Growing and Giving Back
As the seasons begin to change, I am preparing myself for some big changes. For the past few months, I've been gearing up to take a big leap of faith and really throw myself into this world of teaching yoga and making it my central career focus. It's been a year of working full time and spending any free time making this dream grow. I've had some really wonderful opportunities pan out over the past few months, and I feel ready to take the plunge. While I'll be working what I call "half-time" doing some freelance marketing and social media work, I have enough yoga classes and events lined up that it feels like this is actually happening. I can now officially answer the question "what do you do?" with the answer "I'm a yoga teacher" (!!!!!).
So here's what's happening:
More classes for kids:
I'm so excited to be leading yoga in three Seattle Schools. I'll be leading both after school clubs as well as an alternative PE class this fall. I'm especially excited to head back to West Seattle Montessori and see my amazing students who I had the pleasure to spend last school year with. They were the class that allowed me to truly understand how to use yoga in the classroom and filled me with so much inspiration, joy, and creativity.
More workshops in more cities:
This month, I'm traveling back to my hometown of Concord, NH to share my signature workshop, Yoga in Your Classroom, a Workshop for School Teachers (September 17th at the River Guild) with the community that raised me. I'll also be hosting a special yoga class with my best friend in the world called Self Care for Caregivers (September 20th at the River Guild) , a restorative yoga class with reiki adjustments aimed at anyone who spends their time caring for others. This class is both an opportunity to unwind and relax as well as a chance to learn techniques for self care and minimizing stress at home.
Then, on October 1st, I'll be back in Seattle to lead my workshop for teachers at my home studio, Eka Yoga.
More classes for adults:
This summer, I have had the absolute pleasure of teaching donation classes in my neighborhood park. One of my students then offered up her beautiful home for private donation classes for her friends once a week. Through those classes, I've met so many lovely women and created a wonderful sense of community that I really craved when I moved to Seattle. Thanks to the success of those classes, I'm renting out a beautiful, ocean front space for donation classes to continue as the weather turns.
In February, I'll be heading down to San Diego to lead another Mother/ Daughter retreat. This is a private retreat for a group of friends and is shaping up to be a beautiful weekend. Hosting retreats, or as I like to think of it "yoga camp" was my first brain child when it came to sharing yoga, and having another retreat in the books is so special. I am always blow away by the amount of love shared at these retreats and can't wait to meet a new group of women and girls. If you have a group interested in a retreat, please get in touch!
Most importantly- Giving back:
Helping those less fortunate than myself has always been a driving force in understanding where I want to focus my work. This was what lead me to teach yoga to children and as I begin teaching more adult classes, I feel pulled to find more ways to give back. Last week, I donated half of the profits from my donation class to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. It is my goal to continue to do this once per month to support local charities that benefit children and teens.
Some Closing Thoughts:
With all of these exciting things happening, I've found myself experiencing quite a bit of stress. I've been up late at night going over my schedule, reciting yoga sequences for upcoming classes, and generally feeling overwhelmed about all of the things on my plate. But here is what I keep coming back to: total and complete gratitude. How blessed am I to have so many things going on that allow me to live in this way that supports my dreams? How blessed am I to live in a safe, beautiful, and liberal city that allows me to do this kind of work? Shifting my perspective from stress to gratitude is the one thing that keeps me grounded and able to focus on the things that are truly important.
I spent the summer working at a camp for kids who are on the autism spectrum or face other social and developmental challenges. The work was tough and exhausting at times, but overwhelmingly fulfilling. At the beginning of the summer I tended to leave my day feeling sad for these kids and their parents that their lives were different from typical kids. By the end of the summer, I was completely blown away by the way these beautiful children touched my life. Seeing the world from their unique perspective, watching their minds work in such fascinating ways, and witnessing the way they embody uninhibited joy, and bring that joy to their families, it's something that brings me to tears just reflecting on it. Having the chance to teach these kiddos yoga was so beautiful and no doubt made me a more patient and well-rounded teacher. Anyway, my point here is that shifting our perspective, focusing on the good, and looking for the gifts that each situation has to offer us is what makes it possible to approach each day with an open heart. I hope that you are all able to do the same!