As we head into November, I would usually be posting the holiday schedule for the Mysore room and writing something to encourage you all to keep practicing while on your holiday vacations. But this is not that year.
Jonathan referred to this year as ‘the year of not knowing’ — and that might be the best way that I have heard anyone sum up this year! I wish I had better news, but COVID cases continue to rise and we just don’t know what’s coming next.
As we wind up this year, though, I will offer a couple thoughts.
Everyone has lost something this year. Whether you lost a little or you lost a lot, this year has affected you. Remember that it has affected everyone around you too. Acknowledge that as you navigate what remains of 2020 and be kind to one another.
The unknown is an uncomfortable place to be. Nobody likes dwelling in the unknown — we like to know things, or rather, we like to think we know things. Because, the truth is, every year is a year of the unknown. This is an opportunity to practice being gentle with ourselves and others while we reckon with that realization.
Practice on the mat offers us a number of tools to work with the unknown. There are never any guarantees when, or if, you will do the full expression of many postures. Knowing that, we can continue to practice yoga and change our focus to staying engaged and curious in the process — what is happening right now — while letting go of a focus on achieving a specific result. This is a practice, not just in being present, but in being present with something that can feel deeply uncomfortable: the unknown future. That’s a long-term practice. It’s one that anyone can do regardless of which postures you’re doing, and it’s a practice that has no end.
As we move into the final stretch of 2020, keep in mind that everyone has lost something this year, we are all living in the unknown, and all of that is deeply uncomfortable. When you’re having a good day, share some of your positive spirit with those around you — both friends and strangers. When you’re having a tough day, be gentle with yourself and know that 2020 has been just plain hard.
Even though we haven’t seen most of you since February, you’re all in our thoughts and we still look forward to the future time, whenever that is, that we can gather as a community in the Mysore room again. Until then, we wish you all the best in these last few weeks of 2020 and a brighter year in 2021.
-Christine (and Jonathan and Jared)