Connections on the mat

When my husband and I moved here just about two years ago from South Florida, we know no one. I went from being surrounded by family and friends, weekends slammed full of activity, always having somewhere to be to all of a sudden the extreme opposite. I was lonely, homesick, and unemployed for the first time in my adult life. I came into PoYO for the first time October 19th 2015 for Tricia's Rock Your Core class and began my intro month. After introducing ourselves in the lobby, Tricia said my name outloud in class in regards to a cue she called out in a pose and I remember my entire face flushing. I took a short hiatus from PoYO to try out the other studios in town, and inevitably had to come back to PoYO. I needed to be somewhere I believed I could make friends. I joined the Karma crew, and in January was invited to do the 40 days program. Chrissy, one of the teachers in training, introduced herself to me during an exercise when we had to introduce ourselves to someone new, then she sat down next to me and chatted for the rest of the time (even when we weren't supposed to be chatting, whoops), and thus, my first real Santa Barbara friend was made. Also during 40 days, I met the wonderful Sarah Meyer who invited me the following Tuesday to a dinner party at her house. She was also new to town and wanted to have people over so she could get to know people. I prepared for the dinner party like you'd prepare for your high school yearbook photos; I changed about 10 times and worried if people would like me or not, and wouldn't you know it? The rest is history. Sarah, Chrissy and I signed up for a triathlon together, trained together, and conquered it together this summer, and that original spark all came thanks to PoYO.Since January of 2016, I'd say 95% of the friends I've made in my new home are all thanks to the studio. The wonderful individuals that walk through the door help cultivate our community. Adrienne and Tricia have this friendly & inviting vibe to them, and after all, they do say your vibe attracts your tribe. I figured my new friendships couldn't be a coincidence, so I started to dig around and see if anyone else was making meaningful life connections on their mats!It didn't take long for me to find out that my own cousin met her husband at a yoga class;" My husband Walter and I met at a Bikram Yoga studio in 2013. We followed the same class schedule so we would see each other several times a week. It’s safe to say that we bonded over half-moon pose. One day after class, he approached me and we started talking. I didn’t think a relationship would bloom because I didn’t look particularly attractive at the end of a 90 minute class in a 105 degree room. However, after several weeks of small talk, he asked me if I wanted to have dinner over the weekend. We went on our first date and really enjoyed each other’s company. We eventually started dating and got married a year and a half later in January of 2015. In April of 2016, we welcomed Abby, our baby girl. When people ask me how my husband and I met, they always say that Walter’s a smart man, the ratio of women to men in a Bikram yoga class is definitely at a man’s advantage. I’m glad his smarts led him to yoga and that we’ve started our little family."At PoYO, we LOVE to have our students interact with each other during class, constantly encouraging the class to scoot their mats closer together is common place and Poyo, and it pays off according to Brianna;" We met in a yoga class at Power of Your Om in October of 2014. During downward dog, we were instructed to lift a leg, and I kicked Curt in the head. Hard. I murmured a quick "sorry" and continued the class. After savasana, I felt it was necessary to apologize again. Curt responded, "It's okay. It will make a great story for our grandkids one day. We started dating, and, on a hike in the Santa Barbara hills this summer, we got engaged!"Chances are, if you're walking through our doors and into the sunny studio, you've got a lot more in common than first meets the eye.. just ask Ellie and one of her closest friends (and fellow PoYOer) Kelsey;"Kelsey and I first met during the 40 personal revolution program back in January. We paired up and agreed to be each others accountability buddies. I can’t exactly what we were holding each other accountable for tho. If I were to venture a guess it would be less time on social media and letting go of things I can’t control. We both did a spectacular job of holding each other accountable and become closer friends chatting between yoga classes and after meetings. The night we truly connected was actually outside of the studio... at the James Joyce . There had been several times I wanted to invite Kelsey out for drinks but that didn’t seem to mesh with our previous connection which was all very namaste, haha. When we saw each other we gave each other a big hug and she shared with me that she had wanted to invite me out but wasn’t sure if that’s something I would be into. We laughed at our mutual desire to want to spend more time Together and at our mutual fear of sharing ‘a different side’ of ourselves than that we had shared in the studio. After that we started hanging out a lot more, and not just at the yoga studio. She has become a friend whom I can go to for a good time out, a heart to heart or just real sweaty with in class."Michelle Belko and Rachel found each other on their mats, too;"A few years ago I met my soulmate in a Valentine's Day yoga class. It's hard to ignore that fate brought us together that day.  Both of us reluctantly found ourselves walking alone into a special Vino and Vinyasa class. As the only single people there we ended up next to each other, our pools of sweat joining together hinting at how our souls would soon be intertwined. After class when all the couples sat down together, naturally we began talking. We joked about yoga pick up lines. She dared me to drink wine with my toes and I did. It was instant connection and the rest is history. Michelle and I became the best of friends that night. In all seriousness, both found a friendship that our lives in Santa Barbara had been lacking. Since that night we've spent many hours  next to each other on our yoga mats, taking road trips, and sharing our biggest dreams and fears.

The PoYo community brought me my best friend, and I couldn't be more grateful. "

Each time we have our students introduce themselves before class, or when we used quirky icebreakers, its all a means of finding connection. We want you to know that you are all seen, we notice when you come, we want to know your names, and we want you to talk to each other before and after class. Have YOU met someone special in your life on your mat?

Sabrina Ladd