Join me in the fourth week of our seven-week series exploring the Yoga of Resilience, Resistance, and Recovery. I am offering this series in all of my current weekly classes: Wednesdays at 5:30 and 7pm, and Saturdays at 10:30am. If you have missed any classes, you can still jump in and join us. While the series provides optimum benefit if you are able to attend all sessions, each class is designed as a complete offering unto itself.
Yoga is a profoundly elegant, comprehensive and holistic system for experiencing vitality, complete freedom, and wholeness. It is a path and process.
It is precisely these things – a path, a process, a comprehensive system – that so many of us need right now. We are being called to a level of healing and recovery that is profound and uncharted. We are being called to the Next Level of resistance to oppression, requiring Next Level commitments to resilience as well. Read why we need this work more than ever in these times.
In the past few weeks, we been exploring the individual tenets that Durga Leela, founder of Yoga of Recovery, has codified. These tenets help to structure the work of resilience/resistance/recovery by speaking to the nature of human experience – acknowledging exactly where and how we suffer – and pointing to the tools of Yoga, Ayurveda, and the 12 steps which meet us at the level of our suffering. These tenets recognize the natural energies of manifestation/existence/the human condition, as well as the ways those energies can go awry, and the yogas that best allow us to express those energies in a more conscious (sattvic) way.
The first tenet, Life is Longing, speaks directly to our innate longing to know our own True Nature, to know Spirit. Last week, we explored Life is Prana. In this tenet, we acknowledged the reality that breath is life, Life Force, Spirit.
This week, we are on to the third tenet, Life is Relationship. It is here that we must grapple with “the god problem.” That is, we must be willing to accept the imperative of cultivating a relationship with self and other (and god). Life is Relationship tells us that, just as we are inherently spiritual and energetic, we are also relational beings. This aspect of resilience practice reminds us that we need real relationships in order to heal and feel whole. Allowing ourselves to be seen, to be vulnerable, to be deeply known, is essential for building trust. When we do, we tap into the reality that healing is self-revealing. Fundamental to healing is love and acceptance, what we as relational beings so desperately long for.
This is such a crucial time for strengthening relationships – with ourselves, certainly, but also with each other, with the satsanga – the company of the wise, fellow truth-seekers, kindred folk on the path. In this time of post-truth, of disinformation and cognitive dissonance, we need each other to stay sane and drown out the distraction and distortion. We need each other to be mirrors, to remind us of who we are and what we’re made of, to hold us accountable to our highest purpose and values. In the work of recovery/resilience/resistance, we need community to help us see ourselves more clearly, especially when our own patterns of addiction and self-destruction threaten to keep us mired in distorted self-perceptions.
The healing practices which meet us at the level of how we suffer as relational beings are therefore the things which help us reduce isolation and move towards connection. It is the practices of karma and seva – right action, selfless service, acts of love and devotion. It is bhakti yoga, practicing the presence of God, Self, Other. Yoga tells us that what you love you serve. Yogic lore reminds us that a life of purpose is a life of service. At this stage, the Yoga of Resilience tells us that the company we keep is critical.
Yoga in community is one of the most powerful antidotes to the illness and isolation we could so easily fall into at this time. Share your practice with others and acknowledge the ways you are yearning to get closer to yourself, to kind folk, to Spirit. Recognize your nature as a relational being and let yourself be immersed in, entrain with, connect to Spirit as it manifests in the collective. Offer yourself to the healing power that emerges when you let yourself see and be seen.
See you there.