By Bethany Lyons, Founder of Lyons Den Power Yoga
I’m writing this letter of gratitude for what has been in 2015 and hope for what is to come in 2016, to you, specifically, because it means I still believe in the intangibles. This letter to you means I still believe in the things that cannot be seen or held. It means I still believe in magic and miracles.
I am a grown woman, a New Yorker, and an entrepreneur… by all accounts of these statistics and my very rational side, all bets should be off for you. And yet, as sure as I know the sun will rise and fall tomorrow, I know you are real. It is because I believe in magical things in life, like you, that I have been able to go after, with serious passion, things that cannot be seen and only felt. The two that come to mind for me in 2015 are this: community and love. These are words thrown out there a lot these days. #community. #love. These are also things that can not really be measured, analyzed, or put in a neat and tidy box – no matter how hard we, as human beings, try.
I have created a community at Lyons Den Power Yoga, and of this, I am certain. I certainly did not do it alone — but I also proudly take credit for being the one that ultimately has to be counted on by many, many people, and the one who is, in the context of the holiday season, “driving the sleigh.” I don’t always like this role and responsibility, but if I did not step up to what I know I can do and go for what I see so clearly as possible, so much magic would be lost in this world. This resistance to “doing the work” as my teacher, Baron Baptiste, so often references, is far outweighed by my bigger YES to something much bigger than myself. It is very clear to me that countless connections would not exist and the lives of all of those people would not be changed without the studio I steered into existence.
Lyons Den Power Yoga is just two years old now and is something special… magical, really. I do not say this to brag. I say this because it is true. No one has yet to be able to put their finger on the exact thing that makes The Den, as it is affectionately known, somehow special. If I go into the bullet points of what we do and how we show up: yes, we have passionate and committed teachers; yes, we have a beautiful yet tiny bit of real-estate; yes, we are in a great location; yes, we work within an amazing methodology; yes, we take care of peoples’ needs; yes, we have a staff that cares immensely — but really it is none of those things alone or collectively that truly light people up.
Simply put — it is the intangibles that make us, as a studio and as a real community, who we are. It is the unseen thoughtfulness, the understanding of each other’s flaws, the outpouring of empathy, the celebrating one another’s successes, the standing for one another, the “energy” in the room, and the vast and sometimes ridiculous amount of love that gets thrown about during a class, mopped up, breathed in and radiated out in our tiny, one-room studio. We are a force. We are yoga Jedis. We believe in things like the magic that is in the air right now if you walk around the streets of this beautiful and great city.
So, thank you community, thank you love, and thank you most of all, dearest Santa Claus for believing in me as I so whole-heartedly believe in you.
Close your eyes, Santa. Make a wish. And may all your wildest dreams come true. I look forward to sharing my boldest dreams yet, and the immense amount of magic I have in store for all of us in 2016, with you by my side and love as my North Star.
Warmly & Sincerely Yours,
p.s. If any of the reindeer are under-the-weather and you need a fill-in — I’ve got just the right rescue pup for you: “chiweindeer” Josie. Don’t let her size or lack of real antlers fool you. She’s ready and she’s purely magic.
Bethany Lyons is a powerful leader, creator, community builder, and co-founder of the only Baptiste-style yoga studio in Manhattan: Lyons Den Power Yoga. Bethany is a classically trained ballet dancer, Certified Baptiste Yoga Teacher, and Master Instructor at SoulCycle. She has appeared as a yoga and fitness expert on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, TLC, and CNN, and has been featured in Forbes, New York Magazine, US Weekly, SELF, Shape, Fitness Magazine, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, and Well+Good, among many other publications. In co-founding Lyons Den Power Yoga, Bethany seeks to showcase the endless possibilities all around us, and to show up in a big way for her students and in her life.