August 14 | The Lifestyle |
This post was written by Jenna Reddington, South Loop Studio Manager.
I love re-tracing my steps in those “pinch-me” moments that pop up in life. How did I wind up here? What happened for this moment to exist?
As I embark on the final steps in planning one of my first yoga retreats, it’s a hard and fast realization that YogaSix has been such a catalyst in these bigger life endeavors off of the mat. Had I not seen a Facebook ad for YogaSix, I never would have auditioned (so maybe I have Mark Zuckerberg to thank?). Had I not seen one of my favorite yoga teachers sitting in the room for auditions, Jenny Kaufman, I probably wouldn’t have stayed. Had I not been encouraged to apply for a management position when it opened up, I probably wouldn’t have met my good friend Deirdre, who now happens to be co-leading this retreat with me. Had I not answered the phone when Deirdre called me out of the blue one day (after she had moved to Michigan), I wouldn’t be sitting here now, planning this epic adventure, the Fall Northern Michigan Escape.
I sought out YogaSix when I was looking for a change in my yoga career. I didn’t know at the time what I was looking for, but I knew my soul was searching for a deeper connection – somewhere, somehow. When I met the Director of Programming, Katie Brauer, I was simultaneously skeptical and intrigued. Who was this woman who was an Olympic snowboarder? Why was she pushing me to my limits and challenging me to my core? What could I gain from this company? Turns out, a whole lot.
Managing YogaSix South Loop has taught me a lifetime of skills in an incredibly short amount of time. I have learned what it is like to run a business, work with amazing women day in and day out, plan large-scale events, manage other human beings, tighten a shower door handle, clean a front-load washing machine with vinegar, replace the battery to an ADT alarm system (a battery that’s about the size of my head). These skills have ranged from tactical to practical and everything in between. But more than anything, I have learned that I am capable, which is a huge realization for me. In retrospect, I now see how much I doubted myself in my 10-year yoga teaching journey. How I never felt worthy or confident or believed that I could step up to my dreams and actually live them. Working for this company has allowed for this large-scale realization and has built the confidence I needed to move forward in life.
Leading a yoga retreat has been a huge bullet point on my career to-do list that has been docked to the bottom every year. Yet with the encouragement of my former co-worker and the belief instilled in me from working at YogaSix, I finally found the drive to make this dream a reality. On September 28, I am heading to Northern Michigan to lead a three-day fitness, yoga, and culinary retreat. A weekend that unites all of my passions into one fun-filled, adventurous getaway. We will be practicing yoga, hiking up the greatest sand dune of your life, tasting Michigan wine, soaking up the smells of sandy pines, kayaking freshwater lakes, tasting farm-to-table Midwestern meals, and creating friendships and memories with all those who choose to attend.
Being on a yoga retreat gives you a full opportunity to immerse yourself in your practice, in the relationship you have with your teacher, in your surroundings, and with one another. It takes on a whole new feel for your practice. Instead of rolling into class with a minute to spare, sweating it out for an hour and then hopping back into the bustle of city-living, you have an opportunity to truly retreat. To take a step back and notice your body and your breath on a deeper level. To listen in to your inner dialogue and take note of what nature actually sounds like. You have an opportunity to indulge all of your senses (quite literally on this retreat!) and find a child-like sense of wonder and awe.
I am thrilled to lead this retreat and hope it is the first of many. If you are longing for physical adventure, untouched Midwestern beauty, an air of curiosity, the scent of a campfire, the sound of laughter, that “pinch-me” moment that makes you realize how alive you are, then I invite you to join me on this weekend journey and together we can celebrate growth, connection, and the value of our dreams.