technique. And, rather awareness of the way that I felt on that swing set next to my son. Yoga is the constant witness, the awakened awareness to what instills lightness, freedom, inner knowing, peace, and then making the time to recreate that experience again and again and again. That’s where healing can begin. Bodhi gets it. He always has. He’s my teacher in so many ways.

When we’re going through challenging times, yoga helps us open our hearts to self-compassion and to surrender. Yoga encourages us to ask for what we need, and to invite stillness to listen to the answer. I believe that when you ask for peace and healing and self-love, tools will be gently placed along your path, like Bodhi’s encouragement. My question to you is: Are you open to receiving these tools, even in their perceived “simplicity?” Look around you. Listen. The answers and guidance are there, sometimes in the form of a toddler.

I’d love to hear what has brought you closer to joy in some of your darkest times. Please write to me and share. Maybe, I’ll compile enough of them anonymously to share here. And, Happy Birthday to our Bodhi Bear. You’re forever teaching this mama how to love and be in this world.

With love,
Leanne



Letting go {and other lessons}

Dearest yoga friends,

After many, many months (even before our move to Rhode Island), I have felt the pull towards a new path for me and for my family. And, I'm finally surrendering. I have made the decision to transition out of studio ownership at Yoga Dear. I could share the many reasons, but simply it's time.

As I type with slightly trembling fingers, I realize that some of you reading may never have stepped foot into the central PA studio and that, for others, this space has been a deeply healing and community filled spaceHowever you are connected with Yoga Dear or Yoga Dear Mama, I hope you will read this post. I wish I could tell each and every one of you this in person.

***

Trusting my intuition and opening the Yoga Dear studio was one of the best choices I have EVER made. It was scary. I had never taken one class in business. It didn't logically make sense to leave my career at the time. However, I felt like I just had to build a dynamic, supportive yoga community in central Pennsylvania. I felt the calling to teach and share and learn and grow with fellow yoga students, some who are now teachers themselves. I hoped to facilitate the growth and healing of a handful of students, that then became hundreds. I wanted to look back on my life and know that I had tried. And, together, we've created something beautiful.

And, now it's time to let go. For a few months now, I have explored selling the studio portion of Yoga Dear, and believe the next studio owner may be out there. In the event a sale is not made or a buyer not identified, we will be closing the studio on April 30, 2019. Read more in the "P.P.S." below for how this might affect your membership.

Of course, I hope you're reading this so that you are aware of the state of the studio (especially if you're an in-person student), but I also hope you are reading this email to recognize that it's okay to really listen to the inner knowing that's always within you...even if it's scary. It's okay to take risks. It's more than okay to believe in yourself. It's okay to honor curiosities and gentle nudges. It's okay because as a human and spiritual being, these are signals of growth and change, and growth and change aren't always painless.

***

art by @ineslongevial

art by @ineslongevial

Now, my own inner voice is nudging me down a new path in my yoga career, and I wish I could tell you exactly where it ends up. But, that's the evolution, right? Sitting with the uncertainty, allowing it, accepting it, and continuing to surrenderYoga will always be a huge part of my life, and I will continue to share its gifts through writing (the Yoga Dear + Yoga Dear Mama letters will continue!), yoga therapy work, future retreats + trainings, the sky's the limit and I'm letting it unfold. This is only the beginning of my own yoga journey. I'm so grateful it began with you. YOU are a tremendously important person in my life whether we've shared a practice in person, chatted via email, or you simply read from afar. I hope our relationship continues to unfold, and I hope you realize that it's okay to accept change as you grow and evolve, too. 

With so much love,
Leanne (and Eugene + Bodhi)



P.S. I want to make sure it's clear that Yoga Dear is multifaceted, and the studio is a piece. While I am transitioning out of owning a yoga studio, my work and commitment to yoga, yoga therapy, writing the regular letters and Yoga Dear Mama letters, teacher training, and retreats will continue (aka there will still be a www.YogaDear.com - ahem this site). So, this is truly not goodbye. Yoga and its teachings are too precious not to share. With love and big hug to you.

P.P.S. If you are a member of the studio currently, please read this: In the event a sale is not made, all auto-pay and yearly memberships will be turned off on April 16, 2019. Yearly Members will have access to studio classes until the end of April regardless of when their contract "ends" each month. Drop-in's for the rest of the month will be discounted to $14/class. Gift Cards must be redeemed in APRIL. We will not be offering refunds on any unused gift card purchases.

While this sounds very official, we do believe there may be a new studio owner stepping forth to carry this community into its next evolution, but I want to make sure we are including you in the conversations here and preparing for what may come if not. I believe that central PA needs a place to gather, meditate, practice, connect, and am hopeful a new owner will come forward. Please know that I am forever touched by you, by this place. You've changed my life beyond measure. I bow to you. Namaste.