First off, let me welcome you to my new website.
It took me a little time to create, and a lot of deliberation, but I am proud of the result and so happy to continue sharing pieces of my life, my story, and connect with you here. If you followed me from amyisahuman.com - welcome! All of my blogs are still up on that website, which you can visit anytime. One day, I'd like to figure out how to fuse the two blogs together so they're in one big interweb space, but my web knowledge is limited and my patience thin.
If you're a subscriber to my newsletter, you will have heard about the change of my name from Amy to Amie. (Read about it here if you haven't.) Along with that, I've turned 30, debuted my first international retreat (hellllooooo Thailand), did a cleanse, and have begun some major de-cluttering and space clearing in my house.
None of this, however, is really what I want to talk to you about today. Today I want to talk to you about my decision to join a new yoga studio, Yoga Six, as a teacher.
For those of you who are not inundated into the Kansas City yoga scene, let me explain. Since I began teaching yoga in 2014, three separate chain yoga studios have arrived in Kansas City - Core Power Yoga, Power Life Yoga, and Yoga Six.
When they arrived, this caused a slight uproar in the yoga teaching communities. Yoga had been, to this point, a local service, from Kansas Citians to the people. As with anytime there's a WalMart placed next to a local mom-and-pop shop, competition is fierce and fear runs rampant.
Fear that business would be lost. Fear that yoga was changing. Fear that these new fads of yoga with weights and pop songs and beer would damage the practice and giving yoga a bad rep.
It's not just in our local Kansas City yoga community, either. It's in master teachers - on their websites, on their podcasts, in magazine articles. And when our foremost teachers have fear, it is only natural that we, too, will find it.
What does fear breed but judgment? Separation? This is the opposite of yoga. Yoga is union.
There is a huge resistance to change - in everything, but particularly in yoga or any spiritual practices. There's a belief that pop music or goats somehow makes light of yoga. And to a certain extent, I can understand this. What yoga offers is beyond a fun, light-hearted experience - it offers deep, potent, powerful transformation, not for the faint of heart.
However, I would venture to say that most of us who have drunk the yoga Kool-Aid became interested in yoga because there was a super hot guy in class. Or we wanted to move super gracefully. Or we wanted to nail a handstand for our wedding photos. (Guilty - and no, I didn't accomplish this by my wedding date.) Most people in America come to yoga, not for a deep spiritual practice, but for some other reason that would be superficial in comparison.
But sometimes, after we've drunk the Kool-Aid, we forget what it felt like to not give a shit about enlightenment, but to just want to do a handstand.
And who are we to judge?
As a yoga teacher, my primary job is to meet people where they're at. That means sometimes I chant and do mudras and speak of connection to the divine. And sometimes I make jokes and I giggle and talk about drinking beer.
For the longest time, I have avoided the corporate yoga studios, lest other yoga teachers judge me. But finally, I've realized that it doesn't matter what other people think of me. It matters that what I offer is from my heart.
I do good work and deep spiritual practices in retreats and some yoga classes I offer. I also do good work making those who are brand new to yoga feel comfortable, safe, and welcomed. I know that each day, I bring my best, and it comes from a place of passion and deeply rooted practice.
When my friend Brad Elpers - the studio manager at Yoga Six - asked me to join the tribe, I was at first hesitant.
I had been calling in a Saturday yoga class for some time, and here one came, piling into my own lap. Here was my chance to put into practice what I believe - and what I believe is that all yoga is good yoga.
And as it turns out, Yoga Six is incredible. Brad is incredible - I've known him for three years, but he continues to amaze me with his passion, integrity, and enthusiasm. It was incredible all along, yet I had allowed the fear of others to sink into me that nearly blocked me from experiencing such a wonderful community.
Two books I have just read have both mentioned the importance of adaptability to change. In one book, the woman describes the spiritual culture of Bali, and how it has survived the test of time because of it's adaptability to change, and not it's push against it. The same concept was presented in The Mists of Avalon, where the pagan cultures so strongly resisted the incoming Christianity that they eventually receded into the mists.
I encourage you - think outside the box. How can you work with what's happening instead of fighting against it? How can you adapt to the changes rather than complain about them? When we bend, we don't break.
I'd love to see you at Yoga Six, Saturday morning vinyasa practices at 9 am. <3