Today, after two months of exploring options that eventually turned out to be dead-ends, Abbey and I finally selected the space we intend to convert into a yoga studio.
Opening and running a studio of our own was a possibility that we’d both created after doing a yoga teacher training last May. Like all cautious dreamers, we’d pegged the realization of this particular vision at a comfortable distance of five years into the future. Then a completely casual remark made to the mother of a very good friend two months later catapulted what was supposed to be a possibility for the future into an opportunity in the present. Now, four months later, we’ve sent our requirements to our architect and interior designer and we’re scheduling dates in the calendar for the million-and-one things that go hand in hand with establishing a business that occupies an actual physical space.
To be honest, we could have started as early as a month—or even two months—ago, given all the work Abbey had already done on the registration papers and the business plan and the work we’d both done on the studio’s corporate identity. In the end, what took us both so long was an attachment to how big the studio was supposed to be and how it was supposed to look (to make a potentially lengthy description short, I’ll just say that we wanted it VERY BIG and VERY, VERY, VERY BEAUTIFUL).
Then our first trip to our teacher Editha’s shala in Quezon City changed all that. Located on the fourth floor of an unprepossessing walk-up close to the ABS-CBN studios, it’s a tiny, austere little space equipped with one toilet, one shower, a small pile of mats and a modest altar. But as soon as Editha enters the space, the Spartan functionality of the place stops mattering entirely. Even the constant din of traffic and construction from the streets below recedes from consciousness.
After that first visit, Abbey and I realized that we could say goodbye (at least for now) to the vision of steel and glass and greenery that had originally inspired us. As important as aesthetics is, it can’t and shouldn’t pre-empt an emphasis on what matters most, which is simply love for one’s chosen discipline and passion for sharing it with others.
And no, Abbey and I haven’t surrendered our commitment to making our studio a beautiful space—we’ve simply revised our criteria of the things that make a space beautiful. And spending a whole lot of money is no longer one of them.