It’s common to hear that 2020 has been a horrible year. You may have said it yourself or heard someone else say that they are ready for this year to be over. It even seems unfeeling to say that it has been a good year for fear of dismissing the suffering of so many.
But one of the most striking things about 2020 is how tragedy and challenge have rapidly accelerated the way we interact through technology. In addition to ensuring our safety, we have also chosen to stay at home for convenience. Every business that is capable of going online has done so. We work from home. We take our fitness classes from home. We talk to our tax accountant from home.
Culturally we have been taught to derive a sense of self-worth from being busy and doing more. However for me, when Covid started, my values shifted. I found myself less concerned with bolstering class numbers and more concerned with serving the students who had already found their way to Elemental Yoga.
This played itself out in my day to day life by my focusing minimally on marketing and maximally on two things: more time on my personal hobbies and more availability for my students in classes, privates and teacher training.
When I look back on this year, I notice subtle yet significant changes within myself. When I am with people, I am more patient and more curious. I leave more space to discover and know the people around me. I feel less guarded and more open.
Although these changes are difficult to measure tangibly, I can see the positive net effects through an increased sense of contentment. I have spoken to many people who have noticed similar changes within themselves this year. I celebrate and honor these small victories.
Sometimes I think the best way I can be of service is to simply keep doing my practice. Yoga, meditation, breath work, self-reflection, Ayurveda, like-minded community… all of these things have been a lifeline for me.
I don’t believe we are at an unprecedented time of suffering in human history. Suffering has always gone hand in hand with being alive. What strikes me as being different at this moment in time is the decreasing amount of space available in our minds. The power of information and accessibility is our great blessing and our great curse. And it is because of this information overload that we need the healing tools of Yoga now more than ever.
If we can get to know our minds and bodies in a way that allows us to befriend them and work together with them, then we can not only be happy but be of the greatest service to our fellow humans. Yoga is the age old science that paves the way toward self-realization.
Thank you to all of you for every small thing you do to make this world a better place.