I haven’t written in this blog as regularly as I used to. Or maybe I am, but I’m writing more in other ways so, this blog feels pretty distant. Lots of habits have changed, dropped, and been added to my life in the last year. This blog used to be the way the way I communicated with people about yoga stuff, whether you ever did a class with me or not. Now that my classes are all on ZOOM, people are joining the classes from El Paso, Baltimore, Minnesota, and more! The weekly email that I used to send just to the community of people who do yoga with me has become more important, at least in my mind, because the pool of people who practice yoga with me is bigger, not all local, and there is more information that needs to be shared (zoom info, payment, etc.). The now weekly email used to be more “as needed”, to get information out about upcoming retreats, vacations, or a sick kid. It used to be about logistics. Now, it’s also about community. People send me pictures of their pets, plants, grandkids, and beautiful sunsets, and I often share the pictures in the weekly email, like they might have shared them after class, huddled around their phone. When I write a wee reflection about the Meditation Mantra of the Month it feels particular to this community of people who I know are walking through complicated grief, hope, boredom, loneliness, overwhelm, underwhelm, and exhaustion — all of it complicated.
I say this just to explain why the blog has been quiet. I’ve needed to shift gears a little. I’m not promising to write more in the blog. I think I need to figure out what the blog is for me now. Do people still read blogs (obviously YOU do, and I thank you)? Is this a space to publicize retreats, especially since now EVERYONE can come to Saturday Morning Retreats?! Maybe so. I need to figure that out.
I am promising myself to write more to myself, and for myself, with only me as the intended reader. me – me – me . I feel like I’ve kind of forgotten how to write in a self-reflective way, with no intention of sharing, not for public consumption, or Facebook fandom. I used to write in a journal a lot. I have many, many journals tucked away in boxes, full of big feelings, proclamations, and questions. But, I haven’t written in a journal for a long time, and I sense that going back to the basics would be helpful or at least push me towards a different growing edge. And I’m kind of curious — what do I really think and feel, if no one else is going to hear about it?
The Meditation Mantra of the Month is YOGA. Yoga comes from the word “yoke”, meaning to bind, connect, bring together. So the practice of yoga is connecting mind~body~spirit, on purpose. The on purpose part is important to remember, because we are always connected in mind, body, spirit, for better or worse, whether we are paying attention or not. The practice of yoga is Paying Attention, and being intentional about the connection of mind~body~spirit. That is the essential piece of yoga. The rest of it – the poses, music, mat, pants – that’s all the stuff that we have decided help us better practice yoga. But they are not the essential practice of yoga. Make sense? I think Kabat-Zinn’s quote above is IT. That’s the essence of the practice of yoga — RE~MEMBERING OUR WHOLENESS.
So, we are going back to the basics, and focusing on what is essential. I am starting a monthly, Saturday Morning Meet-Up, as an online, micro retreat. Plenty of the yoga you expect, the quiet contemplation, and community connection. Set your calendar for Saturday, January 16th (that’s next weekend?!), 8:30 -10 a.m. (central standard time) on ZOOM. It will be $5, like a normal class. You won’t need to register in advance, but I would prefer that you pay in advance so I don’t need to hunt you down. If you are interested in coming but have never taken a class with me, please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will get you information to pay and the ZOOM info. Because it is ZOOM, there is no real limit to how many can attend, you will never get lost, stuck behind a train, or worried about the impending ice-storm! The theme of the Meet-Up will always be The Meditation Mantra of the Month, so this month’s will be YOGA.
That’s it for now. I’m not going to show you a picture of my journal or the pen. But, this is a picture of my handwriting, and words that I keep taped to the wall, and that seem appropriate for Right Now. “We live in such a moment; such a moment is our situation.” – P. Tillich
Peace on your head, you. Rachel