I began the journey of my own yoga studio to cultivate a community that I could give back what yoga gave to me. Empowerment and a lifetime practice. The idea of conquering fear and connecting to life by tapping into your inner power. What better way to do this than teaching others how to empower their own lives through power yoga. Not watching a video of what others could accomplish in their bodies but truly connecting to what their bodies had to offer.Connecting mind, body and soul. As my teachers of influence [Baron Baptiste and DesiraePierce] gave me the insight and encouragement to “practice with inquiry”, I wanted others to know that yoga was for everyone and could be a practice for life. Other influential gurus, such as David Swenson allowed me to also know that with discipline can be practiced with “fun”.There is a lightness to coming into a studio knowing that you were going to absolutely have your ass handed to you but it would be FUN.

Me, My Mat, and I was created and opened Oct of 2016 and has since been a yoga home to many teachers, students and events. We have laughed together, played together, said farewells, welcomed and celebrated new life all together. It has been the greatest joy to have a place to go where everybody knows your name and keeps you accountable in a healthy way and yes, at times like the 80’s sitcom Cheers, we would happily indulge in fermented fruit.

As the owner, I have the greatest responsibilities, burdens and sacrifices. However, I did it all with the intentions of sustaining a community that would thrive in their practice because yoga was for everyone and everyone was welcomed. Yoga was not for the wealthy or those who can afford it, it is for all people, all cultures and all sizes. Despite, the cost or overhead we remained consistent with our prices and offered cold fruit and cold oiled rags at the end of each class.

No one could have seen COVID-19 coming. No one could see the end of what we knew as our normality gone. Loss of jobs meant the loss of memberships; the beginning of virtual classes; meant the loss of our ability to connect in the way that we once did, but it also meant the ability for members who left to join in again. Because once part of our tribe always a part of our tribe. However, the loss of income and the inability to pay teachers because our space had to be paid for even though we could not use it became the heaviest burden to bare.

My TEAM!! Oh my goodness, my team of teachers that were the most unified team to ever exist offered to teach for free to keep our yoga home open. I am in debt to them emotionally, physically and financially. We offered free classes to the community while on lockdown so that others would know the studio that we were and the community that existed with the wonderful teachers that we had in place. In the meantime I applied for all loans and grants that there was to apply for but to no avail there was nothing and no explanation as to why.

Here we are, a little over a month into opening and there is no loan or grant in sight. There is no rent abatement or for that matter anything in a Texas lease that offers force majeure. I am no longer able to make the sacrifices because there isn’t anything left to sacrifice. I thought if I kept the faith it would all work out but the truth is, there is no way to sustain the over head under the circumstances that we are in and to keep everyone healthy and safe. So while this may all seem like I should serve some cheese with the bitter cheap “whine” above [because our community understands fermented fruit] I say it all to say that I am grateful for every moment I had to share the power of yoga with all of you and I truly hope to do so again when and if the time is right. Regrettably we must close the doors to our yoga home. We will still have our mindbody app and will teach virtually as well as in open spaces when available and allowed.You will be notified of our pop ups via the mindbody contact information or via social media. If you choose to remain a part of our tribe you may do so by committing to our unlimited virtual classes. This will help us to maintain our website and platform in the hopes of reviving our studio location at some point in the future. I will continue to give my time when I can and do the best I can to maintain our community.

To Betty, June, Jess and Andrea thank you for sticking it out till the very bitter end. Thank youDon and Kym for teaching and keeping your classes with our community. They do this from the kindness of their hearts as neither of us are financially compensated, it is simply because community connection is priceless.

To our members: We could not have existed without you. We would not have grown and found our niche without you. You have taught us so much and given much to us all. Thank you for the countless hours of support, encouragement, cleaning, volunteering, sharing and BE-ING that you have offered to us and to each other. I will miss each and every one of you as I called you by name when you entered my class or the studio. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the Yama and the Niyama.

Continue to be committed to this journey. Do not let it fall short. Use all that you have been taught, know and learned to be the best physical you that you are; to live your best life as you know how. Stay in inquiry and be of power always. We hope you will continue on with us or to see you on the next journey and the journeys to come.

Attalie Santiago E-RYT

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