Although you don’t need me to tell you this, it’s hot. The heat is creating a conflict in me over doing just about anything. There is so much to process right now. The ongoing global pandemic instills at the very least uncertainty, if not fear and panic. The civil equality movement beckons our participation. Soon we will be flooded with information about our national election. Local yoga studios have closed, and now a place so dear to Meaghan and me, owned by a beloved friend, that had been open for 13 years, a community-driven studio where the two of us trained, practiced, and lead classes, which inspired the creation of our own studio is also closed. I’ve seen plenty of memes about 2020 being a letdown. While that may be true, I think we have been given an opportunity, with all that is going down, to get really clear with our purpose and our lifestyle. and it’s extremely important!
My main themes as a yoga teacher are fostering authenticity, practicing letting go, and being in the moment, learning to accept what is. All of these things feel particularly challenging right now. Yet, all of these things are exactly what the practices can help us do and what we must do in facing the extreme challenges we all are encountering.
I’ve had my moments of wanting to just melt into the couch rather than get myself ready to go teach. I imagine we’ve all had moments where we’ve leaned on a close friend, a partner, or family member to help us rally from feelings of despair and lack of motivation. It’s important that we continue to do so.
Yoga provides us with tools for stability and centering to help us through turbulent times. We learn how to access our breath to remain steadfast when we are asked by our teacher to hold a pose for 3 more breaths and our quads are already shaking. We build resiliency when we arrive in a deep hip opener and we immediately feel our resistance but we are courageous enough to stay. A shift in perspective shows us these challenges are like boons for when life brings us face to face with unkind obstacles, and they are essential during challenging times.
I trust that there is a path for us to navigate through the current crisis. I know that quarantining at home can feel safe and comfortable one moment, and then tedious and unnerving the next. Perhaps we can see ourselves as human superheroes, similar to a Hindu diety, whose epic includes a global pandemic as a demon that we must overcome. We can be crafty like Hanuman increasing in size by 100 times to trick the evil demon Surasa to do the same, and then the clever monkey immediately shrinks to fly in through her ear and out through Surasa’s mouth to save the day. We may not literally be able to grow 100 times in size, but we have the power to expand our consciousness. We have our own super powers, too: patience, thoughtfulness, passion, and so many other amazing traits that we can use to uplift ourselves and each other when needed. I say it’s time to save the day! Use the skills that yoga has taught you and do whatever you can, however large or small it may seem, to keep encouraging yourself and others to persevere. We can feel all the feels, be sensitive to the sadness of loss and still remain on course, true to our burning desire to live free and as one.
Please don’t hesitate to connect with your teachers at Breathe for support with challenges that you are facing. We all do what we do because we love connecting with others and we love being a part of the process of truly being alive.
May peace be in our hearts.