Our First Yogi


Opening day was approaching. Bjorn and I had spent countless hours in the space, teaching to and practicing with each other, giving each other as much feedback as we could and also teaching to our friends. Finally, everything came together, cork floor was in, sconces were installed, pictures were centered, software was formatted, playlists were made, bathrooms were cleaned, schedules were printed, mats were hung in the wall with care in the hopes that tons of students would soon be there!

So, March 7th, 2011 we opened our doors! Super exciting, right??? We got to the studio early, turned on the heat, lit the candles, started the Ipod, and flipped the “Open, Come On In” sign. We were like two little kids, all dressed up in their finest waiting for their guests to arrive at their birthday party. And we waited, and waited and waited…Ok, first class, a no show, no big deal. Surely the noon class will be packed. Noon came and went and we were 0-2. A million thoughts ran through my mind that day: Is this what we’re supposed to be doing, did we advertise enough, are there too many yoga studios in Portsmouth, do people not like us???

Night fell on March 7th and we had two more shots not to get swept that day. 6:15pm class, Level II, taught by me. Bjorn set up his mat as did Lindsay G, one of our new teachers. At least I could teach to them. The door opened and our friend Christy came in, thanks for supporting us! Then the door opened again and Bjorn’s friend Andy came in, yeah, thanks Andy!! Then I looked up and in walks my ex-boyfriend…there was still some tension and awkwardness between us, my anxiety level was mounting, plus Bjorn gave him a free class, how was I going to get through this class? After a few deep breaths, I got centered and taught the class.

One more chance for a real customer. 7:30 Beginners class, we finally made $3 dollars! Her name was Kate and she is still practicing with us today and therefore I dedicate my first blog to you Kate for being 3 Bridges Yoga’s first customer, ding, ding , ding!!!!! (We still have the dollar bill.) I am grateful for you for showing up that Monday night, for easing my anxieties about teaching that first class and for believing that we did the right thing in opening the studio. We have never looked back and will continue to strive to make our students successful on and off the mat. Thanks to all of our supporters and our wonderful group of teachers who have helped us achieve our dream. We couldn’t have done it without you! Namaste!!


Here’s more about Kate.

1. What brought you to yoga and how long have you been practicing?

At the time I found the lovely 3 Bridges I was settling into life in Portsmouth, having moved from Alexandria, Virginia about 6 months prior. I knew I wanted to commit to a vinyasa yoga practice and sampled some studios but hadn’t found one that clicked for me. I was also training for the Market Square 10k and feeling generally stiff as a board and achy, especially in my back. On the spiritual side, I’m sort of a restless thinker striving to be more of a calm and peaceful feeler so I was looking for some balance in that aspect of my life as well. And, I wanted (still want) yoga arms.

I made my way to one of Jody’s first classes and have been practicing consistently at 3 Bridges since May-ish of 2011.

2. What pose has given you the most benefits either physically or mentally?

The first time I lifted my feet off the ground during Crow pose felt like a breakthrough. I’ve re-discovered my core and it helps me do some cool stuff.

3. What has been the most challenging aspect of your practice?

I wish that I could have a more focused and empty mind during class – sometimes I space out and when I come to, I’m on the opposite leg from everybody else.

4. What was your first ” ah-ha” moment in your practice?

I was used to evaluating a workout based upon how much I sweat or what my time was.

With yoga, I come to class and don’t worry about competing with anyone or whether I’m doing it right and I can just *be*. Every class is a good class and I know I’ve done something worthwhile for myself just by showing up.

5. What would you tell a person who hasn’t made it to the mat yet?

Please do yourself a favor, let go of whatever notions you have about what yoga is or isn’t, and just try it!

6. Feel free to give a little info about yourself, hometown, occupation, fav. music, movies, etc.

Off the mat, I am a traveller-partial to islands and national parks, daughter of a proud Mainer, aunt to 8 incredible cuties, tennis newbie, gardener, wine drinker, and magazine and newspaper addict. This summer I took a yoga class on a paddleboard – I got wet alot. I work from home as a Patent Examiner for the US Patent & Trademark Office specializing in apparel-related patent applications that run the gamut from very useful to kooky.

On By 3BY

3 Responses

  1. Cherie says:

    I love this story, thanks for sharing Jody! What I love so much about yoga besides the physical and spiritual benefits, is meeting new people with similar interests and a love of yoga. I met Kate at 3 Bridges Yoga, finding out she was a runner, I had just started my running journey and she graciously offered up lots of great advise for me. She’s a wonderful person, so glad to see her profiled here as your very first customer! Go Kate! See you in class :O)

  2. Brian Helfrich says:

    Excellent story!

    Very blessed to have stumbled upon you guys…..helped me with many physical issues already.


  3. Cheryl says:

    Very happy to see my good friend Kate featured as your first Yogi. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting your studio with Kate on my last visit to Portsmouth. Kate and I participated in Lauren’s Saturday morning class as a great start to my weekend visit from NYC. I don’t practice often, but the instruction at your studio was a great experience. Will plan to visit your studio on my next trip to Portsmouth.

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