You Belong Here – no place like hOMe
A new city, a new job, a new living situation, and last but not least… a new yoga studio. If you’ve ever moved cities, you’ve been through this before. At first, things are really exciting as you tread new streets in search of your favorite local spots, meet fresh new faces, and consider the possibilities that this new home holds for you, but then after some time, it hits you. You’re tired. Tired from the constant drain of “newness”. The networking, the growing, the lack of familiarity while you do it all. When does this place start to feel like home? You miss your old house and your go-to hometown bar where the bartender knew your name and your drink order. You miss your friends and your family, and the fact that your parents’ house was just a five-minute drive away whenever you just needed to hang with them. You miss your… yoga studio.
When I moved to the Denver area, I bought a passbook for a certain large yoga company and I ended up only going to one class. The whole vibe of the place made me feel icky, and more alone than I felt before I walked in the door. This is not the case for everyone, and I’m sure I just caught them on a bad day, but needless to say, I didn’t return. Not just to that studio, I didn’t return to yoga. I put off finding a new yoga studio for two years because I couldn’t bear to have that kind of experience again, especially during the vulnerability of navigating life in a new city.
One day, sitting in anxiety from doing almost no physical or mindful activity in two years, I realized it was time to find myself a new hOMe, but I was terrified to subject myself to city yoga culture again. That’s when Outlaw Yoga Littleton came to my rescue. I had seen the studio multiple times while walking Main Street in downtown Littleton, and they were the first to come to mind when I finally decided to get back on my mat. I couldn’t be more happy that they happened to be at the forefront of my mind for my second try at doing yoga in the city.
I walked into the Outlaw studio for my first class, which was to be taught by Carly Sawyer. As I did, I was greeted enthusiastically, given a big hug, and asked how my day was, as if we were old friends catching up. “What is happening?”, repeated in my head. I immediately forgot about my anxiety surrounding my Target brand yoga mat and the fact that I hadn’t bought new yoga clothes in two or three years. No judgment here. After I got a rundown of how the space works, I set up my mat in an empty studio (I’m a chronically early person) and waited quietly as other students filtered in the door. First, a big, tall guy in a band tee and sweats. Then, a petite, clean cut girl, wearing matching active wear. Then, one person after another, each unique, with their own style, own shape and size and choice of clothing, all presenting a healthy range of different haircuts, tattoos and piercings. Not a yoga clone in sight, and not a single person unwilling to introduce themselves to the new yogi they’ve never seen before.
Before class started, the noise in the studio surpassed the noise I’ve heard in any other yoga studio. Upbeat music was playing, but at times was drowned out by the noise of people talking and laughing with each other as they got to know one another, or caught each other up on their weekend activities. As a mainly introverted person, I typically struggle to navigate the types of situations where everybody is talking to one another and I’m the new person in the room, but at Outlaw this was simply a non-issue. Each time I found myself alone on my mat while others conversed, someone was there, either starting a new conversation with me or incorporating me into one they were already having. No cliques. No outsiders. Just Outlaws.
For the next hour, we breathed, moved, sweat and laughed. All together. Jokes were cracked as we all grimaced in discomfort in what felt like the longest thunderbolt pose of my life. We sighed, and WOO-HOO’d and made light of difficult situations. All together, with no one left out, no one questioning their belonging. Not even the new yogi with the cheap mat and holes in her yoga pants. Finally. I was hOMe.
The more time I spend at Outlaw Yoga, the more I wish the entire world had the opportunity to be part of something like this, to feel the deep comfort of acceptance and non-judgement. Outlaw Yoga is a place for everyone. A place you can go when you don’t know where else to go. A home away from home. A family when you need one the most. A place where you can be you. No conditions. No ifs, ands, or buts. You belong here.
If you are looking for a place to call hOMe – come to the Outlaw Yoga Littleton Open house this weekend (January 24-26). All of our regularly scheduled classes are FREE, and Outlaw Yoga creator Justin Kaliszewski is offering a couple cool workshops that are part of the open house too. You must pre-register as space is limited – reserve your spot HERE.
Prezley Shry is fueled by many passions – chief among them is writing, signature cocktails, and yoga. Yoga keeps her grounded as she navigates her current roles in life. Her intention is to bring this same grounding to her students through a dynamic practice that is both bold and peaceful, disciplined and fun. Meet her on your mat to find balance and push your limits at the same time. She’ll be so glad if you show up! Follow her on Instagram at @yogi_prez, and check out some of her other writing at hollyhockyoga.com