Redirect to the September 2021 post This is What Love Feels Like here.
I need to set the tone by telling you that I was going to name this post “hard decisions” but quickly recognized that would be pretty redundant at this time in history. Perhaps we can just categorize them all into hard decisions and impossible decisions. We’ve been faced with so many- personally and collectively- in the past year that most of us have become accustomed to a level of inner reeling that might be the “new normal” to which we are adjusting. Freedom of choice is a whole lot more complicated than we once believed it to be. Perhaps we are coming to realize how far-reaching the impact of our choices has always been. There’s no getting around it. The right choice is often hard, uncomfortable, unpopular.
Whether with heightened consciousness, rationalization or outright denial, we’ve all made choices about how to get through life in the most simple ways in the past 18 months. While we have moved a long way from decisions like, so, just how often is it okay to go to the grocery store? Many of us are still very much pondering: to eat inside restaurants or not? To mask or not? To travel or not? What are the safe, thoughtful choices that not only protect our own health and the health of loved ones, but what acknowledges and upholds our collective health and wellness? It’s a time when there are no easy, clear or concrete answers, and I am grateful for the discernment that comes from longtime dedicated practice. The practice that forms a clear compass that recognizes there is no right for the I that is not also right for the we.
To that end, I’ve made the second impossible decision since COVID entered our lives. While not as externally impactful as closing the brick and mortar studio, the internal impact is significant.
After much sitting, pondering and reflecting, we will not offer the YTT200-hour program this year. It has always been my intention for us to lead by example, and for quite a number of reasons, now does not feel like the time to be churning out new yoga teachers. Like so many decisions in the past 18 months, it feels both heartbreaking and also 100% the right thing to do.
That program is in many ways the best of my life’s work, and while it’s hard to let go of— at least for now— I know that it served the way it needed to for many years. The inner compass of knowing has made it clear that it’s time to press pause and take time to refocus on the answer to the question what is needed now?
While a crop of freshly minted 200-hour yoga teachers (facing fewer teaching opportunities than ever before) may not be the next best thing, I am certain that we desperately do need deep and rich continuing education to support and prepare existing teachers to better lead, to dig deeper and to create spaces where we can collectively re-imagine the future of yoga-for-all rather than to try to re-create the past. I think we do this well, and there are more avenues of exploration for us to make manifest. I look forward to seeing what we can add to an already rich curriculum.
Even more, I think the world needs more Yogis. And so we are beginning to consider new places and content into which practitioners can dive and deepen their own practices and discover tools for being clearer, wiser, more thoughtful and more connected humans. It is still taking shape, but ideas are percolating and this evolution is exciting!
With this decision came the clear message that the work is always the same: keep tuning in, listening, paying attention to the voice of wisdom within that says yes, no, here, there, wait, now, not now. Making decisions in a vacuum must be a thing of the past. We must put aside our selfish ways and consider the broader impact of our choices. Most of all we must have faith that even when we cannot see it, there is a way forward. And our ability to walk into the unseen with hope and faith, well, that is the yoga.