As of today, we've been in business for 104 days, have hosted approximately 200 classes, have 204 followers on our Facebook page and continue to grow our Tribe. This means we've also turned the lights on and off 50ish times, mopped the floor 100 times, unfolded and folded lots of blankets, rolled out about 1,000 mats on the floor and set as many good intentions. We've breathed together, Om'd together, sweat together and often times let out a sigh of relief together when it was time for Savasana.
It's fun to look at the numbers and realize how much we've grown in such a short time. But the real pay off is seeing strangers walk in and friends walk out. It's seeing students walk out the door on their way to coffee to talk. It's knowing that my life is richer because of the people I meet at the studio. It's realizing that for every class, the quality of each practitioner's day has changed for the better. I am stronger in my body and my spirit for this experience and I hope those of you dedicated to the practice feel the same way.
Yoga is a daily practice that follows us off our mats and into every aspect of our lives. In yoga, we experience our strengths and our vulnerabilities in our bodies and our minds. We recognize how those sensations sink and lift the spirit. We begin to understand when we need to try harder and when we need to surrender into stillness. The imperfections of our practice reflect the beauty of our authentic selves. We show up as we are and that is always more than enough.
As important as it is to not measure ourselves by how strong our asana practice is, it is equally as important for Tribe to not measure it's worth by the number of people walking in and out the door. We're thankful when we have large classes and honored to hold space for small classes, too. Regularly, we have both. Each class is a seed with more potential to grow. Judging its value is unproductive and irresponsible. It's simply not our job to try and determine what is successful and what is a failure when there's so much healing and growth at stake. But it's an easy pit to fall into.
I'm grateful for the experiences this studio has brought to me personally with all it's ups and downs. And I'm grateful to see how joining people together for practice changes lives.
Meanwhile, the truth is, Tribe has competition. Serious competition. Yes, there is free yoga in this town, there is yoga at the YMCA and at the Nature Center. That's not our real competition, friends. Those are our compadres in spirit and action. Our real competition is much sneakier, much more elusive and sometimes alluring. Our real competition is complacency, depression, over-working, over-thinking, perfectionism, fear of trying something new. Our competition is pizza and Netflix. It's assuming that we need to "do more" or take care of others more than taking care of ourselves. It's Reeses Pieces and Coca Cola. It's doubt. It's resistance to growing into the person we were created to be. It's fear of being as amazing as we were created to be. It's fear of tight yoga pants and muffin top. I get it. I totally get it.
As I've moved through the creation of this community, I've struggled with all of the above. I am pushing through the resistance to do what this experience is asking of me. I'm standing in the grocery aisle trying to look past the Reese's Pieces because I know it will sink my energy for my next class. I'm trying to accept my body being so imperfect while I stand in front of the class and hold myself up as a model. I'm growing weary of tight yoga pants. I'm resisting the urge to couch myself with a liter of Coca Cola and Papa Murphy's pizza. Overworking, over-thinking. Yes, yes. I read those quotes in class and try to imprint them in my heart just as much as yours. Just show up as you are. You are good enough. You always were good enough. Just show up. I am not talking down to you. I am doing this with you. You newbies, you who are overweight, you who can't touch your toes as well as those of you who can put your foot behind your head and hold a handstand for more than five seconds, all of you inspire me. You early birds have gotten me up in the morning and given me a more energizing start to my day. Thank you so much for showing up with your grace, courage, spirit and energy. If you didn't know this already, you have my permission to show up just as you are. Thank you for allowing me to do the same.
See you on the mat.