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YOGA NEWS YOGA NEWS YOGA NEWS JANUARY 2009
Dear Students, Friends, and Colleagues,
I write today, right on the heels of my holiday newsletter, because I found myself unexpectedly moved by the events of last Tuesday’s Inauguration Day. Despite growing up in Washington, D.C., I have lived most of my life a comfortable distance from politics. Partly because I am a hopeless idealist, set up for massive disappointment when it comes to how things actually are. Partly because, as an oft-disappointed idealist, I swing swiftly into cynicism when contemplating whether things could really ever be that different from how they are. Relegated to the sidelines of movin’ and shakin’, I have found other areas—art, literature, yoga—in which to try to do some good.
Hence my surprise when I found myself glued to C-span (also atypical behavior!) Tuesday afternoon, watching the pomp and circumstance and fumbled swearing in and mediocre poetry and silly rhetoric, riveted by the faces in the crowd and the magnetism of an event that left even New York City’s streets and sidewalks empty at high noon.
What I felt was hope, plastered every which way onto this man who is now our president by people of all races and walks of life. Hope that could not be squelched by years of fruitless warfare, insidious political spin, misguided leadership, and financial chaos. Hope and faith that change is possible. And what I heard from Obama is that he is here to guide us, but that we can’t expect daddy to do it all. He called for each of us to step up to the plate, to be responsible and accountable for our actions, to live our values.
This, of course, is exactly what Tantra asks of each of us: that we step into our greatness and get on with doing whatever good we can as we celebrate the gift of this embodiment. Tantric philosophy speaks so clearly to our times, in that it both empowers and entices each individual to grow his or her potential not just on the mat but out in the world. Standing on the shoulders of giants, we move history forward. Obama’s big day followed directly on the celebration of Martin Luther King, legacy in action.
Tuesday evening I tuned in to the Neighborhood Ball, which featured a string of prominent musicians and entertainers from the virtual ‘hood. While the event was a disappointing(!) showcase for some pretty mediocre and politically irrelevant pop love songs, Jay Z’s performance rose above it all. The rapper wrote a direct tribute to Obama’s rise to office, told from the viewpoint of a street kid who’s made it big himself. Jay Z recounted own idealistic yearnings for a better world and his own disillusionment with worldly success:
I swear I met success, we lived together shortly
And his call to a higher purpose:
Ain`t in it for the fame, that dies in 10 weeks
I may not be running for office any time soon, but it is refreshing to remember that our actions can make a difference and that someone out there is listening . . .
ABOUT THAT YOGA . . .
While Washington plows onward, I’ve stepped up my public class schedule just in time to help New Yorkers cope with hard times. I’m back at Virayoga Monday and Wednesday afternoons; at One Ocean Yoga in Bridgehampton on Sunday mornings, and offering my one-hour Physique Yoga four times a week in Lower Manhattan. With more classes in the works at all 3 locations, I’m here for you! (details on www.blueskyyoga.com).
Okay, so New York City is a bit dismal right now, recession fused with bitter cold and short winter days. Perfect time to escape for the weekend and immerse yourself in good yoga, good company, good food . . . .
My Anusara Yoga Immersion Part 1 begins in just 2 weeks! Spread over two weekends at my idyllic country home in East Hampton (which is looking like a Grandma Moses winter wonderland), this program is your gateway into Anusara practice and philosophy, the place to connect the dots and see the big picture. Designed for both students and aspiring teachers, this program is the first step toward deepening your experience of this amazing yoga. I’m delighted to have the gifted private chef Emily Maniere along to keep us well fed, and the fireplace stocked with wood to keep us warm. **Housing and meals included; I’ll also help you sort out the best way to travel. Details and application on the Teacher Training page of www.blueskyyoga.com. Questions? Feel free to email or give me a call (917)975-8009.
Stay close and stay warm!