Six years ago today I walked into a yoga studio for the first time (after having practiced yoga at a gym for a few years) because I had a Groupon for 30 days and it was the last day to use it. Classic me, waiting til the last minute. I wasn't looking for a life change, all I wanted was to keep the cheeseburger pounds at bay. Having recently turned 30 I knew maintaining a lifestyle of cheeseburgers and beer (and fried chicken...and pizza... and tacos...) was not sustainable without some effort!
While I enjoyed the sweaty classes, at first I scoffed at "the message" in each class, and I was super annoyed by talks of "community" and "the practice" - after all, I'm just here to get my sweat on, not to make friends and certainly not to "find myself." Can't we all just come to yoga without having to "introduce ourselves to a neighbor" or "setting an intention" for our practice?? Despite rolling my eyes when the teacher went off on some lengthy tangent about taking what we learn on the mat out into the real world, I continued to come back enough that I made the choice to become a member after my 30 days was up.
I can't say enough how glad I am that I made that choice, and all the choices thereafter, including introducing myself to my neighbor, setting an intention for my practice, and making yoga a part of my daily (although sometimes just weekly) routine. Eventually I found myself signing up for workshops and various trainings, including a 200 hour Teacher Training which led to becoming a certified yoga instructor, working at the studio as a teaching assistant and ultimately a Full Blown Teacher of My Own Class. That people actually came to! A lot! Wow, how did this happen? It's amazing where life takes you when start being open to new things! In addition to teaching classes at the yoga studio I was teaching "side gigs" for corporate people in offices, who were either too busy (or too scared!) to come to a "real yoga class." Yes, that fear of walking into the unknown is a real thing, and was the reason I waited until the last day possible to use my Groupon!
Seeing this was a real need in the market, I made the (insane?) decision to quit my day job and focus on building a business around teaching yoga to people who need it most and are least likely to seek it out: people who spend the majority of their day crunched up in a cubicle staring at a computer screen for most of their waking hours. I never thought I would teach a yoga class, period - much less that I would leave a corporate career to teach yoga to people who, much like 2010 me, scoffed at the idea of yoga as anything other than a physical activity. While the majority of my students these days are experiencing yoga for the first time, and usually in a very different environment than most - yes conference room yoga is a thing - it never ceases to amaze me how much being open to something new changes their perspective and as a result, their attitude and maybe even their day, and eventually who knows, maybe even their career!
I love looking back and seeing how this path unfolded, and I look forward to what is yet to come. I can't guess where this path will lead, but I can only keep taking chances and recommending that others do as well. Buy that Groupon, take that chance, be a yes! You will be glad you did.