by Ali Valdez
Anyone have unique traditions, or theme months? At our studio, one of our Sattvists does a Liquid-tober, where she and her spouse drink nothing but water. As November approaches, our studio does a Class Crawl and a Gratitude month. There is a practice I do called #simplegratitude, a plan to change my mental state each and every day regardless of life circumstances. I can find good in virtually all things, even the unsettling and confrontational ones.
November is my chance to share this love of practicing gratitude with my yoga community, and this blog is really dedicated to them. I would like to share with everyone why I am grateful for having my yoga studio, even in the midst of the highs and lows, the uncertainty, and sometimes transitory nature of our students, and the years of surrounding construction and in spite of such challenges, blessings remain ten-fold and continue to grow.
With gratitude and from the heart, here are my top five November studio gratitudes:
- Sattvists helping Sattvists. One thing I can say definitively about Sattva teachers and community, is that we have each other’s backs. Having started with childcare during classes, many of our students entrusted us with the care of their children and we have seen many of them grow up. Our community binds together, becoming friends. We lean in and help out with our extended teachers’ community, helping watch kids, getting each other food, taking care of dogs (and cats!), subbing for one another when they go off to study, host retreats or go on holidays. When talking about this with our long-time studio manager, she concurred “no other studio on Earth does what our team does for one another.”
- International Flair. In a world of increasing divisiveness, I love and honor the diversity of the members of our studio. Our teacher trainees are native in over a dozen languages and come from all corners of the world. They have spread the Sattva spirit throughout the country, across Asia and Europe. We even have Sattvists in New Zealand, Peru and Mexico. During advanced teacher trainings, we discuss global issues and there is no one-sided or myopic view of the topics most challenging in our current times. We debate, respectfully, unapologetically and discuss both sides of history, religion and conflict. In many courses, teachers are encouraged to share their vision statement in English and their nature language. In any given course, almost everyone shares twice. This means when people come through our doors, they feel welcome, because the place is comfortable and authentic.
- The Cheers of Yoga. Anyone from 80’s television knows of the sitcom Cheers, and the infamous Norm. Whenever Norm stormed into Cheers bar every night, everyone shouted “Norm!” because it was the kind of place where everyone knows your name. We strive to make a personal connection with each student. Oftentimes, they are taken aback when they walk in and are greeted by name (and with a smile). I love that we stay connected to our students during their registrations, even though we have more technology at the front desk than a regional Microsoft sales office.
- Cleanliness & our Karma Yogi crew. Time and time again, I see the same feedback. “This is the cleanest studio I’ve ever been in.” We have our incredible staff of Karma Yogis to thank for that. Sometimes I walk in, especially Tuesday evenings, and the place is sparkling, which lends itself to the magic and the experience on the practice. Our karma yogis are like family. We are so grateful for everything they do, each and every day.
- Last, but not least… our students. As we approach our fourth year, many of our students have been there since the very beginning. We started in the shadow of another business closing down and abandoning ship. We evolved from one to three studios, from 52 classes and twelve styles and have had our share of dramatic moments. About 18 months ago, the building we occupy was sold. We waited to hear what would come next. Nothing came next as it so happened. The answer is we could very well be here for years to come. Everything around us is being tore down and rebuilt, but we still cling to our small corner of old Redmond and the esprit du corp of a local, community-centric yoga studio offering something for every body, every day. It’s so good to catch up weekly, to continue learning more about them and their lives, gradually meeting members of their family and seeing their children grow.
How blessed are we at Sattva? So blessed. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this yoga journey.