StamYo shares a dumpster with some local restaurants—and we might just hold the record for grossest, smelliest dumpster of all time ever. And I could see broken glass in there so I was even more reluctant to climb in. Also, I was wearing flip-flops.
"Do you have a business partner?"
As I go on and on (and on) about the yoga studio that I'm opening this April in Stamford, CT, I keep getting asked that question. And it's logical because I keep saying things like, "We really want to bring the teachings of yoga to a diverse community," or, "We plan to offer a lot of Basic classes."
So I keep having to say,"No, I don't have a business partner. It's just me."
(I usually don't add that for the last four months that "just me" has meant a whole lot of solitary time spent at home in front of the computer—usually whilst clad in my bathrobe—as a construction crew builds a shiny new yoga studio.)
"Who's we?" my husband asked the other night, as I "we'd" him for the tenth time.
Until people started asking, I hadn't even realized that I was saying "we". It's a little embarrassing; as though I've been busted being grandiose, using the royal we.
But from its inception as an idea, I've thought of StamYo as a "we"
And I've had so much help: help from the friend who's mentored me through a crash course in yoga studio ownership; help from the friend who doggedly helped me find the perfect location smack in the center of downtown Stamford; help from the friend who plunked her entire mailing list down onto the table when we sat down to have coffee; help from my parents who sewed like they were working in a sweatshop to craft 25 eye pillows filled with lavender and 50 sand bags for restorative yoga; help from the friend who showed up to park herself at the reception desk yesterday during the photo shoot for the website; help from the photographer and models extraordinaire; help from my friends at lululemon who showed up like spandex clad angels to dress the models; help from the friend who offered an impromptu blessing that made me cry; help from everyone who has shared on social media, made introductions, and gotten the word out.
Everywhere I've turned, I've had help, help, help.
Picking up the keys last Monday was a turning point. StamYo is no longer just something I'm envisioning as I sit in my kitchen and crunch numbers. (An exercise that requires a calculator, gluten-free cookies, and half a box of tissues.) It has become a brick and mortar reality, where I can invite dear friends and new friends.
No yoga center revolves around a single person. So at risk of sounding like Queen Elizabeth, I will continue to speak of Stamford Yoga Center as "we," not "me". It's my great hope that Stamford Yoga Center will be, in the words of my friend Mary Mojo, a beacon in the neighborhood, and that those who teach yoga and practice yoga at Stamford Yoga Center won't think of it as my place but as our place.
It's not that our StamYo team is so spiritually enlightened that we're somehow above feeling the pressure to pray at the altar of skinniness. But we are committed to practice not buying into the narrative that anyone's inherent worth lies in physical beauty, or that physical beauty is defined by what we see on magazine covers.