As I sat poised to write this story, I was bit lost and without words. How do I properly capture the journey of a Canadian girl who settles into a new community in a foreign country and then decides to open a yoga studio? Where do I begin? And the only way I can get from there to here is to start at the beginning.
My story is not so uncommon. Woman meets man. They fall in love. They get married and move to a small city to start a life together. In between these life events, women builds a personal fitness business. This was the start of what led me to the beaches of Tulum. Fast forward to a divorce (amicable), the shift towards yoga, becoming certified to teach and hosting a yoga retreat in Tulum. (Not particularly in that order) This was the start of the next chapter in my story.
That trip to Tulum changed everything for me. The moment I stepped onto the beach and took a deep breath, I knew I had come home. And not home, as in the ‘I found my physical home’ kind of home. More like a home-coming with my spiritual body as the host.
That week was a game changer. I taught. I laughed. I cried. I learned and let go and then went home, forever changed, as many of us do that spend time here.
Fast forward to my divorce, the decision to make a change in my life and leave Canada to explore my options. The yoga side of my business had started to become stronger and I knew it was time to shift away from personal training business. My body needed this and my soul craved it. Because in between the pages of my story, I’d stressed myself to the point of becoming ill and my body shutting down. And, as many women do, I kept quiet. I smiled my way through painful workouts with clients, dragged myself out of bed each morning and tried to make the best of it. Until it got the best of me. It was time to take back my life and make a change.
I made my way to Tulum via motorhome (we’ll save that craziness for another chapter) with the intention of only staying a couple of months. Those months morphed into a year and I found myself with the burning question of “what next?”. Where do I go from here? Or do I want to stay?
The answer was, I see now, already there. I just wasn’t aware of it yet. I was actually on the verge of heading west to Puerto Escondido when a ‘for rent’ sign went up on the now yoga studio windows. I would ride by each day and each day that space spoke to me of possibility, opportunity and community. And then one day I rode by on my usual route home after teaching at the beach and the sign was gone! I had rode past longingly staring up at the space for 2 months. And just as I had made the decision to find out about the space, it was gone. And I had no one to blame but myself. Fate had stepped in and made that move for me. (well played, fate!) I had been ‘Tulumed’, as we like to say.
Feelings of frustration and anxiety swept through my body. We’d made the decision to stay and plant roots and a part of that decision was to open a yoga studio in town. I’d been teaching at studios on the beach road and was actually offered a space to rent, but it didn’t feel right to open something so close to places I’d been teaching at. Town felt right to me and so did that space.
Some sleuthing, a bit of patience and many phone calls later led to a signed of a lease at the end the summer 2013. And then the work began. Walls had to be constructed. Fans and electrical taken care of. New paint and recycled crates for props. A trip home brought curtains and yoga mats and all that other good stuff…
And then the rains started. Week after week of heavy rains. Leaks in the floor to ceiling windows. And after the last coat of paint went up, work came to a halt. We had so much rain that the building couldn’t drain fast enough. It had made its way in between the inside and outside main wall until it filled and had no where to go but through the wall itself. We walked in the next day to find the walls crying. Rivers of fresh paint pouring like mini waterfalls down the newly painted walls.
And then the sun came out. And the waiting game began. We needed to wait for the rains to stop and things to dry before builders were able to get in and drain the walls while resealing the building roof and windows. A month later, we were back on track and ready to open! And open we did!
In December 2014, we celebrated our one year anniversary. In that time, teachers have come and gone. Travelers have passed through the doors, leaving their sweat and smiles as parting gifts. Locals have made the studio a space to connect, unwind and find strength or re-energize. And as we approached that one year mark, the studio transformed. New logo, fresh new design, signs and splash of color. And now we complete that transformation with the launch of our new website.
It’s been a year of growth and laughter and frustrations and even some tears. This experience has forever changed me, as have the amazing people that have passed through our doors. We’ve got an amazing group of teachers and support staff now that feel like a family. And I feel an incredible sense of gratitude for this. It’s been a hard year filled with as many steps backwards as there’s been forward, but I now finally feel like I’m home…
Yoga Dicha Studio owner
Do you have a dream you’ve been holding on to? I’d love to hear from you. Or if you’ve been to the studio, let us know how we did. We love to hear from our yogis!