Yesterday we attended a tantric yoga class in Akumal, Mexico. Located just north of the more popular Tulum, Akumal is hardly a yogi destination - in fact no one could tell us for sure where to go. We arrived early to the hotel that advertised the class and began to ask around. Reception told us outside, who told us across the path who told us to ask at the restaurant, where, finally, a waiter - who really seemed to know - told us that yoga had moved 10 minutes down the road.
Following his hand drawn map, we sped down the highway and up a rocky dirt road into a complex of houses in the jungle, where a man - who really seemed to know - directed us to a promising house with a big yoga flag out front.
Our hopes were dashed as the instructor’s husband sleepily tumbled outside and stared at us blankly. Our fortunes soon changed as he instructed us to hop back in the car and follow him in his pickup...right back to the same hotel where our journey began. He pointed to a room 20 meters from reception, with a small group already in downward dog.
We had never been to a tantric yoga class. For me, tantra evoked images of Sting and prolonged sex. This class banished that concept. Our teacher led us through a mixture of deep breathing, sustained poses and energy work with a recurring theme of inviting change. The power of transformation lies at the heart of this practice, and this class resonated deeply with both Saskia and I.
If you are reading this, you probably know that our company is in the midst of profound change. Not so long ago, we worked out of the hallway in our apartment and spent most weekends hauling tables in and out of our car at markets far and wide. Our operations were basic and most everything was held together with duct tape and good intentions. This fall - only weeks from now - we open not one, but two storefronts: one at our studio in Industry City, Brooklyn, and the other in Grand Central Terminal. Our staff is made up of kind, talented, motivated and creative people who have not only helped us get here, but have pushed us to always do better. We now have a fancy-shmancy operations manual (thank you Keisha!) that describes how to do everything we do and brand guidelines (thank you Yuki and Dom!) that makes sure we stay on track.
Embracing change and allowing transformation. It sounds so easy - like becoming a butterfly. Well have you ever opened a chrysalis?
Perhaps you have gone through something similar. For us this transformation took years and pushed us well out of our comfort zones. Saskia has learned to say what she wants and not fear success. I always struggle with impatience, but have come to accept that everything takes time. Together we have (almost) learned to calm our shared financial anxiety for us and our kids.
We have not yet arrived at our final destination - probably never will - but this process has taught us to stay true to ourselves, keep trying to let go of fear, and embrace what comes. We’ve come a long way and each step is just a bit easier.