So where have I been?
I have been missing in action since August 1, 2018 when I called out a well-known yoga writer and he blocked me on Facebook. No, that’s not the reason I stopped writing, I mention it because it’s funny.
I often think about deleting this blog because #1, I am not sure if anyone still reads it. But then I occasionally check out the stats and people are still reading me so my writing must benefit someone somewhere. #2, who reads blogs anymore? The few I still see the writers are writing about things I wrote about 10, 12 years ago. Namely, nowadays, diversity in Yoga. Ain’t no new thing, youngins. Respect your Yoga Elders and give them the credit they deserve. I guess when I was writing about it, no one was listening because no one is asking me to do a podcast or a diversity training for their teachers. The squeaky wheel gets the grease as the old saying goes.
I hope you all have been well and relatively peaceful during the pandemic. I know it’s been damn hard on some. In all these months of shut down I’ve taken solace in my Yoga and the Buddhadharma, knowing that things are not permanent even tho they may seem that way. All things are forever changing even tho it seems we are stuck in a loop.
For most of the time during this now 7 months of isolation and shutdown I have felt PLACID. SERENE. NOT BOTHERED. I have occasionally felt guilty (although really not very much) for my feeling of santosa when others have been freaking out. It is in times like this where the REAL YOGA KICKS IN.
A writer of another yoga blog asked me, “Which practices or philosophy in particular have you found helpful during this time?”
I told her: “It’s all contained in the Sutra-s and the Buddhadharma. The underlying premise of the Sutra-s are Sat and Parinama. It’s not about any practices per se but about knowing in your bones the truth of reality which is impermanence and knowing the Sutra-s and the Buddhadharma that speak to non-attachment. Buddhadharma teaches that our suffering is caused by wanting things to be different from the way things are in each present moment. I don’t know if that can be taught, it has to be experienced. Sure you can read about it, but there’s a difference in “knowing” and “knowing that you know.”
Of course every single experience is real at the moment of experiencing it – the Sat – whether pain, fear, anxiety, worry, joy, pleasure, loss, gain. However, and most importantly, this reality is inevitably subject to change – Parinama – it will change in accordance with the interplay of the three Guṇa-s that we all have, namely, Tamas (inactivity), Rajas (activity), and Sattva (harmony.) There are many factors, both internal and external, that lead to a fluctuation of the Guṇa-s. Given that all objects in the material world are made up of some combination of the five elements (ether, air, fire, water, earth, according to Yoga philosophy) and given that the three Guṇa-s are always in a state of flux, everything that has a material existence is subject to change. What differs is the rate of change and also how we perceive that change as a unit of time depending on our own experience.
SO WHAT CAN WE DO?
The only thing that we can do that helps us in a beneficial way is to accept the reality of every moment as it unfolds – not denying, not rejecting, not suppressing, not fighting — just watching closely, observing objectively and accepting what is as it is at that moment, neither looking back at was with regret nor looking ahead at what will be with worry. Both regret and worry are natural mental processes that lead us nowhere. Acceptance is not apathy or indifference, both of which come from a place of Tamas. Acceptance comes from an ability to stay in the present moment and every moment as it unfolds. Knowing this IN MY BONES is what has kept me on an even keel all these months, for which I am extraordinarily grateful.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO?
You can attend my ZOOM YOGA CLASSES where I start each class with a reading that is pertinent to these times and end with Alternate Nostril Breathing that helps with anxiety. What one long time student has to say:
“Linda has been my yoga teacher and mentor for 18 years.
When the pandemic occurred we could no longer have class in person so Linda quickly presented us with the Zoom option. After a few classes I found that it was so helpful to me that I asked her to provide a second class each week, which we did and have continued for months. I have suffered from anxiety for 20 years and feel that Zoom yoga classes with Linda have been a true lifeline for me. Anxiety is a very prevalent problem these days and I find I always feel better after class. Linda’s classes are customized to the students’ needs and after 18 years, she is still presenting new asanas and giving us options according to our personal body structure. She is constantly educating herself by attending high level trainings. As her students, we greatly benefit from her training as she shares what she has learned. I highly recommend Linda’s Zoom classes as an excellent social distancing option during these trying times.”
Yes, this is shameless self-promotion. I don’t want to go the way of my root teacher who closed his Chicago studio this summer after being open since 1984. Frankly, I don’t blame him because I do not believe the yoga studio concept is sustainable especially during Covid times. Suddha said that Yoga is supposed to be simple, not complicated by social distancing, the constant disinfecting, and the hope that someone will show up. As a micro-business I do not have the luxury of a marketing or advertising budget and I depend on word of mouth. Asking people to promote me is like pulling teeth.
In 19 years of teaching I wish I had a dollar for every time someone told me that they wished they could study with me. That they wished they take one of my classes IF ONLY…..
Now is your chance during the Time of Covid. If Tuesdays or Thursdays at 11:30 AM (Chicago time) do not work for you, pick a day or evening and time that is convenient for YOU. 60 minute classes are $17, two classes a week are $15 each. I take payment via PayPal and Venmo and Square Cash and Zoom links are sent to you the day before class.
Real Yoga is breath based…
Meet your mind through the avenues of your body.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?