Happy New Year Yoga Belly!

January 1, 2013 / Aaron

Happy New Year Yoga Belly,

I have sat down to kick off the New Year with a blog giving my final thoughts for 2012 and my hopes and wishes for 2013 with inspirational words of encouragement about 10 times in the last 5 days. Words have not come easily for me over the course of the last week mostly due to the fact that I was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy right after Christmas.

I will pause to explain this part of the story before I get to my true intention for reaching out to you today. William and I had decided to not exchange X-mas gifts and instead go on a shopping spree after Christmas for clothes and things that we wanted. When we got to the mall as we were walking around I noticed that my lips were numb and I had a feeling that I needed to sit down before I fell down. Something wasn’t right. I apologized and asked William if he would mind if we just went home so that I could rest. Next day i woke up and my eyebrow wouldn't move and my smile was crooked. After my mini-panic of OMG, I am having a stroke and telling William that I think I need to go into the hospital, I went to the doctor to be diagnosed with Bell's Palsy and they immediately started me on a strong steroid and anti-virals to kill the virus that had begun to attack the facial nerve on the right side of my face. There is an 80% chance of a full recovery as long as the diagnosis is correct. I should know more in a few weeks until then I am taking it day by day and smiling out the side of my mouth and raising my eyebrow like "The Rock" with little effort.

So back to my final thoughts on 2012 and my writers block. Have you ever taken massive amounts of steroids for days upon end? There is a rage sizzling below the surface that could just run, scream, cry, laugh all in one outburst....

So I will try not to be dramatic when I say that 2012 was a magical year for William and I. We made our move to Mountain View to be closer to the studio and our YB Family. We focused on growth for the studio in expanding our line-up with diverse instructors (which included myself for a brief period of time.) We challenged you in May with the 30 Day Challenge and crowned our first ever Co-Winners of the competition Stan and Ann. We had our first ever Teacher Training lead by the amazing Edna and fabulous William. We threw parties at the studio where we danced, sang karaoke and we went to outdoor volleyball for the 2nd year anniversary. We went out and about with you and did Aerial Yoga and Stand Up Paddle Board. We added Yoga Tune-Up to the schedule. We hung out and had a good time at Happy Hour, Hot Babes luncheons and after classes. William and I set the intention for 2012 to focus on our community and strive to bring people together and have an amazing time while practicing the best Power Yoga.

I think this is what sets Yoga Belly apart from other Yoga spots and we will continue to hang out creating amazing memories on and off the mat in 2013. As for 2013 William and I have been spending the last week talking about what we want to see more of in 2013 and what we are going to bring fresh to the table. We both agree that Yoga Belly is not your traditional yoga studio and we will continue to bring you our brand of "Light on Tradition, Heavy on Workout" but we want to step up our game with Workshops and Trainings that stimulate your practice and bring awareness to the mat in a way that you have not experienced before. This is a challenge due in part to the strong practitioners that we have at the studio all the way down to the newbies. There has to be something for eveyone to keep them intrigued and stimulated. I have spent a month or so focusing on creating a leadership team in the studio that will focus on specific areas of stimulation. We are going to have another Teacher Training beginning in February by Mama Edna and Papa Will, Jeff Lang will be stepping up to lead our Workshop strategy and bringing in Top Talent / Fresh New Events to keep you educated and taking it to the next level. Matt Sharpe will be leading our next Retreat and taking more of a leadership role in the studio in the new year just to name a few. You'll see challenges, some familar and some new, with prizes in the coming year. Lots of opportunites to hang out and laugh together as we strive to make 2013 even more amazing than the previous. I dont want to share everything that we have planned because I want to keep some things as a surprise but I want you to know we are plottting and scheming to make your Yoga fantasys come true this year.

We love you and wish the best for you in the coming year. Thank you for being a part of the Yoga Belly Family.