Thursday, December 10, 2015

Reflections on 15 years in East Windsor

Last night in class I announced, "this is officially my last class teacher here," and then I felt it...for a fleeting moment. I've been so busy preparing the new studio in Hightstown Borough that I hadn't even realized the magnitude of this until I said it. Do not get me wrong, I am not sad to be leaving the studio location that I've had for the past ten years - its time has come. But this is truly an end of an era.

When I first began teaching, as some of you recall, I asked Darby Lines who owned "Full Circle Family Massage" on Rt. 571 if I could teach a few classes in her attic. This was in East Windsor. When I outgrew that place (after having moved into the basement for a few years), I found my first spot in an above office space in Royal Plaza on Rt. 130 - in East Windsor. When I outgrew that, I relocated up the road to the 405 Rt. 130 location in the downstairs of East Windsor Flooring - also in East Windsor. My entire yoga teacher history is derived of various locations in and around this town. And now, that's over.

East Windsor has been an interesting area for promoting yoga over the years. Although we are a suburb, the town has a very commercial feel to it. There is no "town center" or borough and the neighborhoods are spaced apart in more private sections. When I began teaching in East Windsor, I lived in Plainsboro. I lived there for ten years until I met my husband and we decided to move to south jersey. Now for the past 11 years I have been commuting one hour to work. I'm not complaining about the drive - it actually give me some decompression time between home and the yoga studio. But given that there's not as much a neighborhood feel in my previous locations, I have felt a disconnect from the community in which my business is located.

Over the past month of decorating the new studio in Hightstown I have grown to love this little town. Every time I go into a new restaurant or store, someone tells me they know me from this person or that they've heard about me from another person. Many people in town know some of our teachers because many of our teachers also live in town. Students, teachers and even new people that I am meeting keep telling me how excited they are that they can soon walk to yoga! The borough has been very welcoming and my new landlord literally lives across the street from the studio. I am LOVING the hometown vibe!

Many people have asked me if I am sad about the move. My simple answer, "Nope." Really there is nothing to be sad about. This is a great move. It is only one mile down the road and in the same zip code, yet we now have a home town - a neighborhood - a fertile yoga community. Hightstown has many plans for improvements over the next couple of years and already new businesses are moving into the town and building up the energy and culture - and One Yoga Center is a big part of that too.

I do not want anyone from East Windsor to feel left out. I still recognize and love all of my current and future students - regardless of where they live or drive in from. And I am hoping that many continue to come into Hightstown for many, many years to come.

I am 47 years old. I left my corporate job in 2000 to do massage and teach yoga full time and I have never looked back. Yes, at times I have struggled, but I have always managed to make it through. I feel now like I am at a new place in my life. Perhaps this comes from age, wisdom and the like. Or maybe I have amassed enough knowledge of the practice through so many years of constant and complemented teaching. I think I finally feel like this is my profession and that I have so much to share with others as an experienced teacher who began teaching this practice way before the yoga BOOM that created this eclectic and somewhat vanilla yoga craze. (I have always felt that you cannot take the spirituality out of the yoga practice. If you do, then just call it exercise, please. End of soapbox). Either way I slice it, I feel like I am finally the yoga teacher that I have always wanted to be: one with depth, vision, compassion and expertise. But the best part is that it finally feels natural and authentic. I guess you could say this is the prime peak of my career as a yoga teacher and I am more than thrilled to be saying that!

With the move, One Yoga Center begins a new. But so do I. And these new beginnings begins on the day of the New Moon, Dec. 11th, 2015. Now how awesomely synchronistic is that?!

So, as I say good-bye to our old space and East Windsor, I welcome the changes and embrace the spaces that I now occupy: physically, mentally and spiritually. And I know from deep within that there is only good and positive things to come for me, One Yoga Center, and the greater community as a whole.

In Love, Service & Wisdom.