The Yoga Loft Storybook: John Melczer


Why/When/Where did you start practicing yoga?
What of any distance, real or imagined, laid between Mysore and Marblehead in measurement against the displacement of the mat, the salutation to the sun changes neither in word, breath, nor intent. The sun remains the same. It is the moved Earth. The mat holds firm. I greet the sun. As David Swenson (in an Ashtanga workshop) once said, "No one ever says, 'Thank God, I didn't go to yoga this morning.' " The thing is to show up. One day older. One day later. One day's journey. 

My own showing up on the mat began a few years ago. Not too many. It was something called Ashtanga. And coming from a highly aerobic youth, young adulthood and present middle-age, my agenda was nothing short of a middling dish of yoga for the yoga with a healthy dollop of spin class for the sweat at the local YMCA. Soon, after a brief couple of weeks of Ashtanga, I found much to my pleasure the need for spinning chucked out. I could sweat my heart's beejezus out in yoga. From then on it was yoga or bust. I found myself exploring, discovering, relishing in parts of my body I didn't know I had, still had, ever had, always had. And so it began like any Genesis story with a dawn, with a mat, where a previous addiction to destination can over time metamorph into a healthy habit of journey. I can hope.

And what's hope without a dog? Or in my case dogs? Hope may spring eternal, but I journey with dogs. French bulldogs to be exact. Wolfie and Stanzi are my current companions. A second generation of sorts after the initial trifecta of the staid and motherly Emma, the sans souci and soulful Zeke and the indomitable and ineluctable Molly all passed away in body but not spirit. If I ever find myself bereft and poor of soul on the mat, I know of the supreme riches on the back end waiting ever patiently for me by the door or on the bed. I know that whatever I miss on the mat in yoga my mates handsomely fill in in life.

A day without yoga can be like a day without sun. But then living in New England there must be many days without yoga. So if there's no sun and no yoga there's always dog. To fill in the cracks and to keep me in the moment. To love. To live. To breathe. And jingle jangle the leash to remind me of the walk. Because it's not me taking my mates for a good gambol but them taking me.

Sorta like the mat. It's just there. Waiting for me to pull it out of the car, sign in at the Yoga Loft, walk up the stairs, enter the sacred space, roll it out, and sweat like the beejezus on it. But what makes any place special are the people. Always smiling and welcoming. And the Yoga Loft has that in abundance. What makes going there easy. And on those mornings when all I want to do is sleep in and cuddle with you-know-whomever, the staff and yogis and yogettes at Bessom St. give me no pause to derelict my duty. And it's RIGHT around the corner. 

Thank you for letting me share something of me and my life. And Wolfie and Stanzi give out two barks as well.

Would you like to share your yoga journey for The Yoga Loft Storybook? Please send us an email!

Rebecca Reitz