Being a Yoga Teacher During Ugly Times
It's been hard to be a yoga and meditation teacher these last few weeks and months. I feel that the world as I know it, has devolved into complete chaos and ugliness with this year's presidential election. As I have written before, I try my best to uphold the ethics of the yoga and Buddhism and I practice regularly. I have to say that finding compassion for all and applying teachings of equanimity have taken me to the outer edges of my personal limits these days. Simply said, I am pissed as hell and it's been difficult for me to feel peace of mind and be yogic about some of the things I have been seeing and hearing.
I feel self-conscious at times when I express myself. As if being a yoga teacher is supposed to make me someone who is never angry. I wonder sometimes, when I post on social media, if there are those who judge me for speaking out at what I see is unjust.
I've spent some time thinking carefully about this. The news a week ago today that came out allowing all of us hear obscene sexually predatory comments made by a presidential candidate of our beloved country was way too much to bear. In my experience as a girl and woman I have had to fend off unwanted sexual advances by the dozen. I have had to stay quiet in the streets of NYC and endured lewd remarks because I was afraid of being raped. I witnessed the sexual abuse of a thirteen year old girl by a friend of my parents. I've had men expose themselves to me on public transportation. I have been intimidated in places where I have worked. I have shared these experiences this past week with my husband and my sons. I have had the opportunity to connect with women on this too. Every single one I spoke to had her war stories.
Whether I am a yoga teacher or not, I really believe that this is a time where it is inappropriate to spiritually bypass my anger, and speak about peace and love, rainbows and butterflies. I will get back to that as soon as I process through what is happening and what is changing. Or maybe I won't. As a teacher, I can promise my students that I am dedicated to my practices. But just like them, I am simply human.
Perhaps our society is going through a prolonged death of sorts. Death can be ugly and it's our job to witness it. I'm doing my best to be patient and stay rooted in the hope that after the destruction is over, we can be reborn into something much greater and kinder. Perhaps this a a unique opportunity for women of the world to be heard.
Until then, I am channeling my energy into two projects. On Friday Oct 28 I will be hosting a Women's Circle Meditation and Discussion about our feelings as women during this time.
On Sunday Nov 13 I will be co-leading a day-retreat with Petrina Plecko where we will explore the tools of silence, yoga and meditation in order to initiate a post-election healing process.
More info here