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In 2007, I started dating a man who lived in Queens, we moved in together because he insisted that he needed to walk me to and from the yoga studio where I practiced. When I lived in Manhattan, it was more inconvenient. This blessing in disguise led me to BambooMoves in Forest Hills, the yoga studio I own today. In 2008, I decided to take the 200 Hour Advanced Practitioner Training under Andrew Tanner. During my training, I volunteered and observed as many classes as I could between our locations in Englewood and Forest Hills. I loved it, every second of it, and knew that this is what I wanted to do—teach and practice yoga. I quit my marketing job and came on full time at the studio, verbally agreeing to volunteer as the main manager for four months. On my second week, "the boyfriend" came into the studio and began profusely yelling at me in front of students and a fellow teacher trainer. Andrew, the then owner, came out to have him leave and gave me an ultimatum: the studio or "the boyfriend." I chose the studio.
I share this story because without this dramatic situation and the support of my fellow Teacher Trainer and the owner, I might not have chosen to change. Since we had been living together, the owner said I could move into the studio that weekend. I lived there for my four months of volunteering. Every Friday night, I would have a date with the studio and clean the floor by hand while listening to mantras, then wake up early to do my morning practice. To this day, I haven't forgotten that question, "The studio or the other," and I have chosen the studio as many people have along your own personal journeys. Maybe for some it is church, or a friend's refuge but my pull to do what was right was this yoga studio. As I transitioned into sole owner, I lost many friends that only wanted to drink, do drugs or be mean. I let go of habits (samskaras) that did not serve the studio and the community I served, and found my tapas to be eating regularly of substantial food, sleeping eight hours a night, and doing a regular yoga nidra.
As any parent knows, they sacrifice for the well-being of their child but once the child begins to grow, roles evolve and the relationship changes. I have viewed the studio as my child since I signed on the dotted lines. In the beginning I needed to nurture this new entity through changes, and "sacrifice" my not-so-nourishing habits. But as I watch teachers and students, it is not just me, but all of us who had/have strong intentions for personal growth or dedication of selfless service that has allowed the studio to continue growing on its own. These intentions feed sacred spaces. The more that people practice, the stronger the energy and place of oasis it becomes. And now after ten years, the vibration of this studio is stronger and assists us into being receptive to these greater changes—something we may have once been afraid of... These changes are what makes us become advanced yogis.
Yoga is an energetic and spiritual practice, and as we come with intentions the space takes on these intentions and assists us in areas that we are requesting help; strength, change, evolution, love, support, etc... And with this awareness, we have seen people adjust to new situations. Within our own spiritual family, there as been: Me becoming a sole owner; a desk manager of 8 years moving to Florida; A teacher left the corporate world to embrace being a Life Coach and Yoga Teacher; a mom giving birth to her second child and three other teachers getting pregnant in the same year; and the change of teachers in classes because of family or going back to school for a masters degree. BambooMoves is a community, but the studio space, has it own vibration that can assist us on our journey to be receptive to our greater good. Be receptive to change. As the Bhagavad Gita says in chapter 12, "That one is dear to me who runs not after the pleasant or away from the painful, grieves not, lusts not but lets things come and go as they happen." And sometimes this change is difficult but with the greatness of a community we can listen, act, and feel supported.
Learn more about BambooMoves Forest Hills here.