It was so exciting! We were a couple of months away from completing our Yoga Teacher Training. Soon we would be able to go out and share our yoga in our respective communities. But wait – three of us lived within a three mile radius of each other, in a relatively small community of 12,000 that already had three yoga instructors. Would the Oxford Hills community support an influx of three new yoga instructors? After seven months of supporting each other, would we now have to compete against each other?
Rather than the wait and see approach, we began to hatch a plan. First, we discussed pooling our resources for marketing – making flyers, posters together, etc. Next, we decided to work together in securing a place to provide each of our respective classes. It appeared that we were collaborating, so we decided it was time to have a meeting and start to map out a plan of how our collaboration would work. First item of business – a name. The first few ideas fell flat. Then Oxford Hills Yoga? Boring. O.H. Yoga? No. OH Yoga? Hmmm. OH! Yoga? Not quite. OH Yoga!? Yes, that’s it! We had a name – OH Yoga!
On June 3, 2012, we offered our first OH Yoga! Community Class. Over 40 people braved the flooding rains and arrived at the Center for Movement and Meditation to practice with all three of us. From there we continued offering our own perspective classes in the space – still collaborating and supporting each other as much as possible.
It was all going so well! Then along came my opportunity to open Posabilities in my own space. (See my blog – The Path to Posabilities) Once again it appeared that we were faced with a decision – compete or collaborate? If I moved to the new space would Kathryn and Katey join me, or would I have to make a split from OH Yoga!? There were lots of questions. If we all made the move would we still be OH Yoga! or would we all become Posabilities? Would we be able to offer a studio experience, or would we operate independently in the space offering our own classes? If OH Yoga! continued what would that look like? Many questions, a few answers, quite a few unknowns, all balanced by a strong bond of mutual trust and respect. We were going to make the move together! Classes would be offered by Posabilities, but they would be designated as OH Yoga! classes to distinguish them from other classes that might be offered in the space. .
We have now been offering OH Yoga! classes at Posabilities for four months. In that time, we have grown – we have increased from three instructors to four instructors (Welcome Julie!), our classes have grown, and we continue to add new classes. But it has not been a process without challenges. Yeah, you may be thinking, “Come on – four yoga instructors – it must be all peace and love – what challenges?” Well, yes there is plenty of peace and love, but at the same time I have learned that, as yoga instructors, we have an incredibly strong sense of self and that which we hold true for ourselves. I have also learned that those truths do not always conform to each other. Uh oh, does that mean that our truths, ideas, and desires sometimes, dare I say, compete? Yup, the other C word. So, here’s the thing. I did a little research and found that the Latin roots of compete are com- together + petere to seek. The Latin root of collaborate is collabōrāre – to work together. (www.thefreedictionary.com/collaborate) When we find that we have competing ideas within our group we seek and work together to achieve a solution that honors each of our truths. Usually the end solutions are much better as a result of the competitive and collaborative processes. That, I believe, is the key to our continuing evolution as instructors, as OH Yoga!, and as the greater Posabilities community. The question is not “compete or collaborate”; the question is how to balance collaboration and competition. After all, Yoga is all about balance, isn’t it?
Out beyond ideas of right doing and wrong doing, there is a field.
I’ll meet you there. ~ Rumi
Please join us for our 2nd annual OH Yoga! community class @ Posabilities, this Friday, June 7, 2013 – 5:30-6:30.
For more information, click here.
Katey Hawes, owner and founder of Posabilities, Inc.., is a physical therapist, registered yoga teacher, and yoga therapist.