Some already know. I've been keeping it under wraps until details like a lease and a date are finalized, but at this point I can announce: Return is opening a studio in St. Cloud in September 2012. 822 1/2 West St. Germain. Classes four times a day. Strong classes, the sweaty ones where we learn to go upside down and challenge the very nature of our guts and endurance; but also the gentle, reverent, exploring classes that so heal and so change us and are accessible to anyone who can breathe, anyone who has a body. That's the long and the short of it... Mixed emotions, knowing that this is written half for the students I am leaving, and half for students I haven't yet met.
St. Cloud is personal; it's where I grew up, the jumping off point, the place I left in order to wander the wide world. There is something poetic, I suppose, in going home; so many of our stories circle back that way, so many attempts to find ourselves just prove how much we need to know our own place in the world. Still, I never thought I'd go back.
The process, the idea, is acceptance and responding to what life we do have rather than handicapping ourselves with what the ego clamors for. If the world were to my making, I'd be opening a studio in Rio. On a mountaintop somewhere. Something with oceans and travel. If the world were as I liked it, I'd never even have to open a buisness. I'd just write poems, eat bon bons, and practice asana all day. In between taking naps.
If yoga were how we 'expect' it to be, it'd only be romantic, esoteric, the stuff of retreats and exotic places of natural wonder.
But an honest practice isn't like that, at all. An honest practice takes place at home, in the midst of our lives, with the stuff of our days. Commericial, american, midwestern days. I do not do asana on beaches, and yoga is not a thing I retreat to do. I practice where I am. I practice in parking lots, sometimes. Sometimes in kitchens. On carpet, on cement.
I am not a hippy, starry eyed kinda person who believes in fates and auras and angels and strings that are pulled by forces. But from moment I considered St. Cloud, everyone and everything has rushed to make it so.
With some of the largest social service programs in the state, and a city full of society that doesn't fall under the rubric of 'social service agencies', yoga as service couldn't be anything but a blessing, there. With the demographic boom, the colleges, the smush of St. Cloud Sartell Waite Park Sauk Rapids St Joe all becoming one metropolis that is the metropolis of central Minnesota, it's baffling there is no studio. It's funny that I know the town so well. There was a pretty studio space, all ready and waiting with the right time and the right price. An apartment lease was signed, the dog is allowed. What I thought might possibly happen someday, eventually, somehow, is happening. Happening NOW.
The moment you say yes to your life, life unfolds.
It is not what I expected. But it makes me very happy. It is a good. Unexpected, out of left field, mildly confusing, and good.
I am more grateful than I know how to say.
But I am also sad to be leaving the students, classes, and teachers here behind. Yoga has lessons for me, here, too:
The good of yoga is not something I do, I teach; I can step out of the way and students will still have the power and transformational tools that yoga gives. There are many gifted teachers. Students here do not need me. I was blessed in introducing some to yoga, helping others find a way back in. I was blessed in living and working with long time yogis and teachers who are deeply involved in their own process. I have learned. I have been touched.
And I will miss you.