“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”
In Colombia we burn the ‘Old Year’. We make a scarecrow out of our clothes and newspaper. We write the things we want to get rid of on pieces of paper and stuff it in its insides and then we light it on fire. I didn’t have much in the way of those little pieces of paper this year. 2019 was an amazing year for me. Possibly the best one yet. I felt very grateful for all the no’s, the closed doors, and the rejections throughout, as they solidly steered me away from things not meant for me and toward the those that were. It was astonishing to feel life guiding me in such a clear way. To be honest, it had been a long time since things had felt magical. It was nice to know that is still there. I felt incredibly grateful for all of the cosmic yes’s and the great universe’s timing of all the wonderful things that did come through. I was also humbled by the amazing energy and vibration created when one follows one’s True North. It has a profound, undeniable magnetism. I hope I never forget that.
Markers such as these provide a useful field of resonance in our lives that helps us gauge where we are not only in the overall arc of our timeline but also whether we have strayed from the things that really matter. They provide a nice opportunity to practice and test how well we work with what I like to call ‘the zoom effect’ -the interplay between dharana, the ability to focus intently on something, and dhyana, the ability to widen and soften our focus to contain the whole frame. The exchange between these two and our ability to shift from one to the other being an invaluable skill. It challenges our mental flexibility. At any given point, we might get better at practicing one or the other. Yet being able to focus on the task at hand is as important as having perspective.
The last decade I let go of my acting career and became a yoga teacher, not an easy task, but boy, what a rewarding road it has been. I am very grateful to all of you who have made that possible.
I also spent it in self study, svadyaya. Using the tools of this comprehensive practice to continue to understand my self: the architecture of my consciousness, my body in motion, my heart, my gifts. This discipline has taught me to stand steady on my own two feet, to live more integrated, to be a whole person and that I have tools to take care of myself when the shit hits the fan. I have learned to live unmuted and learned a lot about what matters most. The work isn’t done, but it is underway.
My feet having better contact with the ground opens my energy up to shine more pointedly outward: toward the health of our planet, the creatures in it and tackling our plastic problem. For that, first thing on the docket is to continue to change my personal habits that are harmful, donating to the rescue groups of the bushfires in Australia is important, and I will be doing that as well, but it’s not enough, and unless we tackle the larger situation, this is just the beginning. Followed by getting this insane person out of the white house so I’m volunteering for Elizabeth Warren’s campaign. I’m putting my effort into helping her win, if she doesn’t, I’ll put my weight behind the whomever wins the democratic nomination. I’m not trying to sway your vote. I’m wanting to inspire you to dive in. Please make sure you are registered to vote. Complacency is so 1950’s. There is no such thing as an innocent bystander. Apathy is no longer appropriate, we must engage with our world. It has already changed without asking our permission, now we must update the structures in place to match our growth and protect it. We need to do this for our planet and not just our children, but at this point, ourselves.
Happy New Year, Yogis! We are left with no choice but to take an active interest in shaping the world we want to live in. If not, we will let the worst happen by being passive.
January comes with a bounty of offerings and opportunities to study with me. Check it out. There are also still a few spots left for Nuqui, you should come, it’s the greatest way I have found to recharge from the world at large and keep burn out at bay. Hope to see you soon.
*You can now register on the website for specialty classes at 736 Bway. Per usual it’s helpful if you register ahead of time.
Feb 17-21 or 17-24:
there are still a few spots left. If you’ve been on the fence, you should come. For details or to register
•NEW YEAR JAM
Friday Jan 10, 6:45-8:45 with Terrence on the drums
@ 736 bway 9th floor, $45
•THE ART OF TEACHING ADVANCED ASANA
Saturday January 11, 3-6pm
@ Revolution Yoga, $125
Wednesday Jan 22, 6:45-8:45 with Dr. Erika Kalkan
@ 736 Bway, 9th Floor, $45
•FUNCTIONAL ANATOMY FOR YOGA TEACHERS
Sat-Sun Jan 25-26, 12-7
@ Synergy Hot Yoga, Fair Haven, NJ, $250 (Early Bird)/ $299 (after Jan 15)
•THE MODERN YOGI
Mon-Fri Jan 27-31 6am-8am
@ Pure Yoga East