Why I let go of owning a yoga studio...

"Notice that autumn is more the season of the soul than of nature." ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Hello and Happy Monday to you! I hope this message finds you healthy, content and still in the swings of summer fun.

As summer's sweetness slowly turns into the comforts of fall, more classes are popping onto the calendar and classes will move back indoors. I'm happy to connect with you albeit a blog to share some insights into the changes that have been taking place with Threads of Wellness as well as explain what transpired to bring about my transitioning into simply offering community yoga instead of housing a yoga studio. Since most of you have been regularly attending classes since March, you may very well have been kept in step with our changes. However, for those that attended less regularly, I wanted share the big changes that have taken place so you might be able to understand where Threads went and why.

To fully understand the 'whys' and 'hows' of the past year, we need to back up a bit...
Over one year ago, I received news that my studio space on Cooper Foster would require new terms to the lease that I could not commit to. The unfortunate news was that these terms would not be sustainable due to the small studio size, I would have had to increase class prices significantly. But the good news was that for over a year we were outgrowing the studio space as it was. I took this as a divine nudge to find a larger space where our community could continue practicing together and I could maintain affordable yoga pricing.

Fast forward to December 2018 and we hosted our last class at Threads on Cooper Foster just in time for Christmas break. My family helped me move the entire studio over to Fox Creek Golf and Racquet Club's event space for the winter months. From there we would continue classes while we await warmer weather to renovate space within their complex.

The event space was ideal, LARGE and beyond adequate for yoga classes. Throughout the next couple months there were conversations on holding off renovation for another year and continuing use of the event space. But by March it was decided that we would need to begin and be complete in time for summer. 

This is where I went off the beaten path...
As many of you know, I'm a dietitian and yoga teacher. You may also know that before those I am a mom. This year will be my daughter's last year of high school and next year will be my son's.

Looking to dig in deep and renovate a studio space where I was, at FoxCreek, less than 3 years since the last renovation, instantly felt like a mountain I was not in a position to climb. I didn't want to miss even more concerts, college tours, weekend trips, performances, dinners around the table and after school appointments. If stepping into a bigger space with bigger costs and demands was my next step, I would surely be missing more than I've already missed.

Stepping back today, what's interesting to me is God let this realization lay completely dormant while I exited the original studio space in December. Because of special conditions, I was able to leave Cooper Foster on monthly terms, not the 5 year contract requested. The FoxCreek owners generously allowed me to use their space sans commitment/lease. At the point God let me see that my deep need to be with my family was bigger than my desire to open new space, the door was open to do so. 

The only thing holding me to forward future plans for the studio and ignoring this new nudge from God was my unsaid commitment to my students. 

I was stumped and frustrated with my choices. As a pillar in our community of yoga we have grown, maybe you can imagine the uncomfortable position I found myself in. I would like to assure you that the fear of hurting any students that was [and at times still is] sitting in my heart is beyond your imagination. It feels like guilt, looks like shame, acts like confusion and reads like fear of the known AND the unknown. Plus...who takes 5 years to grow a studio schedule and loving yoga community and then decides not to continue it?

After multiple lovingly wise friends and fellow yoga students discussed the matters with me, my response to the adage "time to go big or go home" became brilliantly bright and clear. I chose home. But come to find out, I also chose our yoga community, just in a different capacity than a traditional yoga studio.

This summer has taught me, yoga communities don't just exist because of walls of a studio. We exist because of our inner commitment to our practice and our joy in rolling out our mats next to one another. We exist as friends off the mat as we spend time visiting, encouraging each other, comforting each other and reaching out to one another just to connect. Community exists around a fire, catching a yoga class together elsewhere, enjoying a lunch or a swim together...community grows where ever we are. 

This summer [for the first time in 5 years] I have had the privilege of engaging with students, FRIENDS, in a capacity other than as a studio owner. For some reason this has impacted my time with students and meaningful conversations before and after class in a very kind, wholehearted way. If this is the only benefit I receive from trying to be obedient to God's nudges, I will be thankful and will remain convicted I'm on the right path. The peace and JOY I have in fellowship with students today is more tangible than what the stress of managing a studio was able to provide throughout these years.

I would also like to share with incredible appreciation, my fear and angst in this transition has been met by so many of you pouring out understanding and support beyond what I could have imagined. I would love to hug each of you with sincere, deep, heartfelt gratitude. Until then, I'll just say, "thank you" and pray you know it comes from the most hidden places in my heart, as a mom and a friend. 

Your Friend Always,

Tanna

P.S. Someday I’ll blog about how running a yoga studio was for the most part “an accident” —true story— and how it was also the most amazing trial, growth and learning experience of my personal and professional life to date. -Much love to you!! ~t~ <3

Tanna Torkelson