As I contemplated writing this blog in celebration of Luna Yoga's 15 year anniversary I asked myself, "How can I put into words what Luna Yoga means to me and to so many others?" Just like the practice and experience of Yoga itself, it's difficult to describe and is better to be experienced first hand... But I'll do my best!
I first came to the studio in 2009 I believe, while I was working at lululemon. A co-worker, Marie-Claire, brought me to Luna Yoga, saying I absolutely had to try a Jivamukti class. (Of course my reaction, as I've since experienced many others have was, "Jiva-what?") I immediately fell in love! Though I lived and worked in Pointe-Claire at the time, I would take public transportation all the way to the Old Port (about an hour commute) every Friday just to take Jenn's noon class.
It was on my first yoga retreat with Jenn and Bram that I seriously began contemplating becoming a yoga teacher. I remember speaking to Jenn about it saying, "I think I want to do the Jivamukti training, but I'm not sure if it's because I love Jivamukti, or because I love you!" Jenn encouraged me to practice with Sharon and David, the co-founders of the Jivamukti style, to see if their teachings resonated with me. And of course, they did!
It really is thanks to the support of Jenn, Jason and the studio that I made it to Jivamukti training at all. 7:30am donation classes were added to the schedule on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and the proceeds went to a scholarship to help me pay part of my tuition. Jenn read all my required essays before I submitted them. Before I left for the month-long training she reassured me, "You're in a good place in your life for this right now. You're ready!" Her confidence in my capabilities really bolstered my self-esteem. Since the beginning she has always been there cheering me on, supporting my growth as a teacher and as a person.
I remember getting back from the training and teaching my first trial class at the studio. Bram was in the class, in order to later give Jenn feedback on how I did. (Talk about nerve-racking!) But as anyone who has ever taught at the studio can attest to, the students were all gracious and encouraging. You can really feel them rooting for you and see them smiling at you, seeing you in the best light! The community that Luna Yoga has brought together is truly one where you can feel the love, right as you step in the door.
Since then I've gone on to teach sections of the Luna Yoga Teacher Training, pass the Jivamukti Advanced certification exam, become the studio manager, mentor the Jivamukti training and co-lead my first yoga retreat abroad (something that had been a goal of mine for some time), just to name a few accomplishments that I am proud of! And truly, at the root of all of them, is that Luna love.
If I had to (attempt) to define it it would be:
Luna love ळुन ळोव्
n. Unconditional support from a community of like-minded individuals, whose purpose is to uplift others, encourage them in achieving their goals and celebrate their accomplishments
I am so thankful to Jenn, Jason and the Luna Yoga community, for creating a space that truly feels like a second home to so many. Every day I walk in to the studio I am filled with joy and gratitude. Here's to many, many, many more years of spreading the Luna love!