Dear Friends and Family,
I hope that this email finds you and your loved ones remaining safe and well, and that you weren’t negatively affected by the recent storm. Like many along the Northeast, I lost electrical power, wifi, and phone service. Fortunately, we have a decent generator and the power was restored in a day (though still no landline. Update! As I am writing this the Verizon technician popped by and it ended up being a mouse that ate our wires completely coincidental to the storm. Yuck!). During the storm, I was teaching a yoga private on Zoom, and the lights flickered for a moment but quickly went back on. I didn’t think much about the temporary power loss as my laptop was still working so we continued our private yoga class. It was only later that I realized we were in a blackout and that my generator had immediately kicked on. Nor did I realize the extent of the wind damage until the next day, when I walked outside and observed our road being blocked by two downed trees that were pulling the electrical wires down along with them. From speaking with friends and family, and watching the news, I know many people are still without electricity almost a week later, and huge trees are still blocking roads and creating dangerous conditions. 2020 is really throwing us a lot of curveballs, to say the least. So now once again, the rebuilding begins. One big lesson in this topsy-turvy year is the importance of adaptability, flexibility and creativity.
As you know from my classes, I never teach from the perspective of achieving that perfect yoga pose. As one of my yoga mentors, Leslie Kaminoff, taught the purpose of yoga is to explore the body’s reaction to novel stimuli (such as movement and shape creation) so that it can adapt to varied circumstances, and not be stuck in rigid patterning. This applies to our breath and thoughts as well. If we can challenge ourselves in our classes with learning new choreography, movements, breath patterning, and sequencing (being mindful of creating the balance of the effort and ease) we can apply that openness to adaptation and exploration in our everyday lives. That’s where the yoga practice really counts – off the mat or chair. We all know life isn’t perfect; some years we have more challenges than others (both collectively and individually). How we adapt to these challenges, again both individually and collectively, is the key. Some scientists believe that climate change is not reversible at this point, and that the climate crisis should be approached as a climate adaptability model. We have adapted to the pandemic with new unforeseen behaviors becoming commonplace – mask wearing, foot tap greetings, spacial separating, etc. – and at some point (hopefully soon), those safety behaviors will no longer be necessary and we will adapt again to a new normal. When we don’t resist the unpleasant reality and are able to creatively adapt, socially and professionally, we can not just survive but hopefully thrive. I see that in all of you who zoom in or call in to my classes – many of you are in Covid-19 at-risk categories. Yet, you are individually persevering and positively contributing to the collective. I see that in the teachers I study with, especially my 83-year old NYC ballet teacher – Finis Jhung – who has adapted to a full-time online teaching schedule and gets his fresh air and sunshine safely by his window fire escape (all with a positive mindset and inspiring others around the world with his movement classes and life outlook). A week after the storm, the rebuilding continues, concurrent with the pandemic, political turmoil, economic uncertainty, social unrest, and more – it can feel overwhelming but let’s remember we are experiencing and adapting to this imperfect world together.
Photo by Melissa Elstein
YOGA FOR RUNNERS & HIKERS – A YOGA WORKSHOP:
Whether you are a serious runner or a weekend jogger, hiking big peaks or local parks, it is important to balance the repetitive forward and contractile movements of running and hiking with proper stretching. Learn Yoga poses and stretches geared for runners and hikers to help you with overall conditioning and to prevent injury. Discover the power of savasana and Yoga Nidra (deep relaxation) to enhance your performance. You will come away prepared to use all these techniques in your next run or hike. Includes an emailed outline. Have a pen for taking notes, yoga mat, yoga strap or stretching band, blocks, pillows or yoga blanket, optional eye pillow for relaxation.
Come with your questions as there will be plenty of discussion time between our yoga practice. Looking forward to seeing you on Zoom!
Register in advance here: http://www.iyiny.org under Workshops.