Placing Light in the Darkness (scroll down for upcoming events, inculding a New Year's Day practice and this year's Mexico retreat) Beloved Yoga com

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Placing Light in the Darkness

(scroll down for upcoming events, inculding a New Year's Day practice and this year's Mexico retreat)

Beloved Yoga community,

It's solstice time. The shortest day of the year, wrapped up in the two longest nights. As a homebody type, pretty happy to be alone in my nest with ideas and projects, this type of seasonal darkness has generally not had a negative connotation for me. The notable exception is my early years here in the PNW. During those first few years the lack of light year round - specifically the extreme bright California light i was acclimated to - was a big issue for me. Then when the solstice approched, and the holiday season, the emotional light that I left behind in my home state became starkly evident. I'm referring to the company of both my genetic and chosen families, and the accompanying abundance of sparkling conversation with creative thinkiners with whom I had the easy rapport that takes decades to cultivate. As someone who has always been quite happy spending most of my time on my own, I had taken that light for granted, like the air I breathe, and not having planned ahead to supply myself with these things, my first few Decembers in Portland were pretty brutal.

What those times taught me has been invaluable in the winters since, but also can be applied to the art of living in general. Knowing what tools you need to thrive is the first step in having those tools at the ready. Our plans to drive South this season were waylayed by the weather, so I've busied myself in recent days with creative projects, but also phone calls with loved ones that focus on the nature of creativity itself. I've amped up my enjoyment of my husband's company by studying his fascinating face through pencil sketches. And I have immersed myself in the exploration of the relationship of creativity to yoga, as I prepare for the programs I have upcoming in 2017.

We are facing a particular brand of darkness and uncertainty this year, in the form of the increasingly heartbreaking news from Syria, persistant violence around the world, and our newly ratified President-elelct and his rash disregard for the conventions of our democracy. As the darkness gets darker, connecting with light is difficult but also more important than ever. We must do more than simply look for light in the darkness, we must endeavor to create it, to put our light into the world. In terms of my sense of helplessness as regards the suffering in Aleppo, I have found comfort in other's efforts and their invitation to support them, like this donation and letter writing event by Mercy Corps, and this thoughtful action by local yogi-owned Hot Winter hot sauce (the ability to purchase the Aleppo sauce, the newsletter tells us, will be forthcoming). As for the unsteady situation here at home, after a period of vocal outrage, my energies have redirected themselves toward formulating a long term survival plan based on what I have learned about darkness and light in my life thus far, which is that when drakness looms we must practice love fiercely, community with intention & perserverance, and creativity as if our lives depend on it. Yoga in its grandest and earthiest expression.


Out of curosity I dipped into the archives this morning to see what i had written in the past at the solstice time. I found the 2014 December newsletter to be pretty relevant still. An excerpt:

"Those of you that take my weekly classes or occasional workshops may have heard me repeat again and again that "Yoga is hard because life is hard." I say it to make you laugh, to distract you from how hard you're working, but also because it's true. I know it to be true by the uncountable ways in which the work of my yoga practice has shown up to support me as I meet the challenges that life inevitably delivers alongside her exquisite gifts. Because more and more often, I am able to bend without breaking, and to breathe through difficulty and discomfort. Because I'm getting better at forging connections between disparate aspects of my physical and psycho-emotional bodies, and also the communal and familial bodies I exist within. I'm seeing more clearly than ever that those connections are forged not by eliminating differences of opinion, or by "agreeing to disagree", but by listening, by staying connected, by rooting down and softening my edges and engaging obstacles from a centered place, and so becoming more powerful even as others also become more powerful. Because I'm learning, if slowly, when to rest, and when to pause and wait for another day. I'm learning to honor other's boundaries and my own as the very contours of the distinct and unique gifts by which we put beauty into the world." read full letter here


Below is a working list of events for the winter and Spring of 2017. You can always find me at my drop in classes at People's (I'll be adding a Friday night restorative in the new year), or privately by using the contact form. Please keep in touch of Facebook and Instagram.

Much much love,


January 1st, 2017 - Embody Your Intention

A New Years Day edition of the Yoga practice Lab - noon to 2pm at The People's Yoga. Strong practice

January Myths & Methods - Gaesha

Wednesdays, January 11 to Feb 22, 7:15 to 9:00 pm at The People's Northeast Second Studio

March 3th to March 9th, 2017 - Mexico!!

Myth, Multitudes and MatterYoga and Biodiversity retreat in Barra de Potosi, Mexico - all levels welcome

2017 Loom Immersion and Integration Intensive

The Art of Living Skillfully, the Skill of Living Artfully - 100 hours - dates and Location TBA. For teachers, teachers to be, and dedicated students of all levels. Yoga Alliance certified. Contact me for more information

Dr Douglas Brooks

For reals. Fall of 2017. Details to come

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