I know it’s been a long year. I know it’s felt like too long since we have been together. It feels like ages since you have sat in a restaurant or gone to a movie theater or seen your yoga friends in person or gotten on a plane or hugged your grandchildren.
You may have heard about gyms and yoga studios opening up for small groups, and the Governor’s recent transition of our region to Phase 2. We miss you, we really do, but the truth is, we don’t feel quite ready to welcome you in person into the studio.
We are still in this Pandemic. This hasn’t changed. The uncertainty of the next couple of months – slow rollout of the vaccine, new variants of the virus, all this feels like reason to pause, not rush, stay steady and focused in our care for not just ourselves, but for our greater community. The community of our families, our neighbors, our yoga friends, and even beyond that, our global community. This is a time that invites us to let go of our individual needs and wants, and instead see ourselves as part of a whole, dependent on the actions of others – or another way of thinking about it, other vulnerable folks dependent on the actions of us.
This might just be a time that calls for “wintering” in the words of Katherine May. In her book published this last year – “Wintering – The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times,” is a reminder that we have all been in a winter of sorts. Winter, she reflects, “is a time of withdrawing from the world, maximizing scant resources, carrying out acts of brutal efficiency and vanishing from sight…Winter is not the death of the life cycle, but its crucible.”
This is the season of winter, as we see the dormancy of trees and plants around us, but also, a sort of winter in our world, as we deal with how this Pandemic has upended our lives. This might just be the time to go slow, and to make space for rest in whatever way we are able. Especially as the world opens into life on the other side of this virus – when we can have dinner parties, go to restaurants, see live music, sit in cafes – there may be a frenetic energy of trying to fit it all in. Right now might be a good opportunity to pause and be intentional about what activities really nourish us and what we might be best served to let go of.
In the meantime, we are so happy we have been able to transition to online classes. It really is a joy to see your faces on the screen. We will be back together, of that, I am certain. But not yet. For now, we will stay steady in our practices online. We will sense the wholeness of our community through the screen, and we will continue to hold our greater community in our heart.