“I’m not going to lie, sometimes it’s challenging to remember why I started doing yoga. I’m in a completely different place now than when I started. If you ask me at any given moment, “How has yoga transformed your life?”, lately that’s been less clear than it’s been in the past, but stopping to reflect always gives me access to see that again.
Right now what I’m most present to in my yoga journey and how it impacts me, is a promise from our teacher training at BIG Power Yoga. We have a promise, that you will have a transformed relationship with uncertainty. I’m positive that no matter what, that’s what I’ve gotten from my yoga practice. There’s a lot of ways that’s shown up for me over the course of ten years since I started practicing. Many decisions I’ve made and steps I’ve taken have catapulted me into spaces of uncertainty.
I left my corporate job in 2009 to become a yoga teacher. It was a really bold move but it was also an empowering move- and put me in the space of uncertainty. It gave me my first opportunity to use my practice to navigate that feeling.
I didn’t have a plan for how I was going to make money and support myself. I knew I was going to pursue teaching yoga because I had a couple of teachings jobs, but 4 or 5 classes a week isn’t enough to make a living. At that point, I had moved through some tough conversations and everything I thought would go really badly just didn’t. I thought telling my boss I was leaving would go really badly and that there would be judgement and animosity. What actually happened is that they told me they saw it coming, and wished me good luck.
Even though I put off this conversation for a while, I had the same reaction when I told my parents. I remember I was in the Whole Foods parking lot, shaking as I called them, but they too were not surprised. Their biggest concern was “How are you going to get health insurance?” In those moments I learned that how I play things out in my head is usually a lot worse than what actually ends up happening.
I walked out of work my final day at my corporate job, I got home, and I remember the feeling- and that I actually didn’t have a flushed out plan. It was probably the first time in my life I didn’t know what direction I was headed, because all my life I was an overachiever and perfectionist. I was the person who seemed like they had it all together. For the first time, I let myself come apart.
There have been a lot of big moments like that since then, like opening our first studio, opening our second studio, moving to Colorado, and then opening two studios at the same time. I left all the certainty of Houston, two yoga studios, and a level of mastery we had in running that business, to be a beginner in creating something brand new in a brand new city.
I also got pregnant with my first child the same week we opened the studio here in Denver, so I’ve been living in this world of I have no idea what I’m doing…in a great way.
I’m positive that without my practice and teacher trainings there’s no way I’d be able to navigate all of these new challenges and changes in my life. Or, at least I wouldn’t be empowered through all of it.
Right now as I await the arrival of my baby, there’s a level of ease that I have access to that I imagine wouldn’t exist at all without my practice because I haven’t always been comfortable with uncertainty. I think that’s why it’s so incredibly important to reflect. It shifts my focus from what I usually think about by default: what’s not working, what I could be doing better, what I need to do. What is there to appreciate? What are my accomplishments? What successes do I have access to?
One thing that I’m really grateful for that yoga has taught me over and over again, is that leadership doesn’t mean having it all together. When we opened our first studio, I was really constrained with my leadership by thinking it had to look a certain way, and meant having everything figured out.
What I’ve really settled into in my practice as a leader, is that leadership means NONE of that. It’s simply a practice of taking the lead and being willing to go first, being willing to share your vision and being willing to say:
I have something to contribute.
Being a leader is a totally and absolutely messy world to be in. I’m only successful as a leader because I’m okay with the mess of it all. Yoga has taught me to be okay with the mess of it all.” – Laura
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