Two years ago, I opened the door to my brick and mortar business as it stands today. Three months prior to that, I had stood in the middle of the wide open and somewhat forgotten space, took a deep breath and chanted AUM three times. As the sound echoed in the vast and empty space, I took a deep breath, signed the lease, and committed to the location and the manifestation process.
I had a rough draft of my business plan laid out with costs and projections, I had a template for classes and offerings with catchy titles and descriptions, and I had a list of cohorts that I couldn’t wait to showcase in the space and have work along side of myself. I had a logo, a website was in the works and a vision of the design theme planned for the space floated in my mind. Plus, I had collected team of experts in their own craft that had agreed to help me bring my vision to life.
My husband and Jack-Of-All-Trades Scott, brother-in-law Neil and I did the majority of demo smashing up floor tile, ripping out bathroom vanities and sinks, hauling old toilets and smashing urinals. Prior to Aumbience, the space was home to a few other businesses, namely BD Coopers bar/lounge and Chucky’s Country Club – I think that’s what they were called. Anyway, before the yoga studio, the space had a very different look and feel to it. There were Budweiser posters of half naked men on the ceiling in the women’s washroom, dirty footprints in the shower stall, nasty (and I mean NASTY) things left disposed in the waste bins, and an almost empty mickey of Jack Daniels hidden behind the urinal wall. We ripped up old disgusting carpet, shattered remnants of two-way mirrors, pulled down old lighting and heat radiation, and smashed out an old safe that once housed god knows what valuables in the office space which now serves as our blissfully and relaxing treatment room.
After the first of many, and I mean MANY, clean ups, my husband and his partner in crime Peter, who just also happens to be master carpenter, set to work on the construct. For the better part of seven weeks, these two worked side by side building walls and installing drywall, windows and lighting. They put in toilets and sinks, built vanities, doors and wall treatments. Before long the floor was going down and the trim was going up. Recruiting my parents, my sisters, step kids and other extended family and friends, we scrubbed, painted, scrubbed, painted and scrubbed again until 7-weeks later the studio doors opened for the first class.
I remember so vividly the rollercoaster of emotions that coursed through me those last few days before opening. I had been promoting the opening as much as I knew how to and all the checks and balances were in accord. I was a wash of anxiety and excitement which had my armpits sweating, my heart palpitating and my mind was a whir those last few hours before guiding my first practice. I worried if anyone would show up questioning whether this going to be an epic chapter in my life or an absolute bust?
There are a number of reasons why I decided to open Aumbience Yoga & Wellness where I did and when I did so. But the primary reason is that I wanted to share in the rich teachings and practices of Yoga & Ayurveda that have helped me uncover and diocypher more about myself than I ever considered possible. I wanted to create a space where people could celebrate the milestones, co-create with like-minded specialists and be greeted with a smile as I met new and reconnected with friends. I wanted a space where people felt safe to share in the tragedies, heartaches and disappointments that are guaruanteed to happen as all of life unfolds. I wanted to be able to share my experiences and how I’ve been able to move through them largely because these practices I have repeatedly returned to have kept me rooted in the here and now so that perhaps someone else might benefit from a life of health and healing.
I’m not sure where the past twenty four months have gone but they are, as they say, in the books. And with much of the last 14+ months filled with uncertainty, anxiety and fear as we all navigate this global pandemic, these last two years have also been a most incredible journey of community, friendship, support and togetherness, even when 6’ apart.
To all of you who practice with me – thank you. Your presence and energy are a most incredible gift to be in the presence of.
To all of you waiting to practice with me when the studio safely reopen – I’ll be here, ready and waiting, when you are ready to walk in the door.
To the skillful practitioners and specialists who co-create along with me – your faith and inspiration have been the catalysts to my own endeavours.
To the teachers who share their love for this practice and expertly guide classes in the studio week after week – there are no words that accurately express the gratitude I have for what you bring into the studio. Your commitment, your energy, your inspiration and your selves are all deeply, and humbly, appreciated and admired.
As we say in Sanskrit, ‘JAI!’ May the next 20+ years have us all share in good health, lots of happiness and victorious walking through all of life’s challenges.