Goodbye Sweet 17

Dear Yogis,
What an amazing year 2017 has been at Shine! Over the last year, we grew from four teachers to twelve. We were chosen as one of the best sites in Western New York for improving the health and wellness of Buffalo by Project LeanNation, we were honored as a Champion by Roswell, and grew from 15 to 35 classes per week. We raised more than $2000 for local non-profits, were featured in the Hamburg Sun, and celebrated our first birthday with more than 60 Yogis practicing beautifully together. Just this week, we made the select list of yoga-studios-to-go-to in Buffalo Magazine.

But the most exciting thing to me has been the way we have become a community. This fall, eleven Yogis did 30 days of yoga in a row. I watched as they exchanged numbers and when one of them got scary news I saw one-after-the-other provide support. I also saw school teachers learning together and sharing ideas at our summer teachers’ camp. Tools that they would take back to their own students. And the preteens! To see them loving themselves and each other in yoga class was beautiful. The greatest privilidge of being a yoga teacher is seeing the effects of your teaching on an individual’s life and health. This year I saw that go beyond me. I got to see the impact of other teachers and students on each other.

Thank you to each and every one of you, whether you are one of the original 30 who followed me from studio to studio or have just joined this week, thank you for building this beautiful place of refuge, where we can all be our best-selves. 

Looking towards 2018, the Shine teachers and I have been putting together programs to help foster and grow our bright community.

We are about to embark on our January Jumpstart, which I hope will be as wonderful as the fall one. Everyone on this email list will receive a manual (please opt out if you don’t want one) that will include reflection questions and activities; diet guidelines staged over four weeks, recipes, meal planning, and menus; sleep guidelines; and self-care approaches. This time, we will do a week-long detox and a digital detox. We will have a free Yoga Talk each week as usual, but for those who feel they need a little more structure, we will also have a weekly meeting, to go through components of the manual and prepare for each week. We will encourage 30 days of yoga by providing weekly prizes and the grand-prize of an annual membership for those who have completed 30 days in a row at the studio. The beauty is that we do our jumpstart every season. Every three months you have a chance to re-evaluate your life and try again. The wonderful thing is that we all do it together.

Also in January, we will begin our RISE program. RISE is a program for women developed by our teacher Beth. It begins with an in-studio retreat that will stretch across one weekend a month through March. That time will be spent in reflection, lecture, yoga, activities, and discussion in order to examine what holds us back as women and to provide tools to help us be grounded and powerful. The retreat will be co-lead by Beth and myself.  Once participants have completed the retreat they will be a member of the first generation of The RISE sisterhood at Shine. The RISE sisterhood will meet regularly throughout the year for specialized workshops, conversations and celebrations. 

Look out for more information on these programs and upcoming workshops that help you refine your practice and dive into the deeper levels of yoga. Leigh, Jessica, and Allison are planning workshops for the upcoming year. We also plan to have more fundraisers, concerts, special events, and of course the core of it all— the highest quality yoga classes around.

Here’s to another wonderful year. Thank you for being in my life.