Is Winnie the Pooh right?
Written by Nancy Weshkoff
One of my favorite characters is A. A. Milne’s wonderful Winnie the Pooh. Winnie the Pooh has provided some very interesting perspectives which always make me smile. One of these is when Winnie the Pooh is discussing how the best time is often “just before”. I often think about this, and it applies to many things in life. We love the “just before” anticipation of an upcoming event.
For me, preparing to open my new yoga studio, Moonflower Yoga in Bellmore, Long Island, has been a very exciting event filled with lots of anticipation. Planning classes, hiring wonderful teachers, getting the space ready has been an amazing experience that I will never forget. As if opening a new yoga studio is not enough of a challenge, Moonflower Yoga is also taking a booth at the upcoming Bellmore Family Street Festival on September 22 and 23. There are 120,000 visitors expected over the course of the weekend, as Bellmore welcomes families from all around the area. Planning promotional items for the Street Festival has also been fun, and it requires a sense of humor when you make “rookie” decisions as a first-time vendor. Buying a couple hundred balloons seemed like a great idea until you remember you have to blow them all up.
Winnie the Pooh is right in that I know the time “just before” these events in September is a wonderful experience filled with excitement and anticipation to cherish. But I also know that great things are ahead in the future too. Fulfilling a dream of having the doors of Moonflower Yoga open to welcome students, particularly new ones who have never tried yoga before, will be fantastic for years to come.
What do you think? Is Winnie the Pooh right?
Yoga has changed the course of my life. Can it change yours too?
More than a dozen years ago, I noticed that my local gym was offering a new yoga class. I decided to give it a try. I instantly fell in love. This was different than working out on machines at the gym or taking various aerobics classes. I loved the flow of the class. And you got to take a long relaxation at the end of the class!
Over the years, my practice has grown, and I have gotten stronger and more flexible. But something more important has happened. When life was stressful, either from work or the challenges that life throws at you, it was on my yoga mat that I found inner peace. Going to my yoga classes, moving, breathing, and taking a break from those stresses enabled me to release some of that tension in a positive way and feel better. And I also developed a new circle of friends from attending classes, many of whom remain close friends today.
And then a year ago, a whole new set of challenges started to unfold. My husband lost his job of 30 years when his company went bankrupt. Three months later, I was told that my position of 18 years was coming to an end because of the sale of the company that employed me. In a tough economy, this is not the news you want to hear. For my husband, he found a great new job that he likes. For me, the job search was hitting brick walls. What to do?
I decided to turn to what always helped me when life was stressful: my yoga practice. I enrolled in a teacher training program and fell in love with the teaching. I started to realize this is where I wanted to be: helping and teaching others. But in order to truly do this in a way that I wanted, I felt I needed my own small yoga studio. And I wanted to reach fellow baby boomers, as well as beginners of all ages, who have been afraid to try yoga because they couldn’t do complex poses. This was the genesis for forming my new yoga studio, Moonflower Yoga, which offers small class sizes and personal attention. In addition to the classes I teach, I have some wonderful teachers working with me at Moonflower Yoga, and they designed interesting classes for different fitness levels. Moonflower’s philosophy is to make yoga enjoyable for everyone and to create a sense of community from its weekly workshops and small class settings. If you live or visit Long Island, New York, come stop by and try a class or workshop at the studio!
So yoga changed my life: It helped me deal with some very difficult times. I have built physical strength and flexibility and met some wonderful people. And it changed the course of the direction in my life, as I am now the proud owner of my own yoga studio opening in September, 2012. Owning a studio also has some interesting moments, and I’m hoping to share those with you in future blogs.
Tell me about your positive yoga experiences. How has yoga helped you?