Never too late, never too old, never too bad to do yoga and start from scratch once again.
Two years ago today
On March 16, 2020, like all of us in Santa Clara County, BYSJ closed our facility due to Covid-19. Our management team and staff quickly showed up with other ways to deliver this yoga at home and outdoors. While I did practice in these ways, something shifted. Sure, I didn’t have the heat, humidity, mirrors, and you folks around me to do this together. I did, however, have a new awakening in my movement, my breath, my concentration. The depth of the poses wasn’t there, yet the depth of my twining to the nature of the poses grew. I no longer had so many of the ‘fancy’ things I had cherished, but I enjoyed new insights into the tradition of yoga and the more infinite gifts it brings.
One year ago today
On March 16, 2021, BYSJ opened our facility with reasonable yet tight restrictions: limits on the number of people in the room, masks required, social distancing, and cleaning protocols. While my practice wasn’t every day or in the heat with the mirrors, I felt sure that I would adapt to the familiar atmosphere I missed. Then, in July, when restrictions loosened further, and we could bring in more people, I finally began to practice more frequently. Yes, we had to wear masks, but within a few weeks, I and my body felt that this was normal, and now I could get on the trajectory of picking up my lifestyle again, with yoga 5-7 times a week.
Many of you came in that I hadn’t seen in over a year, and all of us on staff at BYSJ felt your hearts heavy with feeling – a joy to be back; uncertainty. Our mantra took on new meaning: “you’re never too late, never too old, never too bad to do yoga and start from scratch once again.”
That first class together, I noticed in the second set of Pranayama breathing how tired my lungs already were as I put my head down and waited for the dizziness to pass. On the second set, in the second side of the Standing Head-to-Knee pose, I ran out of gas and fell out over and over again. The full anxiety hit me by Triangle pose: I AM starting from scratch once again!
I couldn’t wait to get to the floor series and lay there.
I won’t lie: I felt disappointed and frustrated at times, consumed by “why is this happening?” thoughts.
But what I didn’t do was buy into those self-defeating thoughts. I could hear my inner critic, but the volume was so low – almost like a silent film – instead, I tuned into staying present AND practicing gratitude.
Your glass is half-full
Members, here’s the thing: those negative comments, whatever they are for you, may not go away, but if you’ve done your practice enough, even if it’s been years, you can trust that you are equipped to handle that noise that might try to chase you as it did me. BYSJ was once a safe and welcoming place for you to learn how to turn the volume down on your negative thought patterns. Get back in the yoga room, and your inner being will slip right into that trusted space. If you haven’t been here in a while, it is time to silence those voices that I bet are pretty loud.
Again, if you know me, I am an optimistic person and look at the glass half-full pretty much all the time. But, I, too, had moments sinking into a “the glass is half-empty” vibe. My yoga pulled me up and out, and today I stretch with “start from scratch” wisdom, gratitude, and humility: all virtues that have strengthened my character for greater adventures ahead.
Welcome! Welcome Back! Today marks two years of an unexpected journey. Make today the pinnacle moment where you start to write the other side of the story. Like our standing series preps you for the floor series (the real yoga), let these past two years be the prep work to the real story in you. It is waiting now to come out and blossom. You have endured so much. Now it is time to see it through and THRIVE once again! Find your grace, own your power, live into the newer you!
Welcome home (once again.)