Tula's Main Focus will not be Yoga

What? Who ever heard of a yoga studio that doesn't focus on yoga? Well, Tula is that studio and I'll tell you why.

I'll be the first to tell you that I don't know that much about the history and traditions of yoga. I have never been to India, studied with gurus or even know of many yoga 'masters'. I do know that I love yoga and what it has brought to my life. I believe that yoga goes much further than just the asanas (poses) and physical exercise. It is a way to find balance, connect with others and bring a sense of calm to our often hectic, impersonal and stressful lives. I love the feeling of calm you get during savasana (the final resting pose) and what I like to call getting 'yoga-stoned'. After leaving my mat, I take this sense of calm into my life. I have much more patience with my children. Stressful things or events can more easily be put into perspective and brushed off. The world just seems like a calmer and kinder place. Many will say that yoga has a spiritual aspect for them. For me, it is much simpler than trying to connect with a higher power or finding life's meaning. It is a way to balance out my life, connect with others, breathe and to focus on myself.

Yoga has been around for thousands of years, there are so many different versions and styles of yoga, it's mind-boggling! Practices in the US differ from other countries. Practice can differ just based on an instructor's personality! Tula will focus on the benefits of yoga that go beyond just the poses. And through this focus, I believe that you will find that you will advance your actual yoga practice much quicker than with just focusing on getting the poses 'right'.

Don't get me wrong. I will hire amazing, high quality instructors that will help you to learn proper alignment and breathing techniques, but we will also be offering a bit more. The 'bit more' will be the studio's main focus.

Tula will focus on having fun (because I believe that if you don't think it's fun, you won't do it). Tula will routinely combine yoga with music, food, and other fun things to liven up a practice. Tula will focus on connecting people with each other (otherwise you would be doing yoga at home on a DVD). Tula will focus on creating an environment where everyone feels welcome and no one is ever intimidated or left out. Tula will never take ourselves or our practice too seriously. Tula will always have a sense of humor. Tula will embrace the wobbly tree pose, the inflexible backbends, the modified side-plank poses. Tula will focus on eliminating the fear that grips us all when we are in these poses of not being good enough, of not belonging, of not being strong enough or not flexible enough. Often, it is when this fear subsides, when we feel calm, when we are among friends and when we smile and laugh at ourselves, that we find we can do these poses quite easily and that's when you begin to truly advance your practice.

I know that my decision on not to focus on the yoga is probably not the easiest route to take with the studio. I could just focus on yoga, how to properly do yoga poses and shuffle people in and out of the doors. But I want to do a little bit more. I want people to truly find the benefits of yoga beyond the physical exercise. Even if it is only in our little Logan Square neighborhood.