Grief and Joy and Summer Yoga

I sit down to write this while holding the fullness of both/and awareness.  I am grief stricken by the most recent rounds of violence in our country and abroad.  I am joyful as I share the fun of summer berry picking with my kids, even triumphantly getting a wheelchair out and into blueberry bushes.  I am hopeful as I see children understand justice and empathy with such ease, like it is a deep part of their DNA.  I feel blessed to be part of community that cares about caring for each other and the planet.

I am sitting with the question of what yoga has to do with dismantling racism and other forms of marginalization and violence – some days I think I know, and other days I try to be patient with not knowing.  I am so grateful to my yoga practice and community for reminding me that I can hold all of this – including time to grieve, time to take care and time to act.

My previous life and training as an organizer and educator sometimes trickle into my yoga teaching.  I especially love popular education, a practice based on the belief that each and every person has important wisdom, so an instructor’s role is to create a space where everyone can learn together and from each other.  In my classes I want to facilitate students not just connecting to themselves, but also sharing what they find inside with each other.  I often ask students to speak at the beginning of class – even if it is just to share names and a tiny bit about their day.  Recently I’ve asked more – in one class I invited students to shape class in deeper ways by teaching along with me.  And teaching me. I have been grateful to all of you who moved toward the challenge, who allowed yourselves to move into vulnerability by sharing some of your own wisdom.

So as we move further into summer I look forward to seeing you in yoga class.  We will keep practicing grounding, deep listening, and joyous movement.  And we will look for the places where we can take risks, allow ourselves to be vulnerable, and move toward a yoga practice that seeks inner and outer freedom for ourselves and all people.

Below is the schedule for the rest of the summer  As always, I welcome your questions, reflections, or feedback.

Community Yoga Late Summer Series

July 25 – August 30

At the Mount Baker Community Club
Mondays, 6 – 7:15pm

The current session runs through this Monday, July 18.  In the late summer session, beginning July 25, we will come back to a focus on sitting – wonderful seated twists and folds, as well as sitting in stillness for meditation.

Information, prices and registration here.

Thursday morning Gentle Yoga at Lotus Yoga has grown, and I love seeing so many regular faces.  Gentle class brings together a great mix of experiences: people looking for a quieter, more reflective practice; people healing from injuries; people adjusting their practices to the new needs of their aging bodies; people looking to compliment athletics or more vigorous yoga practice other days of the week; and people who simply have Thursday mornings free!  I am especially open to requests in this slower-paced class.  Join us every Thursday, 9:30-10:45am

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