If there is one thing 2020 has taught us, it's constant change. We'd all be lying if we said anything about this year has been easy. It's been a constant barrage of ups and downs compounded by a global pandemic, an economic downturn, and here in the U.S. one of the most polarized and racially charged political situations in the history of our nation. Put plain and simple, it's been a shit show.
We've collectively been forced to look in the mirror. Some of us have taken this gracefully and allowed for shift to occur while trying our hardest to stay grounded. Some of us have tried desperately to cling to what we thought was normal and thus spun out. The amount of hostility that has grown out of fear, seeded and sown by society have only continued to create chaos. We've been pitted against one another for far too long and pointed the finger at the "other" side so often that we've forgotten that at the root of all things we have to come together to survive.
Yoga means to unify, to create connection, to create harmony. Scarcity breeds chaos and distrust. We are in such a rabid state of scarcity right now that we're pulling away at the very seams of our yoga practice. This can be seen every where right now. So many studios fighting over students, in hopes to stay afloat through this economic downturn and health crisis. It can also be seen in each of our inabilities to commit to making it to our mat daily. Your practice doesn't expect you to show up perfect, it just asks that you show up. Maybe that's to work the rage out of your body with a firey, heated, vinyasa flow....Maybe that's lying on the floor in savasana and crying for an hour... Either way it's you listening to your body and working through the energy held in your tissues.
There have been some very strong conversations that have come out of this time of grief and pause. So many great conversations addressing the need for greater diversity in our yoga communities. When we really honestly practice yoga, we're practicing union. Uniting a diverse loving community that supports each other and doesn't get stuck in scarcity mindset is the only way our studios and teaching practices are going to survive this upheaval. Let the ego slide, celebrate each other's successes, carry one another through.
I recently posted the following on my social media and it's become the prompt for this blog post...
"Taking a moment to be truly honest and vulnerable right now....
Being a full time yoga instructor is by no means an easy career choice, it's an enormous amount of work with often little financial return...the return comes when a student tells you how much a practice impacted them personally...
These last few months, not being able to teach in person have been really rough. Not being in space with others has taken a toll on my mental health. Not teaching multiple times a week has taken a toll on my physical health. Having to pivot my business completely online has taken a toll on my financial health.
I sadly don't foresee being able to teach in person classes prior to next year. I no longer have a space to teach in Carmi, due to water damage to the floors at the church. I haven't been asked back to the studio I taught at in Evansville, due to them not being back to full capacity yet.
If my business/career is going to survey it's going to take a commitment from those of you who have been impacted personally by my teaching. Please consider taking an online class. I know it feels weird to not be in a studio. I know it's hard to do in a house full of other people. I know it's hard to carve out space in your home. It's hard to teach in these conditions too, but it's about adapting. If 2020 has taught us anything it's that we have to adapt and shift and change with the times at hand."
We need community now more than ever.... We need deep honest yoga practice now more than ever... We need to come together and show up in every way we can now more than ever...
With great love to you all ~Ash