What my practice on my mat has taught me through all aspects of life. A letter from studio founder & owner Ashley, as she prepares for her maternity leave.
This is a bit of a personal letter, reflection, and a lot of a THANK YOU for ALL of your support in getting us to this point, and helping me prepare for this great life change I’m about to take on.
As you may, or may not know, I am expecting my first child, and nearing close to my due-date now. As any expectant mother will tell you, this brings up a mix of emotions: excitement, fear, joy, nervousness, anxiety, and more. However, I have to say that I’ve happily exceeded my own expectations with this pregnancy & preparing for labour – and I truly believe it is because of yoga, and this community! I know there are other variables at play, and I’ve luckily had a fairly easy pregnancy with not a lot of side effects, but I also know that the mindset & focus you keep, and the way you treat & hold your body has a direct effect on the whole system – and I can thank yoga & all of you, for keeping me in a place of comfort & ease through this huge life transition.
As with all changes – even when you’re wanting it, and looking forward to the change – there will be a sense of loss or letting go as well. It certainly has not been easy to prepare for this transition, and I’m so grateful to everyone in our community for the immense amount of support and continued commitment – that has truly helped more than you know. For the last 6+ years Yoga in Bowness (and everyone whose been a part of this community) has been my baby, and I’ve so enjoyed watching it – and you all – grow! And I know that I too have grown immensely through this process. I’ve learned so much through the years, and through the challenges and successes. Coming from simple community-center based yoga classes, to a formal studio & having built out and occupied 2 different spaces now, there’s been a lot that I’ve learned and grown through. And I honestly can say I wouldn’t been here without all of it and you!
One of the things that I love about yoga, is how it’s shown me the connections throughout all aspects of life. The lessons learned on our mat, reflected in our perspectives, relationships, and even direction in life. Some of you who know me well, may know that it wasn’t always my plan to have a child, and that in large a part of that was based on fear of the unknown & change in my life. Through yoga, and through this journey of opening & managing our yoga community, I’ve come a far ways from where I started, and am feeling more confident & excited than ever to move into the role of motherhood, and welcoming this great change in my life! The greatest & most important lessons of yoga, that I’ve seen play through in the studio & in my own life, and have helped me to get to where I am now, are:
Non-attachment (Aparigraha) & Impermanence. Nothing is permanent, and everything will change, so do not attach to the past, present, or an idea of the future. This is not to say don’t have a goal or plan in mind, but be open to that changing, and following the flow of life. Letting go of expectations, and what you can not control, will bring you the greatest sense of ease through life’s ups and downs. I see this reflected in my own life through many experiences: from my changing yoga practice, challenges & changes I’ve faced in relationships, changes in our community & spaces, and ultimately shifts in my own life plan / vision, and in my transition to motherhood.
Trust. Remembering that not everything is up to you, or all on your shoulders, and that things will work out as they need to. Even when things haven’t gone as “planned”, I can see when looking back that things went as they needed to for me to get the lesson, gain the insight, grow, or create something different than what I thought I needed in the time. Trusting that things are working “for me” even if I don’t see the reason why, brings a great sense of relief to the present, and belief in the future.
The perspective you keep = the experience you will have. There are many instances that have shown me this is true through and through. Sometimes the exact same circumstances and situations are perceived and experienced in completely different ways by different people. This always serves to remind me that if you want a positive outcome, have a positive mindset – look for what you want, and you will see & attract that.
These lessons have served me well in yoga, business, relationships, pregnancy, and life in general, and I hope that you too find that the lessons that you learn through yoga, move off your mat into your life in impactful & positive ways.
It’s been an honor to be able to share my vision with you all, to offer the values and approaches to yoga I believe in, and have it so well received and wanted. I’m constantly inspired by the incredible quality of teachers and students that we have & continue to draw into our community, and how each and every person brings such a great value to our collective!
So it comes with both a sense of pride and sadness, to be stepping away (temporarily) and letting you all continue on this journey, without my participation. It feels strange already to have not seen many of you in some time, but please know that no matter how long it’s been since I’ve seen you, I still think about you all, often! It brings me such great pride and joy to know that everything will be just fine in my absence, and that everyone on our team is committed, capable & confident in carrying our values and vision forward, and continuing to support the whole community as we’ve always done.
Wishing you all a warm and sunny shift towards summer, and that you too continue to grow through & use the lessons of your yoga practice to navigate life’s challenges and changes. I look forward to sharing the news of the arrival of our child with you all, and again, appreciate all your support and care for our whole community through this transition!
With immense Gratitude,