4 years ago we opened the doors to Sound Method for our first class in our new little studio. After having juggled several jobs as an independant yoga teacher and self employed musician with the demands of being the single parent of two small children; it was more than I ever could have hoped for. I was newly married to my husband Matt and opening the doors to my students for that first class was truly a dream come true. I felt like a kid playing store! With a real store and all the scariness that comes with it. What I wanted, the reason I took on all that risk? To put down roots, to have a place I could call my own, to take care of my students and to be creative. Wow, have I ever gotten that, and so much more. I never ever imagined that the roots of our little place could run so deep. I never fathomed that SMY could do so much good.
I know that many of you have jobs, or unfortunately home lives, that bring you into contact with pettiness and greed and toxicity. I know that your environment sometimes makes it hard to have healthy habits and positive interactions. I know this! I’ve seen it when I teach yoga for a day in a corporate setting – The outside SMY world is not nearly as kind as the inside SMY world. Walking into Sound Method is often the part of the day that you look forward to most. It’s the “me” time where the emails and the piling up laundry can’t get to you. It’s the place where you see your friends and be in the present moment.
I see the best of people every day. I witness daily how our students and teachers care for one another, reserve judgement, support even strangers. Somehow that big risk 4 years ago has created for me, and for many of you, a sanctuary. I know that I live an incredibly blessed life.
Over the years I’ve noticed that I/we can be a positive force in our community as Sound Method. For all the reasons that it’s good for small businesses to thrive, yes, but so much more than that. I’ve seen your grace, your compassion, your stumbles and successes. For all that you are as an individual I have learned that collectively we are even more. Though not one of us is perfect, we can be and are a force for wellness, sanity and boundaries in our community. Just making the choice to show up to a yoga class is an powerful message: “I will take care of myself first. I will support you in caring for YOURSELF as well”.
Sometimes the work we do at SMY seems so insignificant. It’s just yoga classes right? But then you write me a note or catch me after class to tell me that you feel better, that you are cultivating solutions to problems in your life with this new information you have. That you have hope and some control. It never occurred to me 4 years ago that our little studio could be a place that creates jobs, introduces friends, provides real and lasting healing. Then as now I show up to teach yoga but mostly to practice yoga in this role. You see, I am learning to take care of myself too, and it does me good to see you doing the same.
About the Author: Mandy Ryle is the owner and founder of Sound Method. Though she has 2 of her own children and a step-son, Sound Method is like another child to her. Demanding but lovable. Like being a mother, it is her life’s work.