Juicy Liberty Sanchez
Ever since my first Bikram Yoga class, I knew that this was what I wanted to do with my life. On that fateful day back in 2001, I planted myself in the front row of a crowded 6:30pm class at Funky Door Yoga on Polk Street, and I did not sit out a single posture. Naturally, I fell down a lot, but I got right back up every time and did it again! I had never been so challenged or so captivated by any physical activity, and I knew that I had to make this yoga a part of my life.
And so, I began my practice of yoga and my journey to where I am today. Soon, I was more interested in yoga than in my so-called-career in the law. In 2005 I finally made the decision and the commitment to go to Bikram’s Yoga Teacher Training in Los Angeles. By the Fall of 2006, I was not only a Bikram Yoga teacher, but also the proud owner of Mission Yoga, also known as Bikram Yoga in the Mission!
I am forever grateful for what this yoga has done for me and my life, and I am honored to be able to serve my community
Howdy! I’d love to share a little bit about myself. I believe in living a life worthy of being lived and leading by example. A big part of who I am today can be traced back to a couple of life-changing events. The first was when I attended Burning Man for the first time in 2001. The second was when I took my first Bikram Yoga class shortly after returning from that trip to the desert. The third big catalyst happened later when I went for a 10-day silent meditation and practiced Vipassana for the first time in 2004.
At the beginning of August 2001 I was laid off for the third time after having worked in the tech industry for several years. I was having problems finding a new job, and a friend invited me to join her at Burning Man. I had heard about the festival for many years, and wanted to go, but never had the time or the money. This was my opportunity! My only regret that first year was that I hadn’t gone sooner. I worked so hard my first year that I was declared “Rookie of the Year 2001”. Since then I have been involved in several major art projects including building The Man for the last several years and was voted Mayor of Black Rock City in 2008.
Shortly after I returned to San Francisco from my first Burning Man I was invited to try Bikram Yoga. I loved the heat, and I loved how I felt after the class! I loved it so much that I got a job working the front desk at the Polk Street studio. Throughout the years I have offered my karma yoga to the studio where I practice my hatha yoga. I believe in service, and although I have had breaks, I have always returned to my Bikram Yoga practice.
In 2005, Juicy asked me if I wanted to go to Bikram’s Teacher Training with her, and of course I was very excited by the prospect. Soon, we were on our path together to become studio owners of Mission Yoga, where our yoga is a journey together, everyday. I’m always looking for ways to improve the studio and myself. I love the the space we’ve created, the community we’ve gathered around us, and the life that we’ve manifested.
How we met
Since the turn of the century there were many opportunities when Juicy and I almost met each other. Apparently, our lives were on very different paths, but very similar arcs. It was only a matter of time until we finally met and fell in love. But this took time and a lot of maturing for both of us to be ready to meet our perfect match.
Back in 2001 we were both working at Funky Door on Polk Street under Jeff and Lynn, but we didn’t know each other then. I worked the front desk for the 6am class and Juicy was doing work trade, folding towels in the evening. We both remember being in Craig Villani’s Master Class together, but that was a special occasion, and we passed each other like two ships in the night.
Later in 2002, I was on the crew that built Amazing Larry’s Quack Club, a three-story rubber duck (hence our affinity for rubber ducks) which transformed into a Jazz Nightclub, Bar and Casino at night. The Duck happened to be Juicy’s favorite art piece at her first Burning Man, and she was in the crowd every night while I tended bar. But alas, we still did not meet.
A couple years went by without us running into each other. In 2004, there was an accident in the shop at Headless Point, where I was living, and a fire ensued. It was pretty devastating to the roommates as well as the community of artists associated with the space. In the aftermath of the fire our community rallied to bring us food, clothing, and support. Again, Juicy came to my side but I still did not know her. But, our paths were getting closer! After the fire, I moved in with a friend who happened to be best friends with Miss Juicy.
From the moment we first started dating in April 2005, we were inseparable. We went to Burning Man together in August 2005. In 2006, for the first time since I started going to the festival, I returned with the same partner to grow even closer. It was after the event in 2006 that we were escorted by the founder of the Black Rock City Rangers to a private hot springs in the middle of the Black Rock Desert where I first asked Juicy to marry me. There were more proposals and plenty more stories to share, but we’ll save those for another time.
Juicy and I got married (for the first time) on May 23rd 2007 in Honolulu with our families present, at Bikram’s teacher training – the first one ever held in Hawaii! Our second wedding took place 100 feet above the playa on Crude Awakening’s Oil Derrick with about 100 of our friends and playa family. That’s the end of our beginning, but there’s lots more to come. Stay tuned!
How we got our names
When I was twenty-three, the number found me. And, it stuck. It is a powerful meme, and it’s come up in lots of significant places in my life. Plus, there are a lot of other Steves out there! There’s more to it (fnord), but you didn’t hear that from me.
Juicy Liberty Sanchez:
My name is an affirmation – a choice to be juicy