It's been almost 2 months since my last post, and I must say that I was touched by the response. Thank you so much for your feedback, your comments, your attention. I've been sitting with your thoughts and mine for all this time. Here's where I am -- I don't feel good about selling the blog. It feels like one big ick. I can't put a price on over 10 years of content and haggling over the price of something that has such meaning to me just feels...wrong. I haven't been happy with how I've shown up here in the past year or so. I haven't been all that enthusiastic or committed. After marinating on it, I realize that I want to be more present here. The time has come to reboot this blog.
A little truth telling with a whole lotta vulnerability thrown in...
There's a whole lot of information flying around out there. In fact, it's like information inundation. I've noticed in my own life how easy it can be to get pulled out of myself by staying on the outside, taking in information. These days, I've started to get seriously tough on what, exactly, I let in. If it doesn't nourish me, then -- regardless of what messages I'm getting about having to be in the know/keeping up/being my "best" self -- I ditch it. Part of me then wonders about blogging -- am I just contributing to all of the information out there? Heck, do I even have anything to say? Does anyone really care? Does the world need yet another yoga blogger?
I've never fancied myself a teacher in the real sense of the word. I think of myself more as a sherpa, a guide, a partner, a catalyst who ignites someone's inner fire. I have no desire to tell you the way it should be or which path you should walk or how you should be or get into the pedestal teacher/student relationship. I've never engaged in any of these myself. I don't care about being an "expert." It was one of the things that made me a feel a little...separated, I suppose...from the yoga community. All of the talk about teachers and the question of how long you've studied with one and how much of yourself and your life have you devoted to one. Then there's the whole must-establish-yourself-as-an-expert and get yourself a yoga agent nonsense. Well, it all made me uncomfortable. I'm not saying that there's no value in having a teacher or that it's wrong to market yourself and make money teaching yoga (you most certainly deserve to). I just don't believe in one way of doing or being. I can only follow my way (and if you're along for the ride, awesome, and if you're not, well, that's awesome too).
That's showed in my style of yoga teaching. It's not one-size-fits-all. It's not about me telling my clients what they should be doing with their bodies and how they should look while practicing asana. After all, don't we torture our bodies enough all on our own? We tell them what to look like, we force them to exercise in a way that we've been told is effective and will get us the body we desire, we demand they look a certain way and judge them when they don't , we compare them to others, we force them to eat what we've been told are the "right" things, we ignore them until they revolt in sickness. It's all so harsh and the very opposite of loving. I don't want to contribute to the judgmental at best and downright abusive at worst way we treat our bodies (After all, if we spoke to a child the way we talk about our bodies, what do you think would happen?).
The Yoga Label
As hard as it is to admit this -- especially as a yoga blogger, practitioner and teacher -- I sometimes don't like the yoga world. All of that body bashing I mentioned above? Well, there's an undercurrent of it in the yoga world. The subtle messages of what yoga bodies look like, how yoga bodies eat, and how yoga bodies function -- frankly, they make me want to stop using the term yoga altogether.
I suppose that I've become disheartened these past few years. I often don't like how yoga is depicted in popular media. I don't like the messages underneath all of the social media flash and media images and striving. Then I remembered why I started the kind of yoga business that I did -- because I wanted to show a different possibility. I wanted to focus on personal empowerment -- connection with one's body, no body shaming, no harm, and working with what is in the moment. Yoga defined as relationship has been the foundation of how I work with people.
Don't Lose Heart
After taking a break and almost turning my back on this blog, I realize that I'd lost heart. It's time to locate it. I want to be here and I want to keep talking about the world of yoga as through a bigger perspective -- one beyond one-size-fits-all practices; perfectly flexible, airbrushed bodies; body shaming; perfect asana form; which celebrities are practicing and what yoga clothing they're wearing. If you've been reading this blog, you know that I don't care much about any of that. It's not what I, or this blog, is about.
I first fell in love with yoga back when I was 26. Like in any relationship, that love has changed over the years. At times it's waned, intensified, struggled, been a source of disappointment and frustration, provided comfort, and deepened. There have been times I've taken a break from my practice, only to have it come roaring back with a vengeance. Throughout it all, I never lost heart in the practice. Now it's time for the blog love to be reignited. It's time for this blog to come roaring back.
Thank you for sticking with me through this long post...and through my absence this past year. It's good to be back.
Pema Chodron on Finding Your Lost Heart
Before I sign off, I'd like to share a little inspiration that I got while deciding on the fate of the blog. It comes in the form of Pema Chodron. She's teaching an online retreat in June. This isn't a sales pitch (although I do recommend any opportunity to learn from Pema), but I encourage you to click the sales page link and watch the free videos. The topic is Don't Lose Heart. While I can't compare my blog decision with what she addresses in the video, I can relate to so much of what she said. And I wholeheartedly agree with her urging to note, appreciate, and acknowledge the wonderful, happy moments. This is one for me. I'm so happy to be back here. It's so wonderful to connect with you all.
Again, here's the link for Pema videos. If you're struggling right now, the 17-minute video will support you. Here are a few of my favorite "ahs" from the video:
- Vulnerability is the ego not functioning very well
- Use adversity as something to free you
- It's important to take the time and note when it's good, when you're happy, when your breath has been taken away, when you're experiencing joy
And if you scroll to the bottom of the page, there's an 11-minute video on Tonglen. It's wonderful.
Don't lose heart, my friends. And if you do, then remember that whatever's lost can be found again.