The following is a beautiful message from long-time Yogalifer, Dean Tumibay. For me personally, Dean made my transition into the media team so easy; he was always there to field my millions of questions and frustrations over technology... there to lend a hand wherever he could. Dean will ALWAYS be a Yogalifer and we are ecstatic to see him grow into his career. Best of luck, thank you for all your hard work, support and silliness!
You are a true gem Dean.
I came to Yogalife a week after it opened, April 2010, in the hopes of finding a yoga studio nearby that I could complete a self-induced 30-day yoga challenge with my cousin, Michelle. I had done hot yoga before, and heard about these 30-day challenges at other studios, but never committed to one. I decided to give Yogalife a shot.
Just like many of you, I was first blown away by the sheer beauty of the space.
Polished white floors, warm tones, large windows, complimentary tea – what more could one want in a space? With bright smiles, the two owners greeted me at the front desk. They warmed up to me even more when I explained that I was doing a personal 30-day-challenge before they even had established an official one for their studio.
My cousin and I became familiar faces in this space, chatting constantly about what we loved and in some cases, hated strongly disliked about classes. Near the end of my challenge, I found myself sitting in the lounge, alone, quietly reading a magazine when one of the owners approached me. With a bright smile on his face, he asked if I’d be interested in a position at the studio. I was elated and within a week of submitting my resume, I was behind the front desk of Yogalife Studios South.
At the time, I didn’t realize how accepting this offer would define 4 years of my life.
Yogalife became a second home to me. In this space, I laughed until my stomach hurt, held warrior 2 until my legs burned, cursed under my breath during a tough core sequence, danced to the greatest hits of the 90s while the rest of you were in class, played a didgeridoo, unclogged a toilet and folded a million towels. It was perfect.
Yogalife provided me an opportunity to let my creative juices flow, after being stagnant for a number of years, getting caught in the regimented schedule of being a University student. I became a part of the media team, shot many of the videos on the Yogalife blog, and made a point to expose our amazing crew on a deeper level to our beloved clients.
Though it was my home, Yogalife exposed me to a world in Edmonton that I had no idea existed despite having been here all my life. The wonderful individuals I met in different communities outside our own enriched my life and opened my mind to so many alternative practices.
As my employment here came to a close, I began to observe all the beautiful things that I’d miss when that faithful day came, where I’d walk through the doors as an employee for the last time and hand over my key to Caren, the studio owner. I embraced the bright sunshine in the empty lounge, softened by the frosted windows, the smell of my favorite tea brewing, the warm air of the Sun studio, the bright hallway lights, the cat pictures on our computer desktops, and most importantly the anticipation when clients and instructors would walk through the front doors.
Many of you came in, often stressed from work or school, but walked out with a smile on your face, responding to my question, “How was your class?” with an exasperated “A-ma-zing…”
I always dreamt of a job like those you see on T.V. The places where everyone knows your name (go ahead, sing the Cheers theme song), where those same people are genuinely interested in the on-goings of your life, and just happy to share space with you, even if just for a brief moment.
Yogalife was exactly that.
It was my goal to get to know as many of your names as possible, and if I ever fumbled with a pronunciation, please accept this as my apology. I am grateful for every interaction I’ve had with each and every one of you. I loved knowing your stories, celebrating your successes, and being present as your yoga practice grew. I loved that because of you, Yogalife became a place I could go when I needed to escape any stresses I ever experienced.
To the amazing instructors and GSRs I’ve met, you have become such an important part of my life, inspiring me in ways that I could never fully express in words. I’m grateful to call many of you friends, and look forward to where this next step in this journey takes us.
I walk away from this studio, holding dear to me the sweet memories of serving this community, and wish all of you nothing but love.
The absolute highest in me honours the highest in you and bows to it.