When sleeping women wake
This is one of the quotes that really stands out to me from my most recent adventure: Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training.
Wow. What a wild ride. For the past 12 days I have been soaking up everything I can... so much knowledge about pregnancy, labour, birth, and motherhood. I've learned about vaginal birth and cesarean births, home births and hospital births, births with doctors, mid-wives, doulas, and births in the water and births with music, and so so so much more.
But I've also learned more than I ever could have thought possible, in an experiential way, about the power of community and connection - of being accepted exactly as you are in a circle of women that is healing and supportive and full of admiration, respect and reverence.
I've made lifelong friends - of that I am sure.
I've come away not only with knowledge of yoga poses and alignment and making the physical practice of Yoga safe for pregnant mammas, but I've learned how to offer tools to pregnant women that will help them in their labour, their birth - and beyond: tools to empower women to trust themselves, to accept their own power, to embrace and trust their innate intuition and inner authority and to have a pregnancy, labour, and birth experience that will be meaningful for them for the long term.
I've seen (and experienced), first hand what happens when women claim their power, when they stand up and say YES, I can do this. YES, I deserve unconditional love and acceptance. YES, I can be fierce. YES, I can forge my own path even when surrounded by dozens of people telling me how I should experience my life. And these are the tools I am excited to offer - not only to pregnant mammas in the prenatal yoga I will offer at the studio, but with all the people I teach.
I know that these past 12 days have not only changed my teaching, but also my life.
Yes, when women embrace their power - their innate inner wisdom - they are amazing to behold. And wow - what they can accomplish. I am moved and I am humbled and I am in awe and deeply, deeply grateful.
One thing I've been learning, perhaps even the hard way, lately is that building a business, whether it's a brick and mortar business, or something less substantial requires patience. And lots of it.
I like to know what's going to happen next. I like predictability. I like (and crave) routine. Being the owner of a budding new Yoga studio involves none of this. But it does require loads and loads of patience!
Unlike owning a retail store or other sales-driven/goods-driven business, Yoga is something unique. Different. And the business of Yoga requires a lot of heart, a lot of soul, and the willingness to cultivate it so that it can grow - much like growing a garden.
Opening the doors is like planting the seeds. Spreading the word is like water and sunlight. It comes a little tiny bit at a time and it's organic. You have to give it time to work.
I suppose realistically, I knew that I wouldn't swing open the doors to crazy busy classes - but there are times it's really scary! When people come, they tell me how much they like the space, how different it is from a stereotypical Yoga studio. They tell me they feel safe. That it makes a difference. And hearing that is what makes it easier to be patient, to trust, to watch, to cultivate.
Organic growth is a thing. And it's a thing that takes time. One student comes and has a lovely class and tells a friend, and it grows from there. The challenge is allowing that to happen and resisting the urge to force growth on the business faster than it should actually happen! We all know that adding chemical fertilizers may speed growth of a garden over the short term, but can have long term disastrous results.
And so I sit. And I breathe. And I trust. And I watch. And I cultivate from a heart-centered place of love for what we're growing, a place where anyone can come and practice Yoga in a non-judgemental, non-competitive place full of love and acceptance. That's what Body Positivity Yoga is all about.