OMG it really happened!
I'm so excited that the studio has come to be!!
We're open. We have classes. Things are happening! It's AMAZING!
Seeing this become a reality is a dream come true. And I have to admit that it feels pretty amazing to be surrounded by others who are passionate about this space and what we're creating that is so different from what has been done before.
Life feels like it's full to bursting with great things. There's been a lot of fear about making this step - and yet I couldn't be more grateful that I made it. And I couldn't have done it without my wife, Peggy, who has been so supportive and so helpful with looking at the bigger picture from a business perspective and helping to set the studio up for success. Forging new territory the way that we are comes with a lot of challenges. We don't fit the existing mold so we're making a new one. And for someone like me who likes to color inside the lines, this is no easy task!
But I'm confident that we've created and are continuing to create truly honours the Body Positivity mission: to make yoga accessible to every body.
This last weekend was the kick-off workshop in the Introduction to Body Positivity Yoga series and I have to admit that it was such a wonderful feeling seeing so many brave women taking a chance on me and what I had to offer. It's not easy getting the nerve to go do something new, in a new space and many of the students who find me and the studio come with a lot of trepidation. What if they really can't do it? Will they feel out of place or will they "fit in"? Will it really be for them?
And the best feeling in the world is the huge smiles that spontaneously erupt on their faces when they realize yes... they ARE welcome. yes... they DO fit in. yes... this space IS for them.... and yes... they CAN do it!
That is what makes it possible to push through any of my own anxiety or fear, any of my concerns about not "fitting in" in the broader yoga community, any of my fears of failure. Every single one of those smiles make it all worth while and proves that I'm doing exactly what I should be doing.
I just can't keep the details all to myself any longer so I have GOT to spill the beans about the most exciting (and scary!) thing I've ever, ever done:
As most of you know - I'm opening the very first ever Body Positivity Yoga studio. That's right, an entire studio where the driving philosophy behind ALL classes is creating a safe and welcoming space for ALL bodies. The very first of it's kind in Canada. And it's going to be pure magic.
Not that I'm biased or anything.
For those of you who are local, the studio is going to be right in the heart of downtown Maple Ridge, BC - about 15 minutes (or less) away from the Langley via the Golden Ears bridge and about the same distance from the Tri-Cities area and a bit longer from the rest of the lower mainland. If you know the Maple Ridge area, the studio is going to be located about a block and a half away from Haney Place Mall/Lougheed Highway.
It's exactly what I always dreamed it would be. It's a cute little space and class sizes will be small and intimate - which means that no matter what class you take, you will get personalized attention. No generic mall yoga. No huge classes. No mats jammed up against one another so that you don't feel like you have enough personal space. Just sweet Yoga in a space where you know, without the shadow of a doubt that YOU BELONG.
I am creating the space I dreamed about when I was new to public Yoga classes. I'm creating a space from the heart that embraces the kind of Yoga that completely transformed my relationship with my body. This is the stuff dreams are made of, people!
The hardest part about all of this is really the waiting!! :) I've been working on this for months and with this space, there's still some red tape to trudge through before we can begin so I haven't been able to get in to start renovating yet. I am chomping at the bit - seriously. We have picked out what we think we're going to want to do for our lighting, I have paint chips for the walls and an idea of what I want for flooring. When we get the green light from my landlord that we can go in and get started it's going to be full steam ahead!! In the meantime, I've had my hands surprisingly full with paperwork, systems setup, and - most excitingly - meeting and interviewing other teachers so that I can bring a team on board, right from day one.
For those of you who are also eager for the studio to launch, we're aiming to open by no later than April 1st - and hopefully a little bit sooner - so stay tuned (this is going to be so epic)!! We are going to have a wide variety of class times available in a number of styles for you to choose from. Gentle Yoga, Yin, Restorative - and more!!
And because I can't contain myself, I thought I'd share with you a sneak peak of the studio's vision and mission:
A world where Yoga is available for Every Body.
Body Positivity Yoga's mission is to provide a safe, supportive, accepting and nurturing environment for all people to learn and enjoy Yoga and other forms of mindful movement without judgement or assumption. It is for this reason that Body Positivity Yoga studios, classes and workshops are always 100% diet-talk free spaces.
Our mission is to meet you where you are and compassionately guide you "on the mat" as a means of providing the tools you need to walk a path of empowerment, self-acceptance and self-care "off the mat".
Our primary objective is for all students of Body Positivity Yoga to understand that each of you are an integral, welcome and priceless part of our collective community and that you have a unique gift to offer the world - exactly as you are.
THIS IS GOING TO BE SO AWESOME!