For over a decade, I have been practicing yoga in the different places that I have lived and traveled. Any time I relocated, I would search for a studio or two that I could use to settle back into my practice and find community.
In 2017, I moved to Cape Ann and started attending some local yoga classes twice a week.
Two of the teachers, whom I particularly enjoyed, would always say that they also teach at Treetop Yoga in Gloucester. I thought, “I don’t know if I am ready to start over again, but, I really like the way they teach.” Then January came along. “New year, new me!” as the saying goes. Treetop was offering their usual new student special and I was feeling particularly stagnant and ready to try something new.
I gave it a try - Monday morning vinyasa flow. I was hooked! I hadn’t felt that energized, challenged, and satisfied in a long, long time! I came back again, and again and again, and by the end of my new student month I did not hesitate to take on a regular membership. I started attending 3 - 4 days a week, and even signed up for their teacher training program.
With each instructor, I learned new techniques, new perspectives, and new challenges. I could feel myself morphing into the type of yogi I should have been a long time ago! And while the style of classes and level of expertise were the dominant force of this shift, the warm and welcoming spirit of the studio as a whole was what completed the package. I didn’t feel like a stranger. I didn’t feel like a newbie. I felt like I came home.
Let me preface the next paragraph with this: we are lovingly spoiled at Treetop for whom we have as teachers, mentors, illuminators, and friends.
When I travel, I try to visit other studios. I like to experience new perspectives, new energies, new voices, and new spaces. My expectations were especially high in places like NYC, and Chicago, yet often times those expectations can let us down. When I would finish the practice, I wouldn’t feel like I got a “WOW” class in the same way I was WOW’d throughout my whole first month at Treetop! The flow maybe felt choppy, or not challenging, or the energy of the room did not feel connected. I didn’t leave class feeling yoga-stoned. More like yoga-annoyed, sometimes! You know what I’m talking about… when you are trying to be all peaceful and accepting, but you keep saying, “what the *#&@ was that?” Maybe this is partly due to my own issues of attachment and stories I tell myself of what to expect? Mm, probably. But also, maybe, it’s because there’s no place like home at the top of the tree.