Yogi of the Month: Jackie Leventhal

“Good things come to those who wait,” an adage often invoked by my mom, usually in response to my dating woes. Her emphasis on the virtue of patience is now applicable to my yoga practice because after six years (6. Ssssssiiiiix. 2×3), I’m told that I’m the Yogi of the Month. Growing up, I was Student of the Month so many times between kindergarten through 8th grade it bordered on criminal. And catastrophic to my attempts at being cool.

I took my first class at Tranquil Space on P Street in February 2006, having recently moved to DC after graduating from the University of Florida. Months later, I became a Studio Assistant, checking people into classes every other Friday night. I never did get the hang of the software so I shifted gears and became involved with Tranquil Space Foundation, an especially meaningful lens for seeing how yoga can be so much more than what’s experienced on our mats. Over the years (reminder: plural), I’ve worked on PR projects for the studio, traveled with fellow flexible friends to retreats in West Virginia, completed the 21-day challenge, and became a studio member.

(What follows is completely in jest, as I shy away from public attention. Promise.) Based on my long-standing and varied involvement with the studio, I couldn’t imagine what more I could do to display my Yogi of the Month readiness. At times I thought the elusive namaste glory was an administrative oversight. Other times I wondered if my total avoidance of headstand displayed a cowardice that made me ineligible. (Nod in agreement if the sound of your neurotic Jewish mother saying “Be careful of your head!” plagues you in class.) For Buddha’s sake, I even have a raging love affair with Louis the Pug.

More than being yogi of the month, and this is where my thoughts cease to be in jest, the community I’ve found at Tranquil Space has been one of the most gratifying and essential pieces in the puzzle of my adult life thus far. Amid grad school programs I considered but never pursued, an LSAT score I let expire, job changes, bad haircuts, favorite friends who moved away, and the countless other things that challenge us to mature in our twenties, Tranquil Space—complete with teachers who have become my friends outside of the studio and other students who have become my chosen family—has been a reliable constant in a time of seemingly perpetual flux. When I’m on my magenta-colored yoga mat (I’ve found that color does indeed matter), good days seem even better, tough days feel easier to contend with, and a massage during Savasana always leaves me feeling like the Yogi of the Month – even if unofficially.

I don’t think there’s anything left to say other than, “Mom, I did it!”

2 thoughts on “Yogi of the Month: Jackie Leventhal

  1. Anonymous

    March 1, 2012 at 5:56pm

    This woman must be amazing! She sounds like a brilliant writer and for that matter, more like Yogi of the Year!!

  2. Anonymous

    March 1, 2012 at 7:16pm

    What a beautifully written piece and approach to life, and justly deserved recognition. Congratulations Jackie!

Comments are closed.