Behind the Scenes at CREATE|YOGA: Why Creative Events?

When we came together to bring the dream that is CREATE|YOGA to life, you can imagine the amount of idea-sharing, possibility-deliberating, absolutely yes, definitely no and who knows maybe-so’s that were a part of the conversations between us three founders (Jenn, Selah and Marissa). We all had ideas that came up, we all had ideas that fell away. Most importantly: we all created the space for each other to fully show up and share our own authentic, unique (and very impassioned) perspective on what we were creating. Because, we understand that a platform for unlimited possibilities—one that we can explore without inhibitions to create what our heart truly desires—empowers a kind of untapped creative exploration where magic happens. This is the birthplace of CREATE|YOGA. And by no coincidence, it’s also the foundation…

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Out of the magic, we built a yoga studio; one that was by no means intended to be just a yoga studio. And what do we mean by that? Why do these ideas we have about events and workshops and community make any difference? Why do these things set us apart?

This is how we see it. Consider:

What we love about this industry: We love that wellness and fitness, yoga, self-improvement and exploration are “trending.” We think it’s beautiful that there is so much opportunity to bring people together for these meaningful purposes. And that the popularity of these topics makes them accessible to people who may not otherwise come across them.

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What we don’t love about this industry: We don’t love that the routine has been established to enter a studio, take class and leave with little to no connection. We don’t love that the popularity of yoga also breeds opportunity for financial exploitation in our business and money-minded society. We don’t love that talented and inspired teachers are being underpaid and over-exhausted; that as a result, sometimes students are getting the short end of the stick. The integrity of the very philosophies behind yoga and its practice are NOT being upheld both on the mat and off the mat, in so many facets of this industry (money steering decisions, exclusivity, corporate buyouts, popularity contests, inauthenticity and competition).

We are in full belief it doesn’t have to be this way. Amongst many of us, it isn’t. So, we want to join together.

We noticed an opportunity for a mindful shift back to this space for authenticity in communities, events, retreats and festivals popping up all around us; an opportunity for a breath of fresh air to check in—both individually and as an industry at large—before we take our next steps forward.

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We also noticed these communities, events, retreats and festivals often exist apart from what we know as “reality.” For instance, when we take off for an event, retreat or festival that empowers us to sense this creative freedom, we often feel like we check out of reality, like we have permission to be less stressed and act more ourselves. The pressure to conform to a standard is gone. And it’s no surprise we feel a deeper sense of connection with ourselves and the people arounds us in these settings, as a result. The bummer part? For many of us, this reignited sense of connection and freedom only lasts for so long. Because then comes 9AM on Monday and we have to shove all that aside and put on our societally accepted game faces to get our “real” work done. Until next time.

We are in full belief it doesn’t have to be this way. Amongst many of us, it isn’t. So, let’s join together.

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In these settings that are seemingly far-removed from “reality” we find a community where people are open and authentic, where we feel alive and accepted as we are, and able to show up with whatever it is we are going through. From the way we dress to the way we express ourselves: we feel fully seen. We’ve realized these settings have the capacity to catalyze a bigger movement. It’s simple: when you broaden what the “practice” entails, you reach a wider group of people. You take away the esoteric and limiting modern “yoga” associations and you open up the possibility to explore what yoga really is; you let the yoga exist beyond the poses and bring the opportunity to learn, connect, play (even party!) to the forefront and suddenly, people who otherwise might have overlooked these practices show up. They dive deep without expecting it. They find the ideas, practices and people they encounter have the power to change their lives!

 

It’s in these settings that yogis and non-yogis alike can join in whether they’re looking for a good time, seeking self-study, guidance, inspirational community or friendly support; no matter their motivating factor everyone is encouraged to offer up their true selves, stories, passions, and ideas without fear of judgement.

We want to create the platform for this open, authentic, self-discovery, raw connection, uninhibited imagination, and full-on possibility; amongst individuals, amongst communities, amongst businesses without bounds, so we can continue spreading the love to the world at large. We want to CREATE a movement for this change that we can all be a part of. So for whatever reason you feel called, be it mandala making and wine night, crazy yoga trick workshops, group hikes and meditations, deep house yoga at night clubs, rooftop yoga pool parties, charitable events or simply a welcoming community: we invite you to take part.