I had a great trip to Grandville, Michigan to Peace Lab Yoga this last weekend. The workshop had a lot of significance because this was one of the first invitations I received to teach after I resigned my Anusara yoga license. I remember thinking, "I may still have a job!"
but an interesting part of the back story on this gig is that when Melanie, the owner of Peace Lab, contacted me and asked me if I would come teach there was no Peace Lab. Melanie told me that she was in the process of transitioning from her current teaching situation to something different but she wasn't sure where or what it would be exactly. So-- there she was with no studio and there I was with no method and there we were together making a plan for a workshop 15 months in the future. Only yogis would conduct business like that right?
And somehow it all worked! She and her husband Jim found an amazing space and moved into it this fall, her students from the YMCA came with her to her new space and I came this last weekend to teach an amazingly sincere, funny, down-to-earth, hard-working group of yogis. We laughed a lot and did a lot of asana and from what I could tell, everyone had a good time.
There is a lot to that could be said about the weekend but the thing that stands out to me the most is the lesson that when we find the people we really resonate with as teachers and students, the work is so much smoother and enjoyable for everyone. In a world that has a kind of unrelenting pressure to be a certain way or to live up to outside expectations, this can be a hard lesson to remember. I talk to so many yoga teachers who feel pressured to perform and provide yoga in a certain way or according to some outer standard and it seems like it has become a full time job to just learn how to be oneself. The cool thing is that authenticity and self-acceptance can really attract the right people and circumstances to us for our work to grow and flourish. Melanie and her husband Jim have created just that kind of place at Peace Lab, where it is very easy to be oneself because they are so easy going and natural and the students are at ease as well.
Also, great was to be part of someone's leap of faith because Melanie told me she had been thinking about opening a studio for a long time but knowing that she had to have a place for the workshop created a bit of a push for her to take the leap she had been considering for a while. So there you go- you can't cross a chasm in two small steps. And you can't be yourself if you are trying to play by someone else's rules all the time. Good lessons to learn.
Here are a few scenes form the weekend.
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"There is a light that shines beyond all things on Earth, beyond us all, beyond the heaven, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. This is the light that shines in our heart."