This weekend marked the First Anniversary of the opening of Sweet Serenity Yoga and Wellness! As I write this, I cannot believe how quickly this year has flown by!

This has been a remarkable year for us, and I am so thrilled to be growing this beautiful community! I am filled to the brim with gratitude that we were able to build this beautiful studio and incredibly thankful that we have brought together such a dedicated and gifted “Sweet Serenity family” – both staff and students!

When I decided to embark on this new phase of my life a year and a half ago, I knew it’d be a life-changing event. Leaving behind my former life as a Hairstylist in the film industry (after an on the job career ending injury) and opening my very own unique Yoga studio was a GIANT leap. I remember all the planning that went into it: writing a 36page loan worthy business plan, plotting renovations, hiring a great staff of instructors, building a website and marketing, ordering supplies, preparing the space, developing the class formats and schedules; the list goes on. Yet even as I made all these plans, I did not fully comprehend at that time what would transpire over the next year.

What happened through the span of SSYW’s first year is that I met some of the most amazing people in my life. People whom I would never have had the opportunity to meet before walked through our doors and tried yoga for the first time. Many students came to SSYW a little bit curious about yoga; many having never done any yoga at all. Some had read about it, a handful followed a favorite teacher or had just moved into the area, and several were encouraged by their healthcare practitioners. We have watched our students grow this year, and many of them are members with consistent practices who feel stronger in body and mind because of it. These students come from all walks of life, with varied and fascinating backgrounds, and I look forward to seeing them and catching up on what is happening in their lives. Whether brand new to yoga or a long-term yogi, we are so thrilled to see people progressing their wellbeing and finding more peace and joy in their lives. Isn’t that what it’s all about?!?!

I have witnessed the strain on the faces of many students as they first enter the doors from a crazy day filled with stressful obligations; only to see them leave after an hour class smiling once again. It was/is very important to me to create a friendly, safe, and supportive environment. I love working with my mom Tove, Sha-nnon, and Ashley at the front desk and how they too enjoy getting to know our students and nurture this sense of community. Many of you have shared your love of yoga and brought family members to join you; mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, sisters, girlfriends, buddies, and more! I think the fact that so many students come with someone they care about helps them build consistency in their practice. I love the fact that our cooperative of students is friendly, that people have a sense of humor, and that they genuinely enjoy sharing connections. There is also a powerful dynamic in exercising in a group – I love the energy! And, did you ever notice how much further and deeper you go in your practice when surrounded by people you enjoy and respect?

I have had fun planning and designing the class programs and workshop and I am pleased with the variety and range of great classes that we offer. I enjoy putting together workshops that allow people to learn something new. In our first year, we have had some diverse and interesting ones ranging from Beginner’s Yoga, Paint N’ Sip, Cat Yoga, Moon Circles, and NamaSlay! I’m continually working on new workshop ideas and look forward to what year two will bring.

Most of all though, I feel truly blessed! I am so lucky to be waking up every day to do something that I love. Glad to have incredible students walk in the door each day. Grateful to have the support of an amazing husband, family, and friends who have encouraged me on my new journey.  Appreciative of having a great staff of instructors, practitioners, and front desk staff who put their heart and soul into this amazing space and have helped SSYW become a success.

I send out a big thank you to each of you who have supported SSYW in its first year! If you haven’t had a chance to try a class or workshop yet, come give us a try! Check out one of our fun yoga, barre, fitness classes or workshops and join our growing community of amazing students.

Come on in, feel the positive vibes, and be welcomed “home.” You will gain strength, flexibility, balance, Serenity, and a sense of belonging.

Onward to Year two!!!

~Saprema – Jenine