YOU BE YOU With Stephanie Snyder
By Erika Van Gemeren
It was the new moon and a solar eclipse on September 13th, and You be You was scheduled at the Herbst Pavillion in Fort Mason. The event featured a beautiful and inspiring yoga class taught by Stephanie Snyder, one of San Francisco's most powerful instructors. 400 yogis and yoginis got together and the proceeds from ticket sales went to Raphael House Family Shelter of San Francisco, serving families with children who need help and support.
Stephanie's message was so clear, direct and potent. You be You. We all have our shortcomings, we all have our inherent gifts. Being that You be You fell on the new moon, Stephanie reminded us of that maternal energy. We need to stop wasting our energy of pushing ahead. We practice yoga to give ourselves space so we see where we can be in service. This is the real Ma. The compassionate Ma. Mother Earth. She holds us all and how can we give back? How can we honor our own feminine? Assuming our own beauty and giving back to those in need. How can we be more receptive?
Going through my own personal experience of finding my way as a teacher hasn't been the easiest road. To find my own voice. To make ends meet. Quite honestly, it has been a struggle. At the end of class, Stephanie brought out her harmonium and chanted Hey Ma Durga Jagadambe Hey Ma. I had a cathartic moment as do many in yoga classes. Tears came streaming down my face. I can get lost in the American way of trying to strive and compete. I was let go from a yoga studio where I felt my success growing but I couldn't teach the time slots they offered me and they decided they wanted to brand their studio in a teaching style that I don't offer. It's been a huge let go as I was there from the beginning. At that moment in the end of class when I was crying, I felt held. I felt an inner strength in me emerge that I hadn't felt in awhile. Just from Stephanie's simple message, You be You and her chant to Durga. Durga is the warrior Goddess of protection and inner strength. When you bring Durga into your inner world, she can empower you through your most radical longings and dreams and also help guide you through life dramas. Durga is fierce, but she arises out of compassion. I was reminded why I teach, how we are all in this together. It's not about how many students you get in your class, but it's about how you get your message across, how we bring grace and compassion to each moment we have on this earth, and how You can be You.
You be You was sponsored by MoveWith, an organization that is building a fitness community that places teachers at the heart of the experience. Their core belief is that people motivate people, and their mission is to cultivate healthy lifestyles that last by empowering great fitness teachers to unite their communities and build their brands. MoveWith gives teachers the tools to better connect with their followings and to create movement experiences that they might not have thought possible before.
Stephanie Snyder was one of MoveWith's earliest San Francisco teachers. MoveWith has a growing community of other teachers who are hosting unique and high quality classes, workshops, and series. Find out more on their websites: movewith.com and stephaniesnyder.com.