HOW EKAM CAME TO BE…
I first found yoga as part of a DVD fitness program and I really hated it! During the Fall Equinox of 2011, I took part in a 108 Sun Salutations class. That particular practice broke me down physically and was the beginning of a spiritual awakening for me. At that point in my life, I had not seen or spoken to my mom for over 18 months. We had had a falling out and were both incredibly stubborn. I now know it was my ego that prevented me from reaching out to her during those months. After the 108 sun salutations, I remember thinking “I haven’t talked to mom in a long time, that’s weird.” So, I simply picked up my phone and called her. She didn’t answer, so I drove to her house and then spent the evening reconnecting with her. My youngest Nathan was 5 at that time and I realized that his grandmother had never seen him as a 4-year-old, I knew that was wrong and it made me sad. The following weekend, my mom came over to our house to see her grandchildren for the first time in nearly 2 years.
Driving home from my mom’s house late that evening, I clearly remember having 2 distinct insights. First, I understood that yoga was way more than just moving around on a mat. Second, I knew I wanted to open a yoga studio so that others could have a chance to experience their own transformation.
With my greater awareness of the ego, I gave it a name – Jack, short for Jackass. I realized that for those few hours after the 108 Sun Salutations evening, I had no ego. There was no right/wrong, no you/me, no separateness and no fear. There was just love and oneness. There was nothing preventing me from expressing my true self, and my true self wanted to see my mom. “The battle with our ego is one of the toughest battles that we face in life.”
I soon learned that the real benefit of showing up on my mat was that I could now fully show up off my mat. “It’s about showing up and being present; being present at work with my QSC team, being present at home with my family, being present with my friends and with the world around me. Yoga was helping me to be present. You are not living if you are not living NOW.”
In time, I began the process of opening a studio. The notion of oneness – oneness with myself and oneness with the world, became a powerful idea and influence in my life, and so the original name of the studio was As One. But, for trademark reasons, that name was not allowed for a yoga studio. Staying with the notion of One, Ekam was born. In Sanskrit, the word Ekam means One.
“It is my hope that Ekam becomes a place for you to find your yoga, whatever that might be. Whether it’s to become stronger, more flexible, or more spiritual, yoga can be whatever it is that you need it to be. In the end, I wish that each of you find peace through your practice of yoga. If Ekam is able to help you down that path, then its purpose is complete.”
P.S. Nowadays, each time that I get on the mat, I feel that Jack gets a little weaker and Joe gets a little stronger. Lol! I love you YOGA! And my mom loves you too!