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.

Sleep is not a luxury

Hey there,

About nine months ago, I decided that I would embark on a journey to become a certified Sleep Consultant for infants and toddlers. This made zero logical sense to me at the time I committed.

#1. I knew I was re-entering a three-year yoga therapy program, and who would be crazy to partake in two modes of study at once??
#2. At the time, I had a 10 month old (now 19 months). Do I need to say more?
#3. I was about to guide an 8 month yoga training program that took up LOTS of my time…why add more to my plate?

Photo by @misskyreeloves

Photo by @misskyreeloves

But, I had this feeling - this indescribable feeling that understanding and supporting baby/toddler sleep would benefit my desire to support mothers during the postpartum experience and into new motherhood.

And, I’m so glad I followed that nudge.

Nine months later (and six months after a move to Rhode Island from Pennsylvania), I’m knee deep in yoga therapy, nearing the completion of my sleep training, and loving the transition my work is taking to supporting women and their families. I’m ready to share sleep consulting with you.

***

One thing I’m realizing after supporting families and studying sleep/yoga therapy: Sleep is NOT a luxury. It’s a necessity for our emotional and physical well-being at all stages of life, and this is backed by science. We NEED sleep. BUT, sleep isn’t always the “issue.”

Sleep (or lack of restful sleep) is an indicator of emotions, feelings, physical state, and our relationship to our environment. We need to understand our child’s emotional state, developmental age, current events in/outside of the home, as well as the family parenting philosophy in order to help our babies and toddlers get the rest they need. And that rest, of course, leads to happier babies and mothers, but it also helps develop deeper bonds between mother and child. I firmly believe that.

As a yoga therapist, I advocate for a sleep consulting approach that compliments the family’s parenting philosophy, while also emphasizing a deeper connection and understanding between mamas and their babies. I take into consideration the mother’s state of well-being, concerns, and goals for sleep support. And, I work together with mothers (and parents) to design a sleep plan that is right for babies’ and toddlers’ unique temperaments and developmental ages, as well as ensuring that mothers feel nurtured and cared for throughout the whole process, too. Note: I take a gentle, baby-led and parent informed approach to sleep.

So, if you’re struggling with sleep, please let me know. You can read more about Sleep Consulting services by clicking the links below:

***

I guess there are still two main thoughts as I wrap up this message to you.

#1. Dear Mama, please follow those nudges and tugs on your heart, even if they don’t make sense. You really can’t know where it leads, but it’s often more beautiful than you could imagine.
#2. I’m ready to start supporting your family as a Sleep Consultant! To kick off these services, I’m offering 50% off of the Infant & Toddler Prepared Sleep Plan package for the next two weeks!

Thank you for being a part of the Yoga Dear Mama community. I’m honored you’re here and delighted to continue to share more. And, please write and share your experiences with sleep (you and/or your child’s)! How are you sleeping? How is your baby sleeping? What about your toddler? I’d love to hear from you.

With love,
Leanne

P.S. If your family is sleeping well, please share this letter with a mama friend who isn’t. Sleep is not a luxury, but a necessity, especially after those early months of babyhood. The Infant & Toddler Prepared Sleep Plan is 50% off now, and includes a consultation, full intake, full sleep plan presentation, follow-up phone call, and three days of email support.