When my son Freddi and I moved from Brooklyn to the Catskills in May, we tucked ourselves into a cabin a few steps from Hollow Tree Brook. The water moved over the rocks all day and all night. We ate near it, played next to it, went to sleep with its gentle song and woke to its quiet murmur. One morning we saw a family of groundhogs wriggle and play among the creek’s boulders. In the afternoons, we watched our landlord’s horses drink from it. And during one soft rain, we admired a mama bear and her three cubs as they grazed nearby.
My son loved to collect pebbles and toss them from a little bridge, delighting in the splash of their landing. The brook accepted whatever weight we threw at it, frothing and bubbling, shifting and twisting, continuing steadily on its way. It inspired me, this flow. How could I move as easefully as this brook? How could I, too, hold life’s offerings with such quiet equanimity and yet keep moving ever forward?
In June when we dipped our city toes into the brook’s chill, we cried out in surprise. It felt like a baptism of sorts. A little shocking as any initiation into a new life can be. And also just as joyous. Wading into those waters, I felt blessed by the mountains, the sky, and the earth. Humbled by the generosity of nature. Grateful to be in its beauty, learning from its ways, a student of its ease.
Three months later, I am humbled not just by the beauty and generosity of nature, but by the same qualities I see in the community around me. How fortunate I am to have found this little notch of a life between Phoenicia and Tannersville, to be getting to know the amazing people who have settled here. How blessed to have discovered Chichester Yoga, a current of light on the shores of its own creek, the Stoney Clove. How serendipitous to have met its founder Megan one day on a hike on my road, to have then, in a strange sequence of events, subbed for her class a few days later, and, even more strangely, found myself, not long afterwards, working out the details of my new ownership of the studio. Like the creek’s water after a rain, the events moved quickly and involved surprising twists and turns. And in obedience to that movement which is beyond logic and understanding, I flowed with it. It has been and continues to be an exciting ride.
Today, on August 1, I have become the official owner of Chichester Yoga. I accept this gift and responsibility with gratitude and humility. I hope to continue to provide a space not just where great yoga is offered, but to build a home where people feel they can rest, restore, and refresh their bodies and minds. A space where they are welcome to quiet down, soften up, and deeply explore the places in their bodies/hearts/minds that inspire them, scare them, challenge them, and intrigue them.
To that end, I have ideas brewing. New classes taking shape, new teachers to offer wisdom, new events and workshops wanting to be born, a new website being built. All in due time, of course. For now, as I take over the reins in August, there are smaller shifts in terms of the actual schedule, but a few key things to note:
- Tuesday afternoon Lalita Basics is at 5 instead of 4:30.
- Wednesday morning’s Beginner Express is at 10 instead of 9:30.
- I will be teaching a prenatal class on Friday mornings at 10.
- I will also be teaching Open Flow on Saturday mornings at 10 and Sundays at 8:30.
- Stay tuned for subs on some Thursday nights and Sunday mornings. Some of those time slots will be opportunities for you to try out a workshop or a new teacher/class that may be added to the schedule this fall. For instance, this Thursday at 6 PM I’ll be teaching a Flow and Restore class. Expect a sweaty 45 minutes of vinyasa followed by 30 minutes of sweet restorative.
- Finally, if you are a regular student at Chichester Yoga and have hopes and desires for new/different classes or shifted class times, I invite you to send me an email with your ideas. The new schedule will come out in September, so try to get those thoughts to me by mid-August. You can find me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to all of you who have welcomed me warmly over the last month. I hope the rest of you will find a moment to come by the studio when I’m teaching, take a class and introduce yourself. To learn more about me and my own journey with yoga, you can click on the staff page for my bio. Otherwise, I think we’ll have plenty of time to get to know one another as we step together into the flow of this new era of Chichester Yoga. Lets practice trust and let it carry us where it will.
Bowing my head to my heart, in gratitude for the mystery that is this life,