What Do I Need To Hear?
I'm going to be totally honest with you: the new branding is nothing like I'd imagined. When I met with our designer Kate Davis I told her all of the things that I wanted the brand to feel like, but as far as the design went I gave her total freedom. Of course I had visions in my head inspired by logos I'd seen, other brands I keep up with--but I'm no artist, so I let Kate do what she was hired to do.
She came over to my house one night about 6 weeks ago to show me the first set of logo options. Again, I thought I had a general idea of what she was about to show me. In case you haven't caught on yet--I was dead wrong.
The designs she showed me that night were sharp and intelligent and alive. They weren't what I was imagining because they were fresh. The last concept she showed me that night was the one you're looking at. When she flipped that page over I'm pretty sure I audibly gasped. I didn't know at the moment why I loved it so much, but over the course of following weeks I realized that the logo pivoted how I approached the whole project.
When I first started the rebranding I was looking at it from a place of "how can I fit in but also stand out in the community?" But once we chose the design direction I started to see myself in it (something I thought I didn't want). In fact, I operated the first year owning the studio trying desperately to not stand out personally. I wanted to appeal to everyone. What do the people want to hear?
I've never seen myself as being "cool" or "hip" or "trendsetting", so I thought I had to take my cues from those around me. But here's the thing: trying to be cool is not so cool, right? It's like when your teacher called you dawg in high school, or your mom tried to talk to your friends: embarrassing and cringe-worthy.
As the pieces of the puzzle came together, and I saw Kate and our Photographer Morgan Whitney interpret my little ideas into masterpieces, the more I realized that I had a perspective worth sharing. I started to ask: What do I need to hear?
I am super type b, like the-type-b-est-kind-of-type-b, though I like to think of myself as a relaxation specialist. ANYWAY! The type-a intensity in the world right now is like "woah" and it is exhausting trying to keep up. But I was convinced that despite how unfamiliar and inauthentic that intensity felt to me that was what people wanted to hear.
But, hi! how naive and narcissistic of me to believe that I am the ONLY type b babe out there? I had to admit to myself that there are other people out there like me. There are other people who want to approach life and yoga with a little less stoicism and ferocity and a little more humor and levity.
In sanskrit there's this concept lila (lee-la) which translates most directly to "divine play." It's the idea that you can connect with the Truth or God(s) or The Universe or whatever higher power you may believe in through playfulness and spontaneity. So basically, sign me up for more of that shit.
I don't want you to feel like coming to yoga is an obligation or even a ritual. Personally, if something feels like a chore to me it doesn't stay in my routine for very long. I thought this was a personal shortcoming, an inability to commit, a lack of dedication. But, hey...I'm just a human trying to live my life. And I understand that you are too.
So here's what I want for myself and for you too:
I want you to come to practice because you WANT to come to practice. I want Thank Yoga to be a place where you want to be. I want you to feel like yourself here: happy, sad, frustrated, giddy, angry, confused, joyful--I want all of it.
I want you to not give a shit about what you wear to yoga (or if the cute clothes are part of the appeal, thats cool too). I want Thank Yoga to be a place where you can laugh at my terrible jokes, or cry if you need to (hopefully not at my terrible jokes).
I want you to feel OK if you're struggling with a posture or life in general. I don't want you to thirst after certain poses (but I also want you to do whatever the fuck you want, so if you're thirsty be thirsty). I want you to know that your worth as a person is not connected to your productivity or abilities.
I need you to know that I don't care how frequently you come to class. I want you to leave feeling better than you arrived, and if you don't I want you to know that that's ok too. I want you to be OK with just being OK. I don't want you to feel like you constantly have to chase profound experiences.
I want you to know that I'm grateful for you, even if you were rolling your eyes the whole time you read this or if something I said rubbed you the wrong way.
I want you to know that no matter how comfortable or uncomfortable you are in life, we're right there with you (with confetti poppers or a hug or a bro-nod or whatever you need).