First and foremost, thank you so much for being here.
I have decided to take some time each month to share some thoughts with you. I always enjoyed writing and, to be honest, I am starting this in an effort to create a habit for myself.
Lately, I have been inspired by strong women who are not afraid to be vulnerable & authentic; women who work to empower their community. I hope that, one day, I’ll be considered as one of those women. Right now, however, my audience likely consists solely of my mother (love you Mom) and my brother (what’s up Bro). Regardless, I still feel strongly about this little endeavor so let’s dive in!
The month is November and I am sitting at the kitchen table of my temporary Miami apartment. It’s a rainy, sticky Wednesday and my time is unfortunately better spent inside. I made a pot of coffee, and here I am. There’s been a lot going on lately (for me personally and in the world) and I figured this was the perfect time to pause and reflect.
Since I completed my first Yoga Teacher Training, I have had the privilege to be part of an amazing community. Modo yoga has welcomed me with open arms in the U.S. and in Canada, on the East Coast and the West. This is my third time in Florida and, every time I land here, it feels like home. As you might know, home for me is the Montreal studio...which has very little in common with South Beach! The power of this community comes from the fact that it brings likeminded people together people and allows them to connect on a deeper level. It is that connection along with a desire to make the world a better place that shines through when you walk into any studio door.
As most of you know, I have the privilege of leading a 200HR Yoga Teacher Training program with YogaVibez University. As I started creating the program, I hopped to provide a similar learning environment and mindset for our yoga community on the Eastern Shore. I was nervous about the work to be done and I honestly didn’t know if it could be achieved in such a wildly different setting. Let’s put this in perspective: a few years ago, I traveled to Nicaragua with 50+ yogis for my first training. Being in a remote location for a month and fully disconnecting form the daily grind definitely forces you to be present, to experience a shift, to connect. We practiced outside on a platform overlooking the ocean, we ate fresh foods made just for us and learned from a some of the best teachers in the game. Now, the training that I am leading, along with some amazing local teachers (hello Jared I’m talking about you love), happens 3 days every month for a total of 6 months. Most of the 15 attendees are from the area and practicing in their home studio while still having to navigate their work life, family life and feeding themselves! At this time, we are only 3 weekends into YTT and, even though there is still a lot of work left to be done, I can say with confidence that we are building community. I have watched people be vulnerable, cry, laugh and mess up while others support them by holding space, offering a kind word, or a helping hand. I have witness likeminded people connect on a deeper level and elevate our small yoga community in a big way.
At the end of the day, it is not about Montreal or Miami, Nicaragua or O.C. It is not about the setting, the food or the duration of the immersion. It is about the people showing up; the people who are committing to their growth as individuals and as a collective.
The Sanskrit word “Sangha” was introduced to me while I was in training. It it can be loosely is translated as a "community". I chose to make a this word a central part of our YogaVibez University program as an accolade to my incredible experiences with Modo. As described by by Thich Nhat Hanh: “The sangha is a wonderful home. Every time you go back to the sangha, you feel that you can breathe more easily, you can walk more mindfully, you can better enjoy the blue sky, the white clouds and the cypress tree in your yard.”
To the Sangha that has supported me through my adventures and allowed me to grow, I am so grateful for you.
To the Sangha that we are creating at YogaVibez, you are amazing to watch, and it is an honor to lead you.
...Oh and if you are thinking about joining the family, please do, I can't wait to meet you!