“Do you already know that your existence--who and how you are--is in and of itself a contribution to the people and place around you? Not after or because you do some particular thing, but simply the miracle of your life. And that the people around you, and the place(s), have contributions as well? Do you understand that your quality of life and your survival are tied to how authentic and generous the connections are between you and the people and place you live with and in?” ― Adrienne Maree Brown, Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds
Your tears, rage, grief, joy, curiosity, critique, and vulnerability are a gift.
How are you holding up out there, friends? There are so many of us who are struggling right now. So many of us, individually and collectively, are searching for ways to bring justice in many realms, raging, rioting, and building the resources we need, right here within our own communities.
We are grateful to be here, struggling and raging and finding moments of joy alongside you. And we are doing our very best to build the healing, movement, and community resources that we need.
When we find ourselves in that pit of despair and hopelessness, when we turn towards the big feels and refuse to let the inequity and oppression of our world be normalized, we ask ourselves and each other: What can yoga teach us about this moment?
Lately, we’ve been drawing heavily from what yoga teaches us about interconnectedness.
At its root, the word tantra, which represents a lineage of yoga that greatly informs our practices, means to weave. It reminds us of the profound and innate ways that each of us are woven together, connected. If our existence is like a knitted sweater, each of us, along with everything else, are threads in this cosmic garment.
If one thread loosens over at the left shoulder, let’s say, the threads at the right shoulder might feel sorry for it, but can stay snuggled down in the security of the surrounding interlockings. However, as any knitter knows, eventually, all threads will feel the unraveling because ultimately, when one thread goes, the whole sweater does too.
The wellbeing of every individual is the wellbeing of the whole and the wellbeing of the whole is the wellbeing of every individual.
Collective care refers to the ways that we care for the whole, not just the individual, and is an essential yogic concept.
How do we move through each day with intention towards the whole web of interconnectedness?
How can our yoga practices go beyond self care and tend to the collective as well?
Are you actively practicing generosity and vulnerability in order to make the connections between you and others clear, open, available, durable? Generosity here means giving of what you have without strings or expectations attached. Vulnerability means showing your needs.”― Adrienne Maree Brown, Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds
We witness and learn from each of you in this community, from our teachers and students, about how to do this again and again and again. The ways you bring your integrity and hearts into the world through your relationships, in how you raise your children, and in the work you do as educators, community organizers, and healers. We see this in the little things too - the ways you make requests and share openly with each other at the beginning of class, when you introduce yourselves and say an intentional hello in the lobby, or when you honor your need for quiet togetherness and, in doing so, offer the same tranquil opportunity for others around you... These little and big ways where we make space for our collective humanity to be… and to be honored.
In the spirit of collective care, we are excited to share our new mask policy for classes held at the studio. With this policy, we hope to address our communities’ complex needs and honor the values of consent and choice.
We also continue tending to the web of our community, through the container of support that is the Bhakti Yoga Movement Center. In addition to our classes at the studio, this summer we’ll hold free classes outside at local parks and a a weekly donation-based class at The Side Yard farm.