Being in Boulder, Colorado watching 8-10 inches of snow cap the mountains and huge pine trees was a life enriching moment. I almost cried, as I had not seen snow like that in many years. It was breathtaking and special. Boulder has the fortune of having sun 300 days of the year (much like San Diego), so to experience sun-kissed snow in tolerable temperatures was exhilarating as my lungs took in that cold air. I felt so alive. Such heightened moments, if we stop and partake of them, make us feel so grateful and enthusiastic.

Traveling is a gift despite the stresses of departing and arriving. But through a process of elimination, when you narrow it down, the ability to be somewhere else not usual to your routine produces great effects that can enhance your outlook on life. Without the baggage of “things you need to do” that come up every few minutes in your everyday life, you are left with a wide open channel that allows the flow of joy, imagination, creativity, insight, contemplation and gosh, much more. It is said that the most important relationship you can have in your life is the one you hold with “source” (whatever that is for you). For me, Boulder and all the interactions I encountered there fueled my connection to that source. When that happens, I often feel the Universe giving me this loving wink that says “Yes, Michele, you are on the right path.”

Driving down Saratoga Avenue seemed like a new experience as I returned to the studio from my three day trip. Not yet immersed in the big and small tasks waiting for me, I absorbed the striking beauty of the colorful trees that line Saratoga Avenue. The bright, glowing, surreal looking trees to my left caught my eye as leaves fell to the ground, creating this carpet of tangerine yellow. I felt so lucky to experience this vision. It was another gesture that enriched my life at that moment. Again, I was out of my filtered way of cerebral thinking, which allowed for a higher level of experience. I noticed the long drive down Saratoga Avenue amongst these trees on the left and the right leading me right to BYSJ. Perhaps my second wink from the Universe that says “Yes Michele, you are on the right path.”

The instant camaraderie I feel with all of you the moment I walk in the door is another experience that enriches my life at that moment. I am truly rejuvenated without having done one Half Moon posture! Without even knowing the content of the conversations going on, the sound they make is music. Not being around this for a few days – as my time in Boulder was more quiet and serene – I felt another sense of being alive with people that I not only enjoy but truly love. My life was enriched again in that moment.

It’s the holiday season, and how crazy it is to even try and filter out the lists to accomplish in the weeks ahead. It’s the end of the year and we may have additional work related tasks to accomplish. We have a new studio to open in a few weeks, which definitely pulls me away if I’m not careful. But maybe the loud, repetitious exposure of Santa this time of year is really another message. Santa in his red suit is not literally real, however what he is can be of great value. Children represent that part in us that has remained innocent, care free, in wonder of life. Without restraint, Santa asks us for our “wish list”, not caring if it’s practical or not. He represents our imagination, creativity, and hope that we often times can’t tap into because of the “rules of the road” we must follow in life. Go ahead and make your wish. While you may not get what you ask for, what you are left with is a more sharpened and available capacity to ponder and contemplate, to use your creativity, and to feel joy. It was a gift to be in Boulder and have that chance to step away, but I can’t take Boulder with me. What I do get to keep is the “mental muscle memory” and bestow this upon what I see and do every day.

As we move from one “front door” to another in the next few weeks, I feel flooded with ways BYSJ has deepened my relationship to source. Of course, it won’t stop as we move to something that gives us the space to continue on that “right path”, but our intimate home that we are leaving behind provided us all with some very big moments: BYSJ, like Santa, often hears our “wish lists” as we begin our practice: a better back, heal my knee, give me confidence, etc…Maybe you didn’t get what you asked for, but I do bet, you received something greater. I did.

All of us at Bikram Yoga San Jose wish you and yours a magical, wonderful, joyous holiday season. It’s the perfect time to segue into our new digs. The season’s energy, when unencumbered with the hustle and bustle of things to do, is filled with gratefulness and opportunities to enrich our lives every single moment. If you have a chance before you leave the studio one day in these final weeks, take a moment and reflect on and share with us a wish you once had as you started to come to BYSJ and the gift you received. We’ve placed “leaves” in the lobby for you to write on. These individual stories when connected will create our family tree – our BYSJ Holiday Tree – leaf by leaf.