May 4, 2020
Thank you for sharing your stories of love, strength, and resiliency during this crisis. The generosity and kindness extended to me has permanently shifted me, gives me hope, and will always live in my heart.
The word pandemic means “all people” and while we are “all in this together” we are not all experiencing this crisis the same way. The Vatican said beautifully, “we are all in the same storm, but we’re in different boats”.
From working on the front lines, to WFH, to pay cuts, to job/business losses, to inabilities to social distance because of crowded, impoverished living conditions, limited or no access to food, to loss of life. At times I feel overwhelmed from it all. So, I hold it in my heart and I pray to let it burn away my apathy and my ignorance. And I humbly offer any grace or mercy I receive from my practice to our brothers and sisters all over the planet, to all of life – everywhere.
The heat of our practice sifts us, shakes us, it is the curing, the alchemical process through which we strengthen our bodies and clear our minds and open our hearts. We ask ourselves what truly matters? This is the practice of svadhyaya – which in sanskrit means “to take something to one’s heart”. If there is an opportunity in this crisis, maybe it is to remember that which matters most and then to live our life in relationship with those things. Svadhyaya invites us to integrate our experiences with wisdom and discernment, to let what matters become a part of us. This alchemy of the body, mind and heart is capable of revealing to us that which is gold and also that which is lead. Or what is worth holding onto and that which no longer serves a purpose and can be offered up.
Is this crisis inviting you to consider that which is most important? What nourishes you? Empowers you? As resources become more scarce, how will we share the valuable currency of our awareness, our attention? Tell me, what is this crisis teaching you? What is getting sifted out, and what will remain?
Until we can meet IRL.
Love to you all,
April 10, 2020
Love to you all. Love to those working from home, with multiple computer monitors on your dining room table, conducting one virtual meeting after the next. Love and gratitude to those dedicated to being of service, working in essential sectors, including all those of you who came out of retirement to be of service on the front lines. Love to those homeschooling your children. My deep compassion to those who have lost your jobs, who are afraid, who are separated from loved ones, who are sick, or know someone who is sick or worse. I even send Love to the toilet paper hoarders, to the #FilmYourHospital “truthers”. I hold it all in my heart often with tears of joy, compassion and at times, sorrow.
Amidst the moments of fear and certainty, sitting right alongside the stickier thoughts and feelings is a deeper awareness. There is a part of us – no matter what – that never needs to be healed or transformed. Yoga is this recognition. Yoga is a path of self-realization, remembering the truth of who we really are. Self-actualization is our birthright and is independent of our outer circumstances. Now, more than ever the gift of Yoga goes far beyond the flexibility of our hamstrings or fancy arm balances or even trying to reduce the number of sticky thoughts we have.
I know with all my heart that it will be okay even if some “things” are never going to be the same. As Rumi says, “the wound is where the light enters you”. Let’s be kind to ourselves, kind to others. Even when we disappoint each other. Even when we screw up. Even when pretend everything has never been better. It’s perfectly natural to want to stitch up the wound and get on with the next great self improvement project. But there is medicine, there is healing buried in the pain. There is great possibility in the wound. Let’s bring it close, lean into it, and let it teach us. The ways we feel challenged can be an initiation that brings us to a new level of insight and awareness. Let your beautiful heart BREAK open to reveal something even more magnificent. Even the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ moments can become an initiation into something even greater, even more powerful than what came before.
April 2, 2020:
How are you doing?
I hope you are taking care of yourself. I hope you are staying connected to the people that nourish your heart, that you are engaging in the practices that build resources of strength, courage, kindness and love.
Rancho Bernardo Yoga will continue to pause and remain closed for at least the month of April. We miss you and look forward to when we can safely come together again to practice together.
Lori, Terri, Debra, Regina, Theresa, Rebecca, and I do not have any online classes to offer you at the moment. Keep reading if you would like to hear a message from their hearts to yours. These women are truly amazing and I am grateful they have chosen my studio to teach, practice, and share their hearts.
As a studio, we will not be moving our infrastructure online to offer our regular class schedule. However, the following RB Yoga teachers: Becky, Jenifer, and Jim have some free scheduled online offerings listed below. I have had the pleasure to know these three extraordinary people for a decade or more. Without a doubt, without hesitation, I can say the work they do is an offering from the heart, from a grounded, embodied place of love and I hope you find support in practice with them.
Love to you all,
Messages from the Heart:
Lori: Sending love to you all and please know that you are not stuck at home you are safe at home for yourself and your family. You have time for movement and gratitude. Talk to someone who makes you laugh.
Terri: Words seem inadequate, but the love and support I feel for and from the RB Yoga community is strong! I am keeping you all in my loving thoughts and prayers daily. Namaste.
Debra: May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you be safe. May you live with ease. I miss you! Love, Debra
Regina: Through these uncertain and uneasy times please continue to notice your light within and there find peace. From my light to yours, be well, be safe and keep the faith 🙏🏼. We will get through this.
Theresa: Although I may not have talked or texted with all of you through this unfortunate time, please know that I am thinking of all of you and your families and wish you all comfort, health and happiness. Sending you all virtual hugs and can’t wait to see you all at RB yoga soon. Namaste at home and flatten the curve.
Rebecca: We didn’t choose COVID-19. We can choose: when to go for walk or get on our mat, feel our feelings, who we Zoom with, who we call, what we watch, what we eat. Breathe.
March 25, 2020
How are you? Every day I wake up grateful for a new day, grateful to have a home, grateful for my health, grateful for my husband and two very sloppy Newfoundlands that love a world where Mark and I are home all day. I’m grateful my Mom is safe and isn’t sick and has what she needs. Then the names and faces of so many of you that I have met through the years, many that just a couple weeks ago we shared a part of our day, week together. I think of all the people that I have interacted with in class, before the next class begins, or after a class has ended. Which then usually makes me think of your children, your parents, your partners, your sisters and broyour pets, some I have met over the years or at least have heard about from you. I think about your commitment to the things that matter to you, your courage in the tough times, the kindness and gentleness you have extended to me in my tough times.
I hope you are reaching out and creating connections with the networks of people that support you, ground you, and bring you comfort and I hope those ties are strengthening in the face of all this. I hope you are finding inner resources to help you through this time. I hope you are finding you have more capacity and more resiliency than you ever thought possible before all this began. I hope you are still finding time to breathe deeply, to center, to be with your own heart and maybe all those hours, days, months, years on your yoga mat is helping you move and stretch and reach and twist and bend backward and forward and to feel all that is alive and precious within you.
Now more than ever the world needs your light, your strength, your courage, your kindness and your empathy.
Just wanted you to know I was thinking about you.
March 17, 2020:
Rancho Bernardo Yoga is a sanctuary dedicated to service, to the path of love, and our collective awakening. With this mission never more alive in my heart, the best course of action right now is to do everything we can to #flattenthecurve. Effective immediately we will be pausing all in person gatherings until it is appropriate to come together again. I feel this is the right, ethical response to this challenging time.
Now we are invited – together – into our shared humanity, to slow down, go inside, and be present and get curious about our immediate embodied experience. Pause right now, connect with where we are right now. Let’s connect with our breath, the sensations rising in our bodies, connect with our authentic feelings and become aware of this precious, present moment. If there is an opportunity amidst this unprecedented time, maybe it is to meet uncertainty, groundlessness, fear and anxiety with a soft, open, compassionate and kind heart. From that place, let’s respond skillfully and offer a prayer of hope and healing to all people everywhere, all over this planet that they too may find a way to connect with their hearts.
We are in this together.
Reach out to me, let me know how you are doing.
With great love and deep honor,
Rancho Bernardo Yoga
March 13, 2020
Notice to Community last week:
I hope you, your family, and your friends and neighbors are all well during this chaotic time.
The power of community and having a dedicated space to practice and to support each other during stressful times is physically, emotionally and mentally beneficial. In the moments where we find ourselves lost, under a cascading waterfall of thoughts, feeling the ground of our experience giving way under our feet – Yoga invites us to see there is an aliveness in this fragility and it is our divine right to slow down and turn to our senses. It is easy to get lost, to numb out or, on the other end, to identify with our fears. This is the miracle of our minds. But we can also pause and connect to our felt sense awareness, to our somatic awareness. What are we seeing with our eyes, hearing with our ears, what is the precious felt sense awareness in our belly, throat, and chest? It is a sacred game of lost and found, hide and seek.
How we choose to navigate this challenging time is something we all have to decide for ourselves. I am taking several steps. Of course, this is a dynamic situation and as things change this may also change.
What I am doing and encouraging all teachers to do:
- Increasing the frequency and measures of cleaning at the studio.
- Disinfecting all door handles, light switches, keyboards, iPad, etc. before and after class.
- Offering sequences that are not prop dependent.
- Be prudent with hands-on adjustments and instead trying to connect with students with my words, my eyes, and my heart.
What I encourage students to do:
- You are always welcome and encouraged to bring your own mat and props.
- If you choose to use our props: you are encouraged to use the provided disinfectant to wipe down blocks and strap handles before and after use. You can also bring a towel and place it between your face and the mat/bolster.
- To avoid checking in on the iPad at the front desk, use the Rancho Bernardo Yoga, LLC app to register for classes. You can download it free from the Apple and Android app stores.
- If you want classes that provide more social distancing this a great time for you try different classes/teachers.
My intention for opening a Yoga studio 15 years ago remains the same: To be a welcoming and safe haven from life’s greatest challenges and difficulties. To have a place where we can come to slow down, to reconnect, to build our capacity, our resiliency, and to respond skillfully with strength, courage, kindness, empathy and compassion.
For those of you that feel the measures I am implementing do not meet an acceptable level of risk, I am inviting you to practice at home. Let me know how you are doing. Be safe, stay informed, know the facts, but we probably won’t find peace in the news, that can only be sought in our hearts.
We are here for you.
As my beloved Grandmother always said: Take care of yourself and take care of each other.
Love and Respect,
As you know, things are changing rapdidly and we have already started having class cancellations. If you are over 65 whether you are symptomatic or not, or if you chronically ill the Governor has called for you to remain at home.