Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. – Rainer Maria Rilke
Welcome to April at Tranquil Space. I’m excited for open windows, splashes of yellow daffodils around the city, and the pop of pink cherry blossoms. In honor of spring, we’re offering a sunrise challenge, an 8-week women’s group on befriending stress and anxiety (begins tonight), a TranquiliT pop-up of our locally sewn clothing collection, a yummy restorative workshop, a hips and arm balancing experience, mindfulness-based stress reduction workshop, a two-part piece on the business of yoga, a clothing swap for charity, a weekend retreat in West Virginia (one spot left), and much more. Peruse our offerings for all levels and many interests. If there is something we don’t have on the horizon that interests you, please let us know at mytranquilspaceidea.com.
In last month’s muse I shared that 2014 marks our 15-year anniversary and I’d be offering stories of the decade and a half journey here on the blog. As you can probably imagine, the fifteen years has been filled with many experiences ranging from searching for the perfect home and signing leases, to teaching, auditioning and hiring new teacher talent, to adjusting the schedule seasonally to accommodate yogis’ requests, to developing a non-profit to enhance our focus on giving back, to celebrating milestones such as this one. We’ve truly come a long way together!
As I walk down the tranquility timeline exploring fodder for a memoir, I am taken back to my first introduction to yoga. It was a frigid Wednesday morning in the mountains of Silverthorne, Colorado. I was in my early 20s, reading about the mind and body benefits of yoga, and in need of a quick fix. Something to tone by fluffy body, quiet my whirling mind, and ignite my longing spirit. Coming off the aerobics craze, I struggled to stay in sync with the other spandex, hi-topped ladies dancing around their steps with ease. I was eager to give this yoga thing a try.
My friend and I pulled into the fitness center parking lot as the sun was starting to rise and I had no idea that the trajectory of my life was about to change. We were given those thick blue foam exercise mats of the 90’s, encouraged to breathe and shift our spines in multiple directions with the Rockies as our backdrop. There were only a few of us in class and while the simple, basic poses such as cat, cow, and child’s felt great, it was not at all representative of the power yoga experience of today. Alas, a yogi was born.
Little did I know that seeds were planted and an entire career had just been watered. My time in Colorado was filled with much confusion and soul-searching for what life would bring. Here I was a college graduate who spent three months backpacking through Europe before moving to the mountains to play, only to find myself in a deep state of confusion. Working multiple part-time jobs in restaurants and retail when not on the mountains skiing or snowboarding, wondering what was next. What did life have in store? And on the blue foam mat I finally found a form of exercise, and spirituality, that satiated my ever-increasing appetite.
Since this snowy spring morning, I invited strangers into my living room yoga studio, now in two locations that serve 1500 beautiful yogis weekly, and completed ten teacher trainings to deepen by practice. Over the past decade I’ve written three books and a regularly pen a blog, Tranquility du Jour, blending yoga philosophy with modern day living. Inside I share tips for everyday tranquility. Ways to manage life mindfully. Minimalism and DIY projects. Suggestions on vegetarian eating to benefit one’s health, the animals, and the environment. Plus ways to make a difference through giving back and living a meaningful life.
To offer more tranquility and challenge myself creatively, I’ve hosted a podcast since 2005 chock-full of inspiring interviews with yogis, artists, and change-makers, design a locally sewn eco-friendly clothing line that began out of a need for transitional togs that moved from teaching to practicing to living, and co-launched a non-profit to share tranquility tools to teen girls and give grants to like-hearted organizations. Having practiced yoga for 18 years now, it’s a thread that’s been woven throughout all do professionally, and much of what I do personally. And to think it all began one quiet snowy morning in the mountains of Colorado.
What’s your yoga story? Interested in sharing your journey at Tranquil Space as we pull together interviews and stories from our team and yogis in preparation for our 15-year documentary (watch our 10-year here)? If so, send us your story. We’d love to hear and share it. Click here to hear former teacher and studio director Mary Catherine Starr share hers.
Wishing you a tranquil launch into this beautiful season of blooming, growing, and sprouting forth. May your moments be infused with tranquility. May your practice be filled with steadiness and ease. May your breaths seep deeply into your belly. Thank you for joining us on this journey. Namaste.