July 30, on the cusp of the new moon, marked the first ever class at the Community Yoga Studio--conveniently located in my garage.
Back in January, with that wonderful January energy of renewal and new beginnings, I leaned against the washing machine in my garage and studied the space. Chris had kept up his ACE certification as a Personal trainer for over 25 years in hopes of returning to that profession, and we'd talked of turning our garage into a gym, but we never had the energy, or any idea of how to begin. The task seemed so daunting.
But on that January day, I decided to simply start cleaning it out. With absolutely no idea where all the STUFF would go, I put my hand on one thing at a time. Give this away, Store that in the attic. Move this to the shed. Sell that on Facebook.
Happy with my progress, Chris got in on it, and one Saturday we cleaned out the neglected shed and emptied a lot of the contents of the garage into it. Then we treat ourselves to lunch. When the area was mostly empty we--okay, Chris--scraped the popcorn ceiling. That's a horrible job, but once it was cleaned and painted white, the project started taking on a life of its own. Spackling and painting the walls a seafoam green came next, and at that point, we finally began to see the transformation. No turning back now!
We had told ourselves repeatedly, "If we build it, they will come," We didn't have to know how it would all come together, we just had to take the next step. Over the following months, our conversations were filled with talk of room dividers, flooring, workout equipment, and mirrors. We didn't talk about the foosball/pool table taking up valuable space, though. Chris didn't want to let go of the game table, something we didn't use anymore, maybe because it reminded him of the fun we had with it when our girls were younger. I knew that as our space took shape, with mirrors in place, the room divider up, and rubber flooring locked in, that he'd let go of the table.
Sure enough, when a friend with young sons expressed an interest in the foosball/pool table, he gave in, for the good of the studio.
As soon as Chris found the perfect functional trainer cable machine, he began working out in what he dubbed his Performance Studio, preparing to take clients as a Personal Trainer. For me it's my Community Yoga Studio, and we agree to disagree on its name. We both agree that it shall never be called a garage again.
My vision for the space is simple. I want to reach out to the community who is interested in yoga and who lives nearby. Nothing would make me happier than to have neighbors walk or bike over for an evening class.
And although most drove, last night was that class.
I made eye pillows for everyone (something every visiting yogi will have) and herbal tea. I tried three other flavors until I found Bigelow Peach, iced with honey. I'm a kindergarten teacher at heart, so everyone has a pocket in a shoebag on the door to store their eye pillows.
Prana Devi taught an amazing New Moon Yoga with a moon salutation sequence (as opposed to the sun salutation most yogis know) and as she taught, she pointed out the sky at sunset, twilight as it turned the treeline into a long, jagged silhouette, and a bat darting around the culdesac.
Through the whole class, I couldn't keep a big grin off my face. The realization that we had DONE IT kept sweeping over me. Chris and I had created from scratch this beautiful space, and people were now sharing it. I was in heaven, even though this heaven turned hot. Very hot. I guess there's still some tweaking to do. As much as I love the garage screen, during these warm summer months we'll be using a portable air conditioner to keep the studio cool.
It's really true, that, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." The sense of accomplishment Chris and I share when we walk into our gar-- oops, studio, is worth all the work we put in and all the stuff we got rid of. Without looking too far down the road, without a definite goal, we just did what we could one day at a time. And we're thrilled with the result.
If you're local and are interested in yoga, please contact me. Chris is ready to be your personal trainer, and if you want a garage gym like ours, we are excited to share our new-found expertise on making the transformation. Trust me, it's worth the journey. We both feel like we climbed Mt. Everest, and the view from the top is amazing.