Yoga Diary: Trading Spaces


By Janine Kozanda  |  

Closed. Space for Lease. The signs hung in the window of the dark, empty yoga studio that had been home to my practice for four years. No warning. No hint of the financial troubles of the owners. The studio shut its doors overnight, scattering a community of students and teachers. What would become of my practice now, without the physical space that housed it?

After my shock subsided, I asked the universe for guidance. The response was clear. Try every studio in the area. Reach out and take every class you can. The practice of your past will not be the practice of your future.

I’d been a devoted Ashtanga student, but with the studio’s closure, Ashtanga Yoga was no longer available in my town. I had to open up to other styles of yoga, a choice I wouldn’t have made for myself. I’ve since tried Bikram and vinyasa flow. Still ahead: Iyengar and Anusara. I’ve learned more than new asanas. I’ve learned that the true practice is within, that you can be happy and stagnant at the same time, and that you can turn away from new possibilities without realizing it.

A door closes; many others open. Students and teachers from the old studio reconnect in new places and in new ways. I miss my former studio, but since its closing, my practice has expanded exponentially—and along with it, my perception of myself as a yoga student and as an individual in the world.