The house took on a certain charm in the twilight. Which was fortunate, because that was when the cars carrying people from the suburbs came to our yoga classes. We worried that they would judge our house as unworthy, when we knew they drove to us from mansions. But they thought it quaint, even a bit new age, to do yoga in our little fibro house.
We built a pergola on the tiny front veranda. The do-it-yourself leaflet from Bunnings gave you all the instructions, and we borrowed a ladder from next door. It stopped the rain saturating people’s shoes. They may have been less generous in their opinions if they came out of class to put on soggy shoes. Behind the house was a caravan. Not the modern, tow it behind your four wheel drive kind of caravan. A little two room van that had seen better days, but was up for the challenge of serving as our kitchen.
The caravan was a necessity. One day I came home to find that Deb and her dad had ripped out our kitchen to make enough space for more students. The kitchen had had the unfortunate luck to be adjoined to our yoga studio, and only separated by a material curtain on a rod. So it was only a matter of time before the growing numbers of students pushed expanded into this space. To make dinner, we trudged out to our little van, a vinyl annex on its side, and pretended we really didn’t mind, and that it was all a bit of fun. My daughter would sit out there doing her homework, removed from the necessity to constantly speak in whispers so the students wouldn’t be disturbed, and feel like it was her own special space.
When it rained, the water would flow down the hill so fast, it would carry mud with it and deposit it at the back door, between the caravan and the house. The trick was to walk carefully so as not to slip, (in the process getting wet), then wash your feet in a tub in the laundry, and towel off your hair. A short detour through the bathroom (with a quick check in the mirror to make sure your hair wasn’t sticking up) into the yoga room gave you enough time to compose yourself as though you has just wandered in from another room. Calmness and serenity was maintained at all times. Even the day the caravan flooded, and the night I burnt the dinner, and the time I slipped over in the mud, landing on my butt with a resultant bruise for a week.
The bathroom became the place the yoga props were stored. So students collected bolsters from our bathtub, and blocks from the shelf behind the door. It was only a problem when we needed to use the bathroom, and that was just a minor hiccup that a little planning could avoid.
My yoga room was my massage space whenever there were no yoga classes happening, or the 'office' in which Deb and I discussed our business plan, and worked out the next step. It was pretty tricky running yoga classes with a young child, but most of the yoga students thought Jess was cute, especially when she came to class and showed off her yoga poses. Luckily we had Deb's parents next door, and they often took Jess out for dinner, or to swimming lessons, so that we could run the classes.
Looking back on it now, although those were difficult times, they were a time of enormous learning and growth, in which we learned not only how to run a yoga studio, but began the model of individual programs that works so well today.