“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank
I own and operate a yoga studio in Boston, MA. I don’t usually talk about it on this forum. We bought the studio right after I gave birth to our now 3 year old (Miss P.) Having her changed my perspective on life, as kids can often do. I wanted to make the world a better place; no matter how small my footprint would be. I also wanted to foster a place for new moms to come and feel good about themselves; maybe even meet another mom in doing so. People come out of yoga feeling better. We learn through our practice how to be more compassionate with others (and ourselves) on AND off the mat. I felt like if I could bring that to all kinds of people than I would be doing my part to give back to my kid’s future. So I put my whole soul into the business and it slowly became my third child.
I was still working a corporate job during year one of ownership. I often felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. I had 3 huge jobs. I got to the breaking point when I quite literally broke out into shingles all over my body. (I can’t think of anything more contradictory to yoga.) But I kept going back to why I was doing it in the first place and it always helped me push on. I’ve learned so much from this third child. Simple little lessons that were often forgotten in the corporate world or in the throes of new motherhood but ones that could have easily been applied to all three jobs –
– Attach yourself to good people. (And then be good to them.)
– Smile often. (Be warm; let people in.)
– Don’t be exclusive. (It’s more fun when you include everyone.)
– Take risks. (It’s okay to be different.)
I am forever indebted to my crew of teachers for their loyalty and their help in fulfilling my make-the-world-a-better-place dream. Through our Barre program (the brainchild of my now good friend and fellow mom, Jessica Diaz) we offer a class called BYOB: Bring Your Own Baby to Barre. I loved watching the transformation our teacher Jennifer Phelan went through as a new mom herself – apprehension turning into confidence as the weeks went by. It reminded me so much of being a scared new mom myself while venturing into a new business. (Read more about her story here.)
I was at the studio for BYOB last Thursday and got so excited I had to get off my mat and take this picture (Psst: never do this in an exercise class) –
It was exactly what I hoped for when I set out on this journey three years ago. I especially love listening to the moms after class share tips, ask questions, and make each other feel normal through admission. They inspired me to write this post.
Yoga is my religion. It will always be a part of me. I’m not talking about the stretching or the sweating or the cute LuLuLemon pants I overwear. I’m talking about the basic teachings behind the practice. Every night before bed, Miss P. and I put our hands over each other hearts and say: “Namaste. I am nice to you, you are nice to me, and we are all nice to each other.” It’s so simple, yet sums up so precisely what would make this world a better place for our kids.