Facing 40 with 40 Sun Salutations - Inspiring Yoga Teacher Sarah Rubin's Secrets to Facing Fears
By Patty Chang Anker on December 22, 2012
I'm thinking about my friend, fellow yogini Sarah Rubin today - she's turning 40, and celebrating by doing 40 Sun Salutations with her Warrior Rising fitness and yoga class. By my estimation they're probably up to 10 or 11, getting in the groove and feeling great to be alive. Sarah, I'm sure, is exuding strength and calm and kindness, the way she did every time we taught yoga together to kids with special needs. A former theology student turned yoga teacher, Sarah joined forces with personal trainer Anne Marie to create Warrior Rising two years ago at the Purple Crayon in Hastings-on-Hudson. Students credit the class with making them stronger in so many ways and Sarah recently led a group of new runners through training and into their first 5K race. Inspired by every step she has taken to empower others, I asked her to share what inspires her and what her hopes are as she turns 40. Happy Birthday Sarah! May your light shine on and on.
Q: What led you to create Warrior Rising, a class that brings strength training and yoga together?
A: Yoga is where I keep discovering myself again and again. I believe that we hold little bits of everything that has happened in our lives, in our bodies. The practice of yoga has been my way of uncovering what my body is holding so that I can acknowledge, heal and release. The other aspect that has been profound for me is practicing in sangha, in community. Times when I couldn't bear to practice on my own, I showed up to class and felt held by the group. So these are two of my motivations for starting Warrior Rising: creating space to honor our bodies just as they are and to be in community with other women.
Also, the fitness piece has been equally profound for me. When I started a strength training regimen 2 years ago, I learned in a new way just how strong I really am, by facing my fears and limiting beliefs about myself (the "I can't do this, it's just not me" voices). The courage I discovered through that process is what led me to think about putting these two modalities together...and I happened to meet my partner Anne Marie at exactly that moment. It was fate!
Q: What was the biggest fear you faced in starting the business and how have you managed it?
A: The biggest fear I've faced in building this business has been my fear of being seen. My fear of putting myself out there and potentially being judged or criticized or even ignored. The marketing piece is where this fear rears it's ugly head! So I've tried to flip this around, choosing to think of marketing/social media/blogging in terms of connecting and inviting, instead of "selling myself" or "selling the business". And just by reframing, I've come to really enjoy the marketing piece as an opportunity to expand and connect with others.
Q: What does turning 40 mean to you?
A: When I turned 39, I had this feeling that the year ahead would be a major time of transition and preparation, getting ready for something huge. This year has definitely been that for me! I've been working hard internally and externally, in quiet ways and in increasingly public ways, to not only build this business but to truly step into my light. At the cusp of my 40th year, I trust that I'm exactly where I need to be. What will the year ahead look like? Having just put plans to paper, now I'm releasing the details. I've got a quiver full of arrows that I'm shooting toward the stars. We'll see which one finds its mark.
Q: What do you think you'll be thinking when you're doing those 40 Sun Salutations?
A: What will I be thinking during those 40 salutations? I have no idea! This is a big experiment, both for me and most of our students. My intention will be to let go of expectation, to listen to my body and let its wisdom flow through breath and movement. I'm most excited to be doing this in community - everyone, including me, is invited to do what they can, take breaks, rest in child pose. My gut feeling is that the collective energy will carry us through. I'll have to let you know how it goes!
Q: Are there any particular teachings or words of wisdom you try to live by and want to pass on to you students/kids?
A: Words to live by: That our challenges and obstacles in life are our greatest teachers. Every time we find ourselves stuck or in pain or pushed to the edge, it's an opportunity for transformation. It just may take longer or look completely different than we want it to. This notion may sound depressing to some, but I find much hope in this!
Q: What are some of your goals going forward?
A: To continue to show up with love and intention. To write more, to grow our tribe, to offer up more opportunities for women to come together to support and inspire one another. To keep running through the winter this year!
Warrior Rising is offering a New Student Deal for the New Year: 30 Days of Unlimited Classes for $30. If you can't get to their classes you can still enjoy Sarah and Anne Marie's insights at their blog.
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