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  • Writer's pictureAmy Sosne

Isn’t it Ironic?

After the building inspector deemed that the second floor space, where all our hard work had gone into painting, changing the lights, and prepping the space to be zen and peaceful, could not be used just three days before opening day, I went into a wave of panic.

Yes, isn’t it ironic, that opening a “yoga studio” a place to retreat, relieve tension, and leave outside worries and anxieties outside those sacred doors, could cause so much panic? Over the next two days leading up to the big, March 31st date (big in my head at least), I was lucky to have people paint and recreate the upstairs space downstairs. At noon on Friday, everything (and there is so much when kids yoga is involved too!) was in the studio, but in mayhem! With a four year-old toddler off on spring break from school, panic set in. Could this really be as organized and exactly how I wanted it to look in the morning?

And…that’s when I took a step back. I am opening Smalltown Yoga Studio. My main purpose is to provide stress relief, wellness, movement, strength, and confidence in a non-judgmental space. So what that the trash can in the bathroom is not exactly the right size because the upstairs’ space bathroom is bigger. So what that every toy is not exactly in place in the correct bins that I have set up for our fun, silly kids classes. As my husband continually paid attention to minute details (after all he was the great overseer of the operation), I finally said; “Stop, you’re making me crazy. It doesn’t matter. You can practice yoga on the grass in the middle of the field without a yoga mat or in the snow with gloves on.” My experience and stress involved in learning and launching a website and having my business online, social media, and talking with representatives made me think how ironic it is that opening up a yoga studio could cause so much stress.

Then, I read an article that was published based on a university study in Great Britain where faculty that were assigned to practice in at least one yoga class during lunch hour for 6 weeks along with being given a 35 minute yoga DVD to practice at home versus the placebo group (no yoga). It should be noted that the individuals in this study had little to no experience with practicing yoga and that the type of yoga they were being taught involved breathing exercises, flow movement, standing postures, and 10 minutes of relaxation. The results showed that the yoga group felt significantly less anxious, confused, depressed, tired, had a greater sense of self-purpose and satisfaction, along with being more self-confident in stressful situations. It would be safe to conclude that these employees reentered their jobs in the afternoon and were more productive and had a better sense of well-being.

It is at this point, that I must give a shout out to Williams College Wellness for offering their 12-1 yoga classes to their faculty and staff and recreational members. As a Williams alumni (’05) and current Williamstown resident, I’m proud that our community has emphasized the role of wellness and health.

Now, back to my stressing out in the studio over the size of the garbage can and the alignment of the cow picture hanging in the studio. Here I was creating a space that was supposed to destress, promote health, relieve tension, and promote healthy movement and activity and I WAS STRESSED. MY workspace was stressing me out…that made no sense to me. The picture may be a little crooked and the garbage can may be a little big for the bathroom, but there is no judgment, because I am lucky. My workspace is a haven and a no-judgment, no-stress zone. My workspace is the refuge from need to stress the small stuff!

Hartfiel, N., Havenhand, J., Khalsa, S., Clarke, G., & Krayer, A. (2011). The effectiveness of yoga for the improvement of well-being and resilience to stress in the workplace. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, 37(1), 70-76. Retrieved from

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