Friday, January 19, 2018

Changes and Transitions

It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye today to Equinox, my home of 13 years. I had hoped for a different outcome, but this decision was not entirely in my hands.

Very few people know this, but in my days before yoga, when I was new to the country, I worked for a bakery, behind the counter, selling bread and pastries. After a few years I became a manager. While working for this bakery my passion for yoga was ignited, and I decided to take a yoga teacher training. Through the grace of miracles or coincidences I was given a chance to teach at Crunch in Miami. The manager who hired me has since passed away. I have fond memories of teaching at Crunch and I made wonderful friendships there.

Then a new company came to town, Equinox. Many of my friends went from Crunch to Equinox, excited about this new company that had mouth wash and clean towels and beautiful aesthetics and flower arrangements. I couldn’t teach at Equinox in South Beach because it was a conflict of interest (I had to learn and be reminded over the years what that meant, exactly) when they first opened because I worked for Crunch. But when Equinox Coral Gables opened, someone gave me a chance and I took it. My classes began to grow in numbers, and when the amount of classes I was teaching were bringing in about the same income as the bakery, I let go of the bakery.

I remember the fear mixed with excitement I felt that day. Things took off from there. Much of my career as a yoga teacher has developed in Equinox classes in Miami and New York. I have been back and forth between these two cities, and I remain humbled from the love I have received from my Equinox family all through these 13 years, in both states.

At one point in NYC, I was teaching more than 30 classes per week for Equinox (if you’re a teacher, you’ll understand how thinly stretched I was by that). But it was through really devoting myself to my students at Equinox that I earned a space in their hearts, and certain clubs became like my second home. My Sunday morning class at 74th Street became affectionately known as “Yoga Church,” and would often pack in more than 80 people, mats one inch apart, in a sweaty, joyful flow.

Equinox has opened doors for me that I didn’t know existed. I used to sell croissants and baguettes, and now — fast forward a few years — I am a full time teacher who leads international retreats, workshops, teacher trainings. I’m even taking baby steps into a more therapeutic approach to yoga and working to bring the benefits of yoga to communities in need by building new partnerships.

Through Equinox I learned discipline, how to get things done through hard work, and I would not give up that experience for anything. In my classes I have been exposed to a variety of people and characters and friends that I could never have imagined. I am eternally grateful to the many people in Equinox who gave me opportunities, and helped me along the way. I am not mentioning anyone. There are so many names that deserve to be called out in appreciation that I choose not to mention anyone and remember everyone — the ones who are still present, and those who unexpectedly left this world too soon.

After a rocky 2017, the death of my mom, and so many other events that have occurred, life is encouraging me to make some changes. And like previous times in my life, with change comes some fear, sadness, and anxiety. But I can’t ignore the calling that I feel, and I have made a commitment to myself that I won’t make decisions based on fear.

I am eternally grateful to the many faces who have filled my Equinox classes over the years. You have no idea how much your devotion to your practice has meant to me. I am also thankful to all the employees and managers behind the scenes who made my experience in this company truly remarkable on this 13-year ride. My doors and my heart will always remain open to you.

Most of all, I will miss my students at Equinox. I really wish that it didn’t have to be this way. But I am sure that our yoga paths will continue to cross in the future, in other ways. I am excited about the wonderful projects taking shape in 2018. I am looking at life with excitement, and I am open and ready for what’s next.

With love to you all,

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