My husband, Tom, came home from work on Friday with a terrible headache. All he could muster were the words to describe his day of people fighting and sending emails back and forth with countless obscenities. He went to bed early.
On Saturday morning he woke up with the headache still lingering and said, “Do you think I should go to yoga?”
“You’ll never regret it,” I said.
And so he went.
Two hours later he returned from class and the words just came. It was something like this:
“This was one of the worst work weeks in a long time. My body was tight and tense all over. In places that I didn’t know could be tight. My head felt like someone had taken a baseball bat to it. I went to yoga at the BYC and everybody was kind. They said, “Hi,” and smiled. The teachers were welcoming and chatting with students and making small jokes at the beginning of class. Everyone felt happy and genuine. I could barely move when class started from the tension in my body, and by the end of it, it had all melted away and I felt back to myself. There is no other place that could have done that for me. Thank you for owning the Beverly Yoga Center. It is a special place.”
For weeks I’ve been sitting at a blank screen waiting for the words to make their way to my computer to reflect on these past 10 years of owning the Beverly Yoga Center.
Tom, who is my beloved husband and has an insider view of the joys and challenges of owning a small business, articulated my deepest wish for people who come to practice yoga at the BYC.
It reminded me of many people’s stories and how the BYC has been a sanctuary at different moments in their lives. The many students who have come for nourishment during a parent’s illness. The pregnant women preparing their bodies for birth. Mothers who come for respite after a demanding day with young children. Those who have come when there was a job loss or as a place to come when feeling overwhelmed by life. Many who come to care for their aging bodies. And the little ones who learn how to breathe and practice tree pose for the first time.
Even during the moments in time when life is going smoothly, it is a place where we can take deep breaths and relax into ourselves. The BYC is a place to welcome our humanity, and to come back to the essence of who we are beneath the accumulation of life.
Celebrating 10 years is a vulnerable and humbling process for me. To consciously draw attention and say, “I am proud. I am happy. Come and celebrate with me,” triggers a vulnerability of being seen in my joy. I use life as my greatest teacher and whenever I come up against resistance or discomfort, it is always a signal that this moment is here to teach me something. So even as uncomfortable as it is to stay with this vulnerability, I am committed to celebrating the BYC this month.
None of this would be possible without the teachers, students and all those around me behind the scenes who unconditionally support and love me.
In looking back on 10 years and in the midst of learning about where I have expectations in life, of people and myself, I was reminded that the BYC began as a simple wish. I wanted to create a space to practice yoga and meditation where I would like to go. I didn’t have grand expectations on what it would lead to or what it would be. It was just a place I knew that I wanted to be. Now, 10 years later, I have a hunch that’s part of its success.
I’ve learned on my journey the past 10 years to trust intention and to let life unfold even when there is uncertainty and the future is unknown. Everything we do is leading us somewhere. The BYC has unfolded these past years as a reflection of our community.
And do you know that the idea of a yoga center in Beverly came right after a meditation session with a group of women who I wholeheartedly hold responsible for it coming to life?
I hope you will join me on Saturday, February 20th at 4:00 pm to celebrate 10 years.