Dear Fellow Yogis,
Your dedication over these many years allowed this community to thrive and grow. We are larger, tighter knit, and stronger than ever. I’m grateful for this opportunity to reflect on the sources of our shared success.
When Bethaney and I opened the first Inspire Yoga® location, there were plenty of little problems to solve, believe me! But none of them truly mattered compared to our primary goal: create a space to allow others to open, connect deeply, and embrace life’s journey with our fellow travelers.
We are blessed to live in a time and place where strengthening the community can also be a successful business. Since our beginnings in Highland Village, members of the Inspire Yoga community have now helped to create studios in Denton and Grapevine, with certainly more in the coming years.
We haven’t grown because of investors or loans. We’ve grown because dedicated and likeminded individuals embrace membership, leadership, and ownership. We are one community that believes in compassion, empathy, and personal responsibility as the keys to our shared success.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll offer some of what I’ve learned on my personal journey from a humbling day one on my mat, to studio owner, to organizational guide. I’ll share some Inspire Yoga® guiding principles, and I’ll share how the structure of our community brings balance and the freedom of yoga studio ownership within reach.
The light and truth in me is honored and inspired by the light and truth in each of you. It is an honor to be your guide. See you on your mats.
Part 1: Create space
Starting something new is one of the great joys in life.
We begin life with a ferocious pace of firsts and experience constant new beginnings in our youth. Learning to talk, walk, run, read, and communicate all bring immeasurable excitement as we engage the world around us. These basic skills propel us forward into new schools, new friends, a first kiss, new jobs, new adventures, new relationships, and growing families.
As life progresses, the pace of engaging new experiences slows… and it can feel like a bit of a letdown. This is natural—and in many respects unavoidable. You are not doing anything wrong.
Thankfully there is one simple life hack that will put you right back on the track of loving life. It is simple. It is free. And it is effective every single time.
Stop doing what is not working.
That’s it. This is the simple key to allow the new to flow back into your life.
Find one thing that is not working for your life at this moment and simply quit it. Just stop doing something
you know is not working. After that, you fill the space with a targeted new experience. In this case, a membership to Inspire Yoga would be my recommendation of course.
Simple examples of things to quit could be cheese, tobacco, that ungrateful boyfriend, watching sports, enabling an addict, coffee (or at least lose the creamer), designer clothes, shopping for anything you don’t need, the fancy car, Netflix, a bad habit, oversleeping, staying up too late… almost anything is in play when you start to consider what you actually need in your life as compared to all that you have and all that you consume.
The point is not to overwhelm yourself and try to do to much. The point is simply to commit to one change in your life that maybe gives you back five minutes of peace and quiet or keeps four dollars in your pocket.
Sure, it requires a bit of resolve, but the rewards are disproportionately huge relative to what you think you are giving up.
Build one small success. Then repeat. Stop what clearly does not work. Create space. Add the new and enjoy!
This brings us to the biggest challenge of the day for all of us. That little rectangular elephant in every room, on every dinner table and in every pocket all the time! Why is it so friggin’ hard to put this thing down for an hour!? Even as a regular yoga practitioner, that was one of my first questions when cell phones spread like wildfire.
I quickly realized this tool—and the world inside it—holds great creative and connective power for me, but there is also an element of dangerous and destructive powers over me contained inside. I thought I was getting better at controlling my anxiety by generally remaining in the present moment and the cell phone was a major setback to that progress. It remains an epic distraction for many people I know.
So, every time I roll out my yoga mat, I have the opportunity to create space for myself and strengthen a barrier from all the negative influences of the world.
Did you catch that? Strengthen a barrier from all the negative influences that may be around you. It works. You don’t have to start off by imagining a purple band of light coming from the crown of your head and slowly wrapping around yourself like a Christmas tree garland, but I am here to tell you that is in fact effective. You can start by just showing up for yourself. Simply take off your shoes, put your purse and phone away, walk quietly into a clean and empty space, rest on your mat, and begin to relax.
How much space would you find in your life if you gave up any one of Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Youtube, and the like? How could that little bit of extra time serve you better?
It feels like a new experience each time you look at the screen, but it’s really just the same experience over and over again! What is on that screen is not the here and now.
Bring yourself back to center just a little bit. Use that time instead to find a yoga practice at Inspire Yoga. Introduce yourself to a real person in real life instead of commenting on a stranger’s feed. Or, if you aren’t ready to give up an hour a week of the cell phone, just swap out dairy products for a yoga membership and in three months you won’t believe how easy it was.
For me this is always an ongoing process that requires constant vigilance and there are ups and downs. My yoga practice helps me cultivate an inner voice, a strength, a confidence, a special something. It gives me great space and great peace.
I applied this tactic specifically to the battle against my phone and the benefits have spilled all throughout my life. I pay more attention to how I communicate with others, how I affect my environment, and which bonds I want to strengthen. There’s something about the combination of physical and mental exploration that lights a certain kind of kindling fire. I have a more engaged network of friends than ever before in my life and as George Bailey (a la It’s A Wonderful Life) knows, this is the only thing that matters.
Yoga does this for me. The Inspire Yoga community is full of likeminded people—people willing to put in the effort to make themselves better and support others.
Pivoting backwards for a moment; When I was 18, I went away to school for chemical engineering. It was a new experience at the time, though it’s not something I’d recommend. I am grateful to have learned a lot about the power of strong bonds: they literally hold the world together. At the human level, bond strength is inextricably important to the quality of our lives.
Scrolling through other people’s lives on a screen is in fact one interesting way to stay connected, but it’s no substitute for the in-person thing. An Inspire Yoga membership means constantly interacting in real life, receiving personal attention from an instructor and other members, and making yourself available to be found. It means a commitment to yourself and a commitment to some version of basic yoga tenets like these:
Be kind. Be honest. Be generous. Be connected. Be free.
That’s the mindset—and you’ll find it on your mat. It should be easy to spot on day one at the end of class. Tell us when you find it. Ask us if you need help.
Next week, we’ll ‘reimagine work’. Until then, the light and truth in me is honored and inspired by the light and truth in each of you. It is truly an honor to be your guide.