Sunday, March 13, 2011

Inspecting Yoga in Lansing: Plan B


After settling into our apartment in Lansing and getting the internet connected, I immediately began doing research on yoga facilities in the area. There are a lot of great options to choose from. Based on website class descriptions, cost and yoga teacher biographies, I chose Hilltop Yoga. My first class was a Yoga Basics class in Haslett. I don't remember who taught it but I remember my hips feeling better and my soul feeling more connected to my body. I immediately signed up for the $30 for 30 days of yoga beginner deal.

I went to a class every other day in Haslett, not realizing that the studio in Old Town was actually closer to my apartment. It took me a long time to muster up the courage to try a class in Old Town! The space is welcoming but it also felt intimidating because Haslett had become familiar. Class every other day really whipped my muscles into shape -  I was sore on the days between and felt my muscles and tendons stretching. It was wonderful.

Luckily, I got a job as a recruiter within these 30 days...but I was also sad because the deal had ended and money was (and still is) tight. I joined Fitness USA because the gym fee is only $20/month and they have a pool, hot tub, dry heat room and steam room. I started a small home practice every few days. I went without yoga classes for a few weeks. My hips went back to hurting from sitting on my butt in a computer chair 6+ hours a day. I gained 5 lbs within the first two months of the new job. In addition to cardio at the gym, I needed my yoga.
I went back and started attending the free and $5 classes at Hilltop Yoga whenever I could. I took advantage of the incredible open house weekend (free yoga for 3 days straight!). My hips didn't hurt and I felt so much better. Through Hilltop Yoga I met incredible teachers, including Belinda. I started networking in Lansing and adding local folks to Facebook. That is how I found out about Just B Yoga, Belinda's brain and soul child. Just B Yoga is a donation-based, community-driven studio in REO Town. Working up the courage to try something new in a new space and in an area of town I had never been to before...I came to her free community class one Wednesday night.

Loved it. Loved the people, the joy, the carefree and easy going attitudes, the music and vibe of the room. Because Just B Yoga is donation based, it was affordable for me to go to classes at both that studio and at Hilltop Yoga. The entire group was welcoming and had all different levels of yoga students. There were people who had never touched a yoga mat before and those that looked like they had been practicing for a decade or more. Belinda was able to teach the class to all levels without making anyone feel uncomfortable or nervous about not being able to do a tough pose. It was wonderful.

Being friends with Belinda on Facebook led me to notice that she is a very busy woman! One night after class I asked if I could help her with anything. I was volunteering with Habitat Lansing and the Grand River Connection, but I still had spare time to donate. I have yet to ask what she thought about that offer, but, she took me up on it within the week! Weeks of brainstorming, marketing, writing, and oh yeah...more brainstorming, led to me needing a title. People would question my affiliation with Just B Yoga in the Twitterverse and in email communications. I asked Belinda for some kind of a title...and she came up with Promotions Manager. 

So, there you have it, from zero to Just B Yoga Promotions Manager. Ta da. Now to see where this winding path is taking me. I don't know where I'm going but I do know I'm going down this road with eyes and heart wide open, and my cup empty.

my new business cards!


  1. I like the informal style of your destiny story. "Plan B" Ha! love it.

    I didn't realize your hips were paining you so much between Yoga classes. I remember the first incident where you started having pain, but I didn't realize it was coming back. A yoga instructor once told me that chairs were the doom of modern civilization.

  2. hah glad you liked the Plan B twist :)

    When I first had my hip troubles (right hip joint), I cried it hurt so much. It hurt to walk. It hurt to squat down in my garden and pull the weeds threatening my thai basil, cucumbers, cilantro, carrots, and lettuce. Oh it made me cry on so many levels to not give the love to my garden because of my hip.

    They still don't know what happened or caused it but I'm pretty sure the elliptical and lack of care for myself and sitting in a damn chair all day long...caused it. And y'know, the fact that I've kept that chakra nice and tight for so many years. Oye ve.

    I like that statement about chairs. I think it is true.

  3. What a great post. I really enjoyed it and feel the same way about JustB! I feel like I finally have a yoga home...the other day I was talking to someone and said 'my yoga studio' casually and I paused. Then I realized, yeah it is- it's all of our studio. This is something special and I am so grateful to Belinda, to you, and to all of the teachers and students at JustB. Here's to an awesome yoga journey.

  4. I love that so much, Tiffany! I'm grateful to YOU for making the sangha so much more awesome and special. I feel completely blessed and blissed to have Just B Yoga and B in my life. Insanely awesome and unexpected.

    Cheers to the awesome yoga journey!