After a few months of hiatus from this blog, I am happy to announce that we are back to our regularly scheduled programming.
Regular. Ha! Sure, something like that.
I don’t know about you, but for me, 2016 has been anything but regular. Sometimes we all have to deal with the inconvenient unexpected: car repairs, hospital visits, moving, job changes, relationship challenges, you name it. But 2016 has had so much more, on top of that. Not only because America has elected the least yogic person imaginable to run this country, but also because it’s easy to feel as if so much in the world is broken.
There have been so many hate crimes in the last month.
Aleppo is a disaster.
The coral reefs are bleaching at an unprecedented rate.
And then, after I started to write this post, the fire that has sent heartbreak rippling through the community that made the Bay Area home for me before I even lived here, affecting those who live in unconventional spaces, who love to dance, and who love to create the world they wish to live in.
But we can’t just hide until it’s over, until things are calm again (darn!). We are, though we might hope otherwise, not guaranteed stability or ease, just by virtue of being alive.
Yoga teaches us this every time we get on the mat. We keep showing up, no matter what.
No one comes to yoga when things are perfect, easy, or fun. We come to yoga because we are struggling, a little or a lot. And yoga doesn’t make struggle magically go away. Yoga teaches us to struggle, to be challenged, to know deep in our bones that change is a part of being alive.
And if you want to look to the stars for some answers right now: Those who are comfortable rarely look for ways to make improvements.
Discomfort is our best, most beautiful and sacred teacher about ego, and fear, and compassion. We are at a point as a global community where every day we are allowing ourselves to look more and more at injustice and oppression. We look so that we can really see, with jarring clarity, and allow our hearts to be broken. We give ourselves the opportunity to choose love in the face of chaos.
I have so much faith in the ultimate goodness of humanity, and in you. I really do. I have faith in kindness, generosity, creativity, innovation and compassion. I have so much faith in our ability to choose love, even when the world feels impossible.
But we have to do the work. We have to embrace the struggle, push our own boundaries, choose to do the hard work of looking at what’s not working both within and beyond ourselves, fixing it, and breathing through it. No one’s gonna perfect your garudasana for you. You have to show up. And fall over (a lot). And try again. And again. And again.
The struggle is a part of the practice. The uncertainty, the doubt, the long holds in poses you’d rather get out of, but push yourself to stay in for just one more breath. The struggle to stay still and teach your mind to rest when it would rather obsessively refresh the news sites. To know your limits. But also to know when to push them.
Our work, on and off the mat, is to keep showing up. No matter what. To be present with the crap, to really see it, to look right into its terrible snarling mouth...and breathe.