In a year of loss on so many levels, the sad news I received yesterday caught me off guard until I realized I was a reason for the ending.
My lower back betrayed me in the spring of 2014. I was in pain. I could not find relief or answers. It hit the point where It was hinted that I was a hysterical female whose pain was in in her head. I was told that if I hurt so badly that I needed a cortisone shot and possibly surgery. That is when I realized that I had to take control of my pain as no one else would. I start seeking out information and talking to others who have or have had back problems. I started seeking out PT professionals, massage therapists and acupuncturist. I had lost all connection to my body. I was not only not listening to what my body needed, I could not tell if I was or was not aligned.
When I walked into Epic Yoga that fall I was a physical and emotional wreck living in pain. Equipped with a $15 yoga mat and old gym clothes I was ready to try anything for relief from my pain. I committed to showing up three times a week during my month-long, reduced fee introductory month. I hated it. I sucked at it. It hurt.
I signed up for a second month and then a full year. I kept showing up. I made friends that are still part of my life. I sweated. I cried. I bought yoga clothes and a yoga mat. I began to heal myself physically and mentally.
It was at Epic where I created the vision board that pointed me to new directions. I went to the red rocks of Utah for a hiking and yoga retreat where I met a yoga teacher that blew up my limited knowledge of yoga and stoked a new desire to expand my practice. I took an introduction to Stand Up Paddle Boarding class. I started going to Sunday night social paddles to improve my skills. I ended up in yoga teacher training.
I was in and out of Epic over the last three years. I let my membership go for the last time in June 202o when I had to return to my office after working from home for three months. Work and yoga class times were not compatible. I was no longer going to rush and stress myself to make square pegs and round holes work. In recent months as restrictions begin to ease, I am not comfortable returning to a studio to practice regardless of having been vaccinated.
Yesterday in my email feed I saw, “The email I never wanted to send.” It was from Epic. The doors are closing in May due to lack of clients. Other studios have already closed. Other studios are in danger of closing.
I am sad that Epic is closing as the practice and people have impacted my life.
I have mixed feelings about my role in the closing as I was no longer a paying client. I am now all on-line with the teacher I met in the red rocks of Utah.
I have spent the last year digging in and learning more about yoga history, styles of yoga and cultural appropriation. I have been thinking about what I want to teach, who I want to teach and how I want to teach. I have been exploring yoga as a way to both prepare for meditation/prayer and to bring my physical body into my spiritual practice. I have been thinking about the business models of yoga studios which are often based on expensive teacher trainings. I think about the what the images on studio social media accounts say about body size, race, gender, cultural appropriation and affluence.
Because of Epic, I am curious about all aspects of yoga. Because of Epic, I helped myself heal. Because of Epic, I am in my body. Because of Epic, I became focused on my True North.
Epic, thank you for the 400 plus classes, body alignment and breathing cues, laughs, experiences, sweat, life lessons and community.