Gazing around the abandoned studio, weight shifting from foot to foot, I finally realize what’s missing.
You; I need you here.
The shared experience of a pandemic has only increased the need for stability and safety in our lives. Yoga is where many, including myself, feel safe, grounded, and connected to everything and yet nothing tangible at the same time. The balance is blissful when we discover it, even if it’s only for a moment or two.
My purpose has been to unite like-minded souls on a mission to accept themselves in darkness and light, to cultivate an esoteric spirituality and a physical awareness that improves others’ being. I’ve cultivated this connection with my community for the last several years, and it has exceeded any expectations I ever had for a business.
I manifested a family.
For the past five months, I’ve received countless messages from my students that have stretched across the spectrum of human existence—pure love to sheer disbelief to desperation (and, naturally, a few conspiracy theories). I encourage the expression of emotions in my teachings and practices, therefore none of these messages were unexpected. I greeted each with gratitude.
Each message exposed fragility and, paradoxically, also our tenacity. Each resonated with me profoundly. Some of the expressions were so powerful that I couldn’t produce worthy enough replies for days, if at all. Words of desolation, prayer, appreciation, and confusion—all of which I empathized with:
I need you. One message said. I can’t do yoga online. I can only do it in the energy of your place. I’ll come back when life is normal again.
I’m getting a divorce. I think you saw it coming when I would cry on my mat, but now I’m in the thick of it. Any yoga I can do for a broken heart?
I’m so thankful for the online offerings. I couldn’t have gotten through this without you.
You have been my rock for years—my ears, my voice. Please keep posting online.
I don’t do yoga, but I have tuned in to just hear your words.
You make me laugh. When I see your face, life seems good again.
Best part of my day is catching your class.
When are you opening? I need you.
They’re being rough with me again; I need someone to know. Don’t tell anyone. The stress is just too much. It’ll change when we’re back to work. Your classes are what’s keeping me sane right now.
Fix my hips.
Just started one day, I can’t believe how much I love it. It’s easy with you.
My mum died, I couldn’t even be with her in her last few minutes. Please call me. I need your wisdom and poetry. I know you’ll have something beautiful to say about it.
I referred to these messages as “the blessings & the breathers.” I dove into the blessings and stepped back to take the breathers.
I cried with you, I raged, took my frustration out on my relationship (thank god I’m with a strong masculine who, with one look, can ground me back in the present moment).
I played joyfully with my children as we searched the forest for magical creatures that I knew we wouldn’t really find. I shut down my social media. I rejected anything inauthentic, for my empathic heart couldn’t handle it.
I hid for days ignoring everything that didn’t bring me happiness. I meditated, I painted, I watched all of Netflix and walked the dog for hours until I realized I needed to get my ass back on the yoga mat to find balance again.
This is not a new normal, but a new world.
I’m a teacher, often a therapist, a safe place, a leader for some. But there is another side of me: a business owner. And in that role, I’m flailing.
I need you to come back to the mat and back to the studio, with masks on and hearts open. In any condition, just show up. I need us as a collective to work toward healing again.
Broken physically, broken mentally, broken spiritually, terrified, excited, overwhelmed, ready or not, come back.
I am here but I can only be if you are. I need your support, I need your presence. I need you to embody the flow of the wave we are all in now. Trust the process. Together united, we can adapt.
With blessings and breathers, I stand in the empty studio on a masking tape x on the floor. Ready.