Sonya Enchill’s Dharma Yoga LA is not only a certified nonprofit, but a glorious haven for yogis to gather and practice – including her mother and two daughters. A love of yoga spreads across the three generations and in honor of Mother’s Day, we could think of no one better than Sonya to explain how much her mom has meant to her personal practice.
At 14 years old, I was an avid dancer and gymnast. I occasionally met my mom for the Hatha Yoga class she took after work. After class, we would sit in her car and have the most intimate, nourishing discussions. Those talks helped us navigate the many challenges in our lives and deepened our bond.
I opened Dharma Yoga LA in 2008 to bring the benefits of classical yoga in the wonderful lineage of Sri Dharma Mittra to people who might not get access otherwise. I set up shop in an underserved area of Los Angeles and Mom came on staff to teach Dharma 1 weekly. She now teaches both Dharma 1 and Dharma Gentle. Her savasana is legendary!
The biggest and most profound shift in my life has most certainly been becoming a mother. During pregnancy, delivery, infancy and breastfeeding, I didn’t need a doula because I had my mom. There was also lots of necessary subbing at the studio while my dharma (life’s purpose) shifted to include motherhood. Once I became a mom, the amount of energy and time I could give to Dharma LA went down considerably. Mom had retired by then, so she helped pick up the slack and, more importantly, took on the role of Granny. This enabled me to keep doing the work I love and be a fully present mom.
Literally as I was going into labor with my first daughter, Jasmine, I finished the paperwork to establish Dharma Yoga LA as a program of the 501C3 non-profit organization, S Enchill Wellness. It was time to broaden the scope of our center to include at risk youth and teens, victims of domestic violence and others in need. Mom became one of those donors.
A Granny Again
On May 10 (Mother’s Day), 2015, a force of love came through as baby Iris was born. The change to having two children is huge, and Mom incredibly stepped in and continues to, providing childcare so I can work. Now she says “Helping to care for the children is my contribution to the yoga studio. Iris’ third birthday party is this Mother’s Day and we’ll all be celebrating.