yoga + change


The only thing that is constant is change – Heraclitus

This phrase will likely stir up one of two things – dread and fear or excitement and eager anticipation.

I’m not one to welcome change with open arms.  In fact, oftentimes, I catch myself actively  resisting change.  However, I cannot deny the truth – life is change.  Plain and simple.  We are all constantly evolving, changing, growing.  Sure, there are moments when we may feel like we have found a pleasant rhythm, a comfortable schedule, but then the Universe shakes it up.  Your best friend moves away, your favorite TV show announces it’s entering its final season, or, you’re offered a new job…a great transition to my current wave of change:

I’ve been offered, and accepted, a new full-time position with Yoga Six.  Yoga Six is a San Diego based company bringing its unique yogic flavor to the Midwest and I am thrilled to be a part of the expansion.  Y6 will open 3 studios in Chicago over the next few months – the first, in Lincoln Park, will open its doors on August 18 and the South Loop and Gold Coast will follow shortly thereafter.

Of course, I did not come to this decision lightly, but I am confident that this is the right decision for me because instead of feeling dread or fear, I feel excitement and eager anticipation.  Sadly, it does not just mean adding something to my life, but also letting go of many things that I have grown quite attached to.  Over the next week, I will be teaching my final classes at Moksha Yoga Center, Village Yoga Chicago and Cheetah Gym (click here to see the schedule).  I will continue to teach at the Trump, build Unite Yoga and offer private sessions and Bliss in the Workplace.  As a part of my new role as Program Manager of the South Loop studio, I will also be teaching regular group yoga classes at Yoga Six and will support other Y6 teachers in their evolution, change and growth.

Moksha, Village and Cheetah Gym will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart.  It would be impossible to walk away from these communities without a heavy heart because it is these communities that have supported me in my own evolution, change and growth. And, so, I’d like to take a moment to express a little gratitude to these communities specifically:

  • To Moksha Yoga Center for laying the foundation for me as a teacher.  My 200hr & 500hr teacher trainings did more than prepare me to teach a yoga class, it prepared me to live a better life.
  • To Daren Friesen, the owner of Moksha Yoga Center for supporting me, mentoring me and believing in me as a yoga teacher and a human being.
  • To Zoey, Rachel and the rest of the staff at Moksha for answering my unending questions during TT, while teaching and, now, during this transition.  Your patience and understanding have meant the world to me.
  • To Alyson D’Souza, owner of Village Yoga Chicago, for offering me an opportunity that meant I could transition from sitting behind a desk 8hrs per day to teaching yoga full0time.  You have served as my teacher, my mentor and my boss and your impact on my life cannot be properly articulated in a short blog post – thank you.
  • To the teachers and work/trade at Village Yoga Chicago for making my job so easy!!!! You all are amazing and working with you has been such a blessing.  I will miss seeing you around the Village.
  • To Julie, my supervisor at Cheetah Gym, and the front desk staff for being so stinking easy going, helpful and supportive.  My Tuesday nights will not be the same…

And, finally, an ENORMOUS thank you to the students who have rolled out their sticky mats with me at Moksha, Village and Cheetah.  I’m literally tearing up just typing this now… YOU are the reason that I love what I do.  You are the reason that I woke up at 5am in the dead of winter, the reason that I sat through hours of anatomy and philosophy lectures, the reason that I eat dinner at 9p on Monday nights, but most importantly, you are the reason that I continue to evolve, change and grow.  It is my hope that as I continue my journey as yoga teacher that I am able to gain new experiences, learnings and knowledge to share with you so that you, too, can evolve, change and grow.

I know in my heart that I will see each and every one of you again in this great Chicago yoga community – whether it is at the top of the John Hancock for the second Sky High Yoga, in your home for a private session or in the Yoga Six studio – I’ll see you.  And when I do, I will have even more to offer you.

In the meantime, I wanted to share 5 practices that I have found helpful during this change.  I hope that these practices help you during times of change as well.

  1. Acceptance – accept that things cannot simply stay the way they are.  Life = change.  When we stop evolving, changing, growing, well, let’s just say we take final savasana.  Once we accept that change is inevitable and let go of resistance, it leaves space for the following practices to take root.
  2. Gratitude – appreciate the experiences you’ve had, the people you’ve met and the communities you’ve connected with.  You would not be where you are today or where you’ll be tomorrow without these things and though your change may mean letting go of the current connection you have with these experiences, people and communities, they will always be a part of you.
  3. Reflection – journal, meditate, roll out your mat and move!  Simply take time to sit with the feelings that arise and reflect on the change you’re experiencing.  Give yourself permission to feel it all.  Even the frustration, anger and nerves.  If you don’t feel it and work through it, it’s impossible to let go of these feelings and be open to a new direction and new opportunities.
  4. Presence – take it one day at a time.  In fact, take it one moment at a time.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed in times of flux, but stay grounded by practicing presence.  If you’ve forgotten how to practice presence, come take class with me!!!! j/k, but seriously, do some yoga.  And by yoga, I mean movement and breath.  Move mindfully and breathe deeply and experience each moment.
  5. Trust – have faith that things happen for a reason.  But, equally important, have faith that the people in your life are there for a reason.  Let yourself be supported and accept help.  If you know someone who has experienced a similar transition, let them lend an ear.  I personally find it very difficult to admit I’m overwhelmed and ask for help, but when I do lean into support, I literally feel 10 pounds lighter.  Trust that the Universe is intelligent – call it fate, God, serendipity, whatever you like, but lean into trust and faith especially in times of change.

If anyone has any questions about my big change, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly:

May you all evolve, change and grow.