Today I was honored as a finalist in the First Annual Colorado Leading Lady Awards.   As I sat in that room full of over 150 women entrepreneurs and their families and friends, I was filled with gratitude and awe.  Awe at how far we have come as women, and gratitude for all the people that help us everyday to go farther. And gratitude to have work that I love, a family that I love, and some time to enjoy them both.

When my grandmother Myrm was alive, her career aspirations were considered to be trivial at best, and a betrayal of her marriage and family at worst.  The next generation had their pick of “appropriate” jobs for women: Secretary, Teacher, Nurse,  and maybe Cleaning Lady.  After that, a generation of women stormed into the corporate world, guns blazing, blasting through all the glass ceilings they could.  And following that war zone, a few women started to voice their desires to be mothers, to be home makers, to be stay at home moms, or Work at home moms… So now,

we have this phenomenal choice…to be moms, to be business owners, to be all of it.

To create the work we want, in the way we want it.   Today, women are not just “allowed” to work, but often encouraged and needed to work.  Women are a vital, essential part of the workforce and our economy, not just in war time, or down times, but for all time.  I am grateful to the women who carved the way so that I can get up each day and create my business in a way that serves women, and mothers, and my family at the same time.

When I opened the first Yo Mama Yoga in Santa Monica, it was out of necessity.  I couldn’t stand being told by one more Yoga studio owner that my students’ strollers were “in the way,”  or that the cheerios were making a mess on the studio floor, or that the pregnant women needed to stop chatting so much after class and clear out so the “power flow” class could begin on time.  I wanted to create a space for moms in the spirit of what moms were all about.  I wanted a studio that greets the frazzled late-comer with spit up all over her shirt,  and welcomes her with warmth and acknowledgement that she made it at all!  I wanted a center that incorporates nursing, diaper changes, tears and meltdowns into the yoga.  I wanted a studio that understands that sometimes the conversation after a yoga class is more important than the class itself.

Because let’s face it, moms and moms-to-be need a moment of zen more than anyone.

I am so grateful to have been able to realize this dream, first in Santa Monica, and now in my home town of beautiful Boulder, CO.  I am grateful to my mother for the $2000.00 loan that started it all.  I am grateful to my husband, who helped me paint my first studio on our second date, and continues to infuse the business with his huge heart.  I am grateful to my sister, for her inspiring pregnancy and birth, and for the constant joy I receive from seeing her raise her sweet amazing son (known to the family yoga class as Michael Jackson because of his ongoing Halloween costume).  I am grateful to my best friend Dawnia for her constant support and being on the other end of way too many meltdown phone calls.  I am grateful to all of my teachers and coaches who have guided me towards my higher truth, and my path of heart.  I am also deeply grateful to my amazing team:  Kelly, Amanda, Brittney,  and all the teachers and practioners at Yo Mama that make it all happen.

Finally, I am grateful to all the women who have walked through the doors of Yo Mama Yoga and into my life.

Through you all, I have been so inspired and so filled with awe.  I have gotten to share in the joys:  The moment a woman conceives after trying for so long, the moment a woman faces her fears to give birth powerfully, the moment a mom and dad meet their new baby, the moment a mom finally gets a baby to latch on to breastfeed, against all odds, and of course, that holy grail of motherhood, the moment a baby sleeps through the night!  I have witnessed the strength of single moms, the many different kinds of families forging their way, and the sweet faces of so many babies!

I have also shared the depth of the  losses along the way, and the heartbreaking, winding path that motherhood can take.  I have seen a woman continue to come to prenatal yoga week after week out of pure intention, struggling to get pregnant, and then struggling to keep those pregnancies, and I have shared in her triumph to finally hold her sweet babe in her arms.  I have seen the woman who chooses to adopt discovering that love goes way beyond biology.  And I have seen the mother open her heart again after a devastating loss, and welcome a new baby into her heart.

And through all of this, I have also gotten to share my own journey.

My struggle to find the right partner, my struggle to accept the transition to being a mother, my struggle to balance the business, my new sweet little man, and my own mind amidst it all.  In yoga last week I taught a pose in the Mommy and Me class, we call “the one armed warrior.”  The moms hold babies in one arm and do warrior with the other.  And that is what we are.  WE are warriors.  WE can do more with one arm, and half of our brain power, in the two hour time period when our babies are sleeping, than many people can do in a week.

Thank you so much for sharing your journeys, your babies, and your stories with me.   It is my goal that Yo Mama be way more than a yoga studio.  It is a home for you, to bring it all, the good, the bad, the exhausted, and the exhilarated.  To be celebrated and empowered as the women warriors that we are, choosing each day to show up for our children and ourselves and co-create a life that is focused on what is good, what is real, and what is joyful.  In a time as uncertain as our current one, it is a great joy to spend my days hearing the laughter of children. I truly honor and recognize the heroic journey that we are on together, and I thank you for walking this path with me.



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