December 20, 2012

Yoga in Response to Tragedy. ~ Laura Plumb

Photo: InSight Photography

How do we, as yoga teachers, show up in the face of national tragedy?

In a forum we have for graduates of our yoga teacher training, one of our students posted on Saturday, “Having a hard time planning my class for tomorrow morning. I know people will be coming to class looking for guidance into light and love, peace and forgiveness, but I am having a hard time just breathing right now. Guidance and words of wisdom anyone?”

The truth is, how do we show up in the face of national tragedy? Who are we, as yoga teachers, to play God, or priest or medicine man or shaman, when that is exactly what is needed and no less?

I just offer you this: Trust the Yoga. Yoga works. Let it lead. Let it be the healer, the guide and the wisdom.

Never forget that something great and mighty, eternal, infinite, all-loving and all-healing is encoded in the practice. Just come to your mat. Offer grief, confusion, turmoil, anger, darkness to your practice. Yoga will find its way through, bringing you back to the light and home to the heart.

In tragedy, people need to feel: connected, in their bodies, safe. Yoga gives that. All you need to do is to show up.

For that, for showing up with willing hearts, in a world that needs you now more than ever, thank you!

Laura Plumb
first I fell in love with Yoga, then a wild and wise Yogi, then Jyotish and Ayurveda, followed by India, an ashram and a certain saintly Swami. Now I live in a place called “awe” because I never thought I could ever fall so deep into love, or that the world would rise up with so much vigor and heart. I teach in order to sustain.



~ Ed: Kate Konieczny

Like elephant Yoga on Facebook

You must be logged in to post a comment. Create an account.

Johanna C. Nilsson Jan 1, 2013 2:20pm

Dear Laura, so great to after a few years away from San Diego rediscover your work! In relation to what you have written just here: I do know that things will shift if I just show up to yoga. It’s said in other situations as well, that 80% of success is showing up. (In life, entrepreneurship, with friends…). When building my business, or launching something for a client, I recently reflected over that “the showing up” isn’t much worth, if I don’t also follow up.

When it comes to the impact of yoga on a national tragedy, I would encourage everyone to consciously follow up, and bring the impact of yoga from the mat, to the world. At least a few more people. With what you gained from yoga – how can that benefit others?

Much love,


Tracee Dec 31, 2012 3:30pm

thank you for this wonderful of trusting our practice

Bhava Dec 22, 2012 8:26am

Laura, you are a truly sacred soul who holds the Vidya, the deepest wisdom that Yoga has to offer. Thank you for these healing words.

Read Elephant’s Best Articles of the Week here.
Readers voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares:
Click here to see which Writers & Issues Won.

elephant journal

Elephant Journal is dedicated to “bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society.” We’re about anything that helps us to live a good life that’s also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant’s been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter’s Shorty Awards for #green content…two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter. Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive—and get your name/business/fave non-profit on every page of elephantjournal.com. Questions? Send to [email protected]