I sat down at the computer this morning to begin working. On my blog editorial schedule for today I had “Zoetry review” and while that is coming (soon!), I felt like I wanted to share something else instead.
Photo Wanda Koch
Over the last couple of months I’ve felt more ease, joy and flow than I have in a long time. 2016 was a tough year. The demands of getting the new studio off of the ground along with the death of my brother left me questioning, drained, sad and overall really blah.
Although the new studio opened in late February 2015, it has required an intense amount of work to bring everything together. Y2 Yoga grew from a tiny 2,300 square foot studio to a space with over 12,000 square feet, three practice studios, a restaurant and a spa. While we knew how to run a yoga studio like the back of our hands, learning the restaurant and spa business was a whole other story. It nearly broke us. We were newly engaged and doing everything we could to keep the business running. There were so many late nights and weekends spent doing everything from sending out marketing promotions to painting the studio walls to washing dishes in the restaurant. I can truly say that I’ve never seen someone work as tirelessly as Tanner during this time despite the fact that the resulting stress of it all was tough on our relationship.
And then just as we emerged from summer which is understandably the slowest season of the year for a hot yoga studio, I received news on September 19 that my brother had passed away. The months that followed were truly terrible. Instead of turning towards Tanner for support, I often found myself turning away. I was terrible about speaking my needs and talking about my feelings openly. I can’t tell you how many times I dissolved into tears while standing in the kitchen making dinner at the end of a long day. When Tanner would prompt me on what was wrong I would almost always just mummer something like, “my brother” without adding much other detail. I felt really lonely even though I didn’t have to be. It’s crazy how we sometimes turn away from the people who are closest to us in times of crisis. I just didn’t feel like he could possibly understand what I was going through or feeling.
And then in November my uncle passed away after a battle with cancer. My mom lost her brother too. It was overwhelming to comprehend. I don’t even have the words to tell you what it felt like to hold my mom as we spread her brother’s ashes at sea at sunset in early December. My mom has lost both of her parents and both of her brothers. I have held such incredible grief and sadness for her alongside my own.
For the first few months I shared my journey through grief on my blog but then it felt like I had used that card up and it was time to get back to normal. I felt anything but normal and seven months later, it’s still something that weighs heavily on my heart every day although the intensity has subsided. I am fortunate to have a strong network of support and an amazing therapist to talk to.
Lately there has been a shift in the flow of life. Over the last couple of months I’ve had numerous friends, co-workers and students tell me completely unprompted and out of the blue that I seem really happy and overall just “good.” I’ve taken a step back and realized that I feel better and happier right now than I have in a very, very long time.
Photo Wanda Koch
Tanner and I are connecting on such a deeper level and our relationship feels stronger and more solid than ever. We are finally talking about wedding plans and big picture future stuff. <3
Photo Wanda Koch
Things at the studio have clicked and it’s finally up and running the way that we dreamed and hoped. We have a seriously amazing management team in place and we are so grateful for our dedicated staff and clients. It truly feels like a big happy community. We’re actually launching a new strength training class next week that is the brainchild of yours truly. Our clients have been asking for it forever!
Photo Wanda Koch
The restaurant was rebranded from “The Y2 Cafe” to Namastay Kitchen and we hired a seasoned full-time manager along with an extremely talented chef. Their leadership has turned the ship around and together they’ve made a name for Namastay Kitchen. Follow us on Instagram to see all of the delicious things coming out of our kitchen!
And perhaps the biggest news is that we’re expecting…
Another yoga studio. 😉 A couple of weeks ago we announced that we are opening a second location in Fort Mill and I realized I hadn’t shared the news here! You can read the full announcement here and also check out this story that the Charlotte Five wrote. You might be like, “are you crazy?” after what I just shared. Yes, we are. Haha. But this is seriously an amazing opportunity for us and we couldn’t be more thrilled about it. Rest assured this studio will be small and yoga only! No restaurant or spa included. (praise the lord) Fort Mill is just over the NC/SC border and about 30 minutes from our current studio. It’s a fast-growing suburb of Charlotte and a perfect place for us to expand outside of the crowded Charlotte yoga market. We’re sending a strong leadership team in there to open and run the studio and we can’t wait to see where it goes!
I wanted to write this post today because I appreciate those of you who follow along. I talk to my yoga students all the time about how the practice opens and strengthens not only our physical bodies but also our hearts and our minds. As I navigate my way through both struggles and triumphs and learn more and more about myself and the world around me, I feel more called to share it with others. It’s lonely to feel like you’re the only one feeling what you’re feeling or to feel like there’s something wrong with you for feeling it. (that was a lot of feels) Sometimes I can’t believe how much my yoga practice has changed me in this way.
So whether you’re currently in a time of struggle or sorrow or a time of flow and happiness, I hope you know that you’re exactly where you need to be and learning what you need to learn to get to the next thing. And I’m here to hold all of you in support and ride the waves with you.