Closing and Opening Doors by Lisa Dawn Angerame

What Happens When You Have To Close Your Studio?

Two years ago we opened a small yoga studio, Project: Yoga in Northport village on Long Island. Yesterday, we closed it.We opened our studio because we come to this part of Long Island every weekend. My husband and I both practice and teach in the style of Jivamukti and we spent the first year we lived here looking around town trying to find yoga classes that resonated with us. When we still hadn’t found anything, my husband said, “Why don’t we rent a space in town. You teach one day and I will teach the other and we’ll see what happens.”

I thought it was a great idea. Our son had just turned 1, and he was asleep or hanging out in our carrier. We signed a lease, fixed up the space, and painted it a bright yellow. We created an alter, hung up a huge fabric painting of Ganesh, bought mats, blankets, blocks, and straps, installed a fantastic sound system, and updated our website. Ready to go!

Over these last two years, over one hundred students came through our doors. Our core students would come on and off throughout, with travel, parties and life presenting obstacles to their weekend morning practice. In the meantime, our son grew up. He started to crawl, talk, and walk. Everyone knew that he was part of the scene and this was a space for our family to teach and practice. Sometime the students would bring their own children to hang out with our son, and it was chaotic and brilliant at the same time. Eventually our son started to assist, mostly child’s pose and neck rubs in savasana.

Our lease was coming up for renewal and we knew we had a decision to make. Our son is now 3 and very energetic. Getting him to sit for 90 minutes while we taught and practiced was getting more and more challenging and so we made the decision to close our doors.

It was not an easy decision but ultimately the right one for us. After the email announcement went out, the notes starting coming in with the most beautiful and heartfelt words.

But, as they say, when one door closes, another opens. We have been invited by one of our students to teach once a month at her studio in Huntington and to another student’s house to teach in her sunroom. And so, the opportunity to teach and serve on this path, a joyous and fulfilling job, will continue.

It is from these moments in life, the ones that seem difficult at the time, the ones that create tumult and confusion, that we learn the most. For all of us involved, teachers and students alike, it is the understanding and acceptance of impermanence that is the key to happiness in life. And that yoga is bigger than a physical space. It is a path to freedom that can be practiced anywhere, anytime.

–Lisa Dawn Angerame

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