When I was a kid, I used to play with my neighbors in our shared backyard almost everyday after school. There was soccer, basketball, baseball, capture the flag; but the game we always came back to was kickball.  I remember looking forward to coming home at the end of the day, so that I could play kickball with the other kids in my neighborhood until the sun set. During the summer, that looked more like playing outside all day, and tearing up our shared lawn in the process (much to the chagrin of our moms). It was something that I took for granted at the time but looking back, it gave me a community, a routine, and an outlet to channel my energy.

During my first couple months in Detroit, I noticed that I hadn’t formed any new habits or established a daily routine yet. I tried to do the Year of Yes but it just left me feeling disconnected and fake. With the end of summer, that had also meant a wrap up of the cornucopia of public (and free) arts, music, and community events. Admittedly, I’ve had some challenges between adjusting to my first full time office job, events back home in Pittsburgh, and fixating on my plans for after this year.

After some much needed reflection, I realized that I had to find my niche or “thing” in order to make the most of my time in the D.  I needed to go out and intentionally find something to do that would be an outlet for my energy yet also provide me with a routine.  I decided to give Bikram Yoga Midtown a try (a 5 minute drive from my house). Bikram Yoga or Hot 90 Yoga is a style that’s practiced in a room heated to 105 degrees with 40% humidity, and consists of 26 postures. Armed with that knowledge and motivation from the early onset of a Michigan winter, I decided to turn a sporadic practice from my college years into a more consistent one. And I’m thankful that I did. In the little over 2 months that I’ve been consistently going to yoga, the physical rewards of the practice have been awesome but it’s the mental rewards of calmness, being present, and renewed energy that have kept me coming back. I recently began doing work for trade at the studio, which is just cleaning in exchange for unlimited classes. That commitment gave me a “buy in” to a greater community in Detroit of people who are also passionate about health and wellness. I’m excited to continue my journey with this practice in my next 8 months here and also to exploring more of Detroit’s music scene and thriving art/design community.

Fellow Fellows Hind, Claire, Chelsea, Kaitlyn and I at Drinks x Design in the Fisher Building