It's hard to believe that spring has once again come around to greet us. “God’s Fool” is sometimes the message I get when I remember opening Yoga Among Friends on April Fool’s Day in 1998. I somehow question how our little community has continued thriving and enjoying 19 years of being a steady home of yoga for so many wonderful souls.
The community at YAF is why we are still here in a landscape that keeps changing. With so many alternative places to practice and families moving away. Yet, we are a constant comfort for so many that walk through our door with a sigh and a smile, thanking us for being “authentic” and “real”. I guess our lack of corporate funding gives us a pleasant throwback to what it feels like to be original.
When our doors opened in 1998, there were no yoga centers anywhere in the suburbs. No one understood that we would be here for “drop-in” classes when there is no guarantee that anyone would actually show up. As a yoga teacher, I always shared that our commitment is to the teachings, not how many students show up to join in. A concept that the standard business model would not encourage! Yes, I always say I am not a business but a service! And teaching yoga is not a career path but a deeper calling of the soul.
Somehow in the last twenty years we have survived the hot yoga centers, the fitness spin centers and the lack of a sign that allows anyone to really know we still exist. We have continued to shine because of you, the students, and of course the amazing teachers that have given their love and energy to inspire and motivate the lifestyle of living with compassion and kindness and what it means to be a friend. To share in conversation, to hug and to be able to listen when silence is needed as a space of comfort.
In 2018, we will celebrating 20 years. In celebration of this milestone, we are putting together a book on the importance of community and how the teachings of yoga inspire to cultivate compassionate kindness in a busy, distracted world. That true commitment is living mindfully with open hearts. We would love to hear from our students as we collaborate on the joint endeavor in celebrating you and YAF.
We are blessed as move into this new season and hope that you continue to practice with us both on and off the mat. Tell your friends about our sweet home; and if so inspired, please email us with a story or testimonial about how YAF (or about your teacher or a friendship that developed) over the years. Share a story that might have happened on one of our many retreats or venues.
Thank you from all of us as we celebrate this turn around the sun and enjoy each day with love and light,