For this most recent SYS challenge, I committed to teaching yoga in Chicago. In order to fully understand why this is big for me, I have to give you some context about my life and it’s going to take me a minute to explain. If it were a relationship status, it would definitely be “It’s complicated”. I was born & raised in Cleveland, Ohio. It still very much feels like home to me. It is where I opened a yoga studio in 2014 with my family. CLE is where I began my yoga practice, where I sought my teacher training, and where I began to build what is now the 3 SISTERS yoga community. When I got engaged to my husband, who had JUST accepted a position in Chicago in May of 2014, I didn’t fully think through how I’d continue to be a business owner & yogi in CLE with a husband in Chicago. I said yes. I believed in limitless possibility (still do) and thought that so far in life, I’ve been able to figure out a way. You know the old, where there’s a will, there’s a way? Yes, that’s me. Fast forward three years later and I am still living in Chicago and still very much part of the CLE yoga community. I usually spend one week per month in Cleveland and the remainder of the month in Chicago. It pains me at times, to feel so connected to somewhere that I am not; unable to walk into the place that I intended to be my yoga home. It cuts deep to know that about 300 miles away, there’s a little place that now exists that I once dreamed of –that I get to go see once a month just not every day. It’s a bit of a tease to say the least. Up until now, I thought that if I began to put roots down in Chicago, it would compromise my ability to be part of what I have in Cleveland. I thought it was a this or that, one or the other, mutually exclusive decision.
The CLE versus CHI topic is a hot one in my marriage. I am a *little* bit persistent about it. My husband, Kleyton, hails from Oklahoma and it seems, the more I try to sell him on Cleveland, the hotter that the topic gets. For many, many months, I have simmered on these questions in my life. Here’s a little glimpse into my monkey mind…”Why am I in Chicago? What am I learning here? If I accept that I live here, have I given up on my #CLEVELAND dreams? Does it make me weak to be here for a man’s job? Have I given up too much? Is my marriage doomed if I keep bringing it up? Will I ever give it a rest? Should I leave now? Is there opportunity waiting for me here that I am not finding bc I’m hell bent on doing it my way? If “what you resist, persists”, why do I keep resisting? What am I resisting? Am I meant to be here?” and that’s just a glimpse… oh… I have overanalyzed it to the gilt.
Pre SYS challenge, while brain-storming about what I would do, I kept contemplating about this main pain point in my life; I kept coming back to it. I finally (after years!) came to realize that I could build something here, in Chicago, to fill the piece of my heart that I leave in Cleveland each month. It means I can be part of this community. It does not compromise my ability to be part of my studio in Cleveland. In fact, I hope that it expands my life & the 3 SISTERS community in a way that would not otherwise be possible.
So, during the SYS challenge, I committed to teaching yoga in Chicago. So, far, I have adapted my basement to be a yoga studio and began using it personally about 5 days a week. I have also started my mailing list by gathering names & emails of people I have met here thus far who will become my first practitioners in the basement! I plan to begin teaching in January! By committing to teaching in Chicago during the SYS challenge, it opened up a part of my life that had felt stuck for a while. I’m nervous in a good way, about what I can offer here.
When I settled on a home studio, my husband, Kleyton immediately got on board and called our builder to see if he could come back over and switch the basement from carpet to cork wood flooring. One big shift that I didn’t anticipate is that by setting the wheels in motion to teach here, it positively impacted my marriage too. What seemed to be a “small thing”, to commit to teaching some down-dogs, has opened up BIG joy & endless possibilities for me. The challenge set in motion the actions to heal my relationship with myself and end the 3 year internal argument. I surrendered. I live here & I just might like it after all <3 If you are a yogi from CLE traveling to CHI, I love you already & please look me up. @laurenyoung