Have you ever thought to yourself, "wouldn't it be cool to (fill in blank here)?"
Well, I have often thought it would be cool to own a yoga studio and as I type this blog, I am actually sitting in my very own studio gulping down a protein shake (insert "OM" here).
How did it happen? Well that's a good question because it happened in one just one week, (well sort of...).
For two years, I lived across the street from a beautiful two-storey building that stood out from all the Starbucks and big box condos that swallow up downtown Toronto. Ever since its doors opened, I have dreamed of opening a studio on the second level. It was the perfect space, high ceilings, freshly painted white walls, hardwood floors and wall sized windows.The light warms up the wood during the day and casts perfect shadows against the walls at night. I loved the space, but I didn't have the courage, the money, the know-how or the energy to invest in it.
As time went on, I watched from afar as other yogis were brave enough to take over the space. Signs went up and soon went down. I couldn't bare to go inside and take a class. It was like watching my boyfriend date another girl. I just wanted to avoid the interaction altogether. It may sound ridiculous but for whatever reason, I always felt like I was supposed to be there. At times, I even found myself taking alternate routes home so I didn't have to see the windows filled with someone else's logo.
By sheer serendipity, the owners of the building became regular yoga students of mine and the studio was available. We crafted brilliant plans to open the studio in August of 2013. But, as fate would have it, the building was scheduled to be demolished in September to make way for a new condo development. So, there was no point in opening up for one month. Feeling quashed, I devoured my "cure-all treats" gum balls and Camino chocolate. I swallowed them whole and convinced myself to let go and move on.
Nearly five months later, the building was still standing. The demolition was pushed back to late 2014. So, opportunity arose again. It was New Year's Day and I had to make a decision. Do I live my life wondering or do I simply go for it? While sitting on the couch watching X-Men for the 100th time with my boyfriend and three-month-old puppy, I turned to Eddie and simply said "I am going to open this studio." His eyes glued to the 55-inch high def TV, he glanced over at me and said "Good job babe. You will be great. Now, watch this is the best part of the movie with Wolverine."
So, it was done. Now I just had to work out a contract, set up a schedule, make the space zen, buy props, set up marketing and figure out how to run a studio. No big deal, right?
Fast forward to January 11 -- the contract was signed and I figured that one week should be enough time to open up this studio. I announced on every social media site that the grand opening was January 18.
Sounds scary, but ironically everything just started to fall into place. A long lost cousin from Vegas happened to be in Toronto for the next month and quickly became the most supportive and reliable friend I could have ever asked for. My friends' sweet daughter quickly became my loyal assistant. My girlfriend joined me on all day shopping trips to Home Depot. My boyfriend delivered fresh lunches on days when we couldn't leave the studio. Local artists and photographers proudly decorated the walls with their beautiful work.
In one week, we did it. No one got paid. No one slept. From mopping the floors to hanging signs, we are proud owners of a beautiful studio in the heart of downtown Toronto. We opened as planned with over 40 people showing up for the first class.
In one week, my friends and I opened a yoga studio. Just two weeks ago, most of these people were virtual strangers and now they are my closest friends. The universe works in magical and surprising ways.
Now that I am done writing this blog, I am going to sit in the studio and feel the warmth of the sun shine on the hardwood floors. I am eternally grateful.
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