Dear Practice Yoga Community,

It is with a deep space of gratitude that I write this letter. Last August, when my daughter was diagnosed with a rare and extremely aggressive type of cancer, this moment seemed unimaginable. The same week we received this earth shattering news was also the same week that we were reopening the studio after our build out. I was also midway through a year long leadership training with the Baptiste Power Yoga Institute. It would have been very easy for me to quit the training and not show up for the studio. However during those first few days, not only did we have to choose the cancer, but I also had to choose who I was going to be for my family, the Practice Yoga Community, and the Baptiste Community.

So I chose. I chose to be an example for my daughter, to be at cause in creating our experience and also surrendered to what we could not control. I renegotiated my commitments and priorities, and continued to show up. I chose to use the tools I had been honing over the past 30 years as a yogi, therapist, and coach. I allowed feelings to move through me, but not to weigh me down. I chose to rise up in the face of fear and be for my daughter as she fought for her life. 

This past month has been amazing and I am grateful beyond words. On April 11th Annaleigh completed her last chemo treatment just one week after her 17th birthday. This was a momentous moment filled with tears of joy and relief. On this same day I also graduated from the Baptiste leadership training that fueled me throughout the year to stay grounded in the methodology that has sourced my life. The following week I was honored to be invited to the lululemon Ambassador Summit in Vancouver, where I was joined by the top ambassadors from around the world. This past Sunday I co-led YogaCAN, and helped raise thousands of dollars for people financially struggling due to cancer.

However, the best news of all came April 30th, when we learned that Annaleigh’s scans are clear and there are no signs of cancer in her body! She still has months of rehab and years of scans ahead of her and we are confident in the progress she has made. She will continue home tutoring this summer, will start her senior year in August and we are excited for her future. She has been a pillar of positivity and I am in awe of her strength.

To truly rejoice I must acknowledge all of you who have been for me and my family during this time. I acknowledge Mollie, Jennifer and the rest of the Practice Yoga Team who have shown up powerfully for our amazing studio. I acknowledge Baron and the Baptiste Community for holding space for me while I navigated the terrain of my own leadership course. I thank lululemon for the gift of the Summit, where I was able to regroup and renew. To all of my friends and community, I thank you for the thoughts, prayers, well-wishes, and everything else you have done to hold us up. This year would have been very different without the support of all of you. I am filled with gratitude and love.

Thank You, 

Debi Grilo