Submitted by megan on Fri, 07/31/2009 - 16:36
By the time Mike finished his pre-class spiel, almost everyone in the room had sniffled or wiped away a tear or blinked their eyes at the ceiling. He talked about how Santosha Centretown started, how he'd started in yoga, what practising has done for him, how wonderful the current space was. The peacefulness particularly of the room we were in. How nice it was. How sad it was the space was closing.*
My very first class at Santosha was with Mike on November 27, 2007. I'd been doing yoga for about a year and a half (starting at Rama Lotus with the awesome Jamine), but Ashtanga was a new kind of yoga for me, which was the main reason for switching. I also wanted to do lunchtime classes in the hopes that they'd be smaller and that the before and after would be less stressful than it had been at Rama Lotus.
The first few ashtanga classes kicked my ass. But I loved them and knew I was hooked in pretty short order. I bought a cheapie unlimited pass and started going pretty regularly.
Three weeks after my first class, Eric dumped me.
How did I survive? By going slightly off the rails and doing yoga 5 or 6 times a week most weeks.
At Santosha. In the small room full of light and green plants and kindness.
Where either people did not notice, or were kind enough to pretend not to notice, that I was crying through many of my postures, that I sometimes left class for several minutes, coming back from the bathroom with bloodshot eyes.
Dayby day, month by month, I got better. Physically, yes, more able to follow my breath, more of my hand on the floor each time I bent over. But mostly in my head and my heart. I breathed and I healed with the unknowing support of the teachers and the students. And the space. That room itself came to be a place where I could pay attention and soothe what needed soothing. To learn when to push myself and when to be kind.
I went often enough for enough months that people started to talk to me. Joke me up a little. I stopped taking my membership card because all the teachers and staff came to know me by name and would have me down before I could hand it over. I got to know people's names. Everyone seemed really nice.
There's more lead up than this, more politics, but I don't know them and I don't want to. All I know is that a few weeks ago, Elena mentioned that the studio would be moving, they had a new place on Elgin. And then two weeks ago, the notice went up. Closed August 1st. Reopening sometime in the fall.
It's like someone cut my mooring rope. I know it's just a place and that there are lots of nice places. And that there are lots of nice people. And that wherever I end up, I'll probably see lots of them again. And that whatever happens, it will be what it will be, and that will be okay.
After class today, I sat on the toilet, put my face in my hands and silently sobbed again. For the last time. And that made me cry harder.
I am one of those vascular white people who cannot hide their feelings. When I get angry, the blood blossoms in jagged petals over my chest and neck. When I cry even a little, the tears scrawl themselves in hot rough patches over my face. My nose swells and turns bright red. The rims of my eyes turn puffy pink.
When I came out of the bathroom, lots of people patted my arm and told me it was okay. I hung around a bit more, not wanting to leave, for it to be really over. E. said she'd see me at the store. Scott said that we'd all pop up in each other's lives again. Adele gave me a hug and said that now she'd have to have another party.
I know this community is contingent, that we will move into and out of each other's lives. Aside from yoga, I actually can't tell you how much we have in common, because I don't know: it's almost all we talk about. But they have helped me shape who I am becoming. Have helped me start healing old wounds just by breathing beside me. Have told me that I actually can do what I think I cannot.
Too, I know that a room is, in the end, just 6 flat surfaces and air. But oh. Losing a place you feel safe and a group of people who support you, it is a hard thing.
Is worth mourning.
*Moving apparently, and re-opening, though we don't know to where or when.