Yogis of Karma - Nicole Barnes

It can be really difficult to move to a new place. Not just a new city, but a new state – and when you’re coming from New Jersey to Texas, there can be a lot of cultural and climate differences as well ☺ What I was really searching for when I moved was the right yoga studio. The year prior, yoga had become an important part of my life and I loved the studio I went to at home. The first weekend I arrived, I was out of shape and set myself up for an hour and a half heated yoga class. Where I subsequently spent a decent amount of time trying not to throw up in the bathroom. Although I finished out the class and still felt a small after-yoga glow, I was bummed about my body’s reaction and worried about trying again.

 

I waited a few days, and continued searching online for a yoga studio that would be a good fit. I stumbled upon the Karma Yoga site, and found Tiffany’s class at the Gemini peach and rose orchard. Although it was 4:30 in the afternoon in August in Texas, I gathered the courage to drive over for class. Shaded by a huge tree and cooled by a pleasant breeze, I could not believe how much I enjoyed the gentle flow and relaxing atmosphere. Tiffany’s humor and sunny personality were the icing on the cake – I was sold on making Karma my yoga home.

 

I have now been in Denton for close to a year, and go through cycles of being an avid yoga class attendee and a couch potato. What doesn’t change, however, is the community I have been introduced to and accepted into by being a part of Karma Yoga. Karma’s eclectic array of classes has gotten me to visit many small businesses in Denton that I may have missed otherwise (including my and my friends’ obsession with Flatlanders… RIP). The opportunities they provide are not just limited to giving back through class donations, but by hosting other community outreach events and fundraisers. As President of a student organization at UNT, Karma has even been generous enough to host a class and fundraiser to donate funds for our cause.

 

I have never felt such a camaraderie from a “fitness” type of group, which can so often be full of catty and judgmental personalities. But perhaps it is because Karma is so much more than that, truly living up to the name “karma”. I have even been lucky enough to have  never worried about attending events solo, as I often see familiar faces in Karma instructors and yogis. I recall during one of my first classes, an instructor stating that because yoga is supposed to be about letting go of stress and tension, that they strive to make yoga classes as attainable, affordable, and stress-free as possible. That was striking, because it seems so self-explanatory based on the values of yoga, but is so often not the case with your normal studio.

 

Karma has absolutely become a strong part of my identity as a “Dentonite” and I am always promoting the organization to friends and peers. Karma has made me realize that becoming a yoga instructor is an attainable goal (when I finally get time to do so!) and motivated me to pay these ideals forward as I move to other cities and states. My dream would be to have Karma Yoga available wherever I end up in life, because it has left that much of a positive impact in such a short time. I am forever grateful to the yogis of Karma for welcoming me to their generous community.