Yogi of the Month: Elizabeth Arend

I started practicing yoga at my gym in New York City in 2003–a generic, repetitive Hatha practice. When I moved on, my mat came with me–to Ethiopia, South Africa, South Korea, and Rwanda. Without a teacher to guide me, I just repeated the same sequence of asanas that I had learned years before. (Unsurprisingly, I ended up injuring myself along the way!) 
When I came home to the U.S. in the fall of 2010, I moved to the Dupont Circle neighborhood and walked by Tranquil Space almost every day. I didn’t decide to start my studio yoga practice again until my husband immigrated six months later and joined me in our 260 square foot studio. The transition was stressful, sometimes overwhelming. When I felt myself going totally crazy, I went online, booked my Tranquil Space newbie pass and took off for Melissa’s Saturday afternoon class. I figured I would try out several studios in the area, but after just a few classes, I was hooked to the Tranquil Space experience. 
I love how all the teachers watch out to make sure you don’t injure yourself, and always give you alternative poses if you’re not feeling very energetic or adventurous that day. Your practice is all about you and how you’re feeling at that moment. (In other words, there’s no shame in child’s pose). I love the feeling of community in a big, often impersonal city, and the warm welcome when I come in the door.  I love the thrill of fully working into a pose I’ve been trying for months. I love Mary Catherine’s smile and encouragement as she hovers–effortlessly—in navasana; I love the fact that I learn something new every time I take a class with Siobhan (“oh, THAT’S what Warrior II is supposed to feel like!”). I love that when Kevin says “to the right” and you accidentally go to the left, Kevin says “…or whatever ‘right’ means to YOU today.” I love how Niya’s class helps me breathe, and how Melissa’s class makes me feel so blissed out, my legs wobble on my way out the door. 

Thank you for this honor, Tranquil Space. You make life better. (My husband thanks you, too).

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