Mind Forward First, Everything Else Does Follow

How lovely it is for us all to be able to TRULY–let our minds begin to imagine again, with tangible hope, that our lives are re-orchestrating. Just as clearly as we hear the robin’s song this morning, we have a life that whispers to us again, of movement on the grand scale, of journeys and adventures beyond the domain of of our personal brick-and-mortar. Of connections where the mind goes first, and everything will follow. Prayers to live a truly experiential existence again, are within our gentle patient reach. Though we can never take any moment for granted and believe that tomorrow is ours, we can surely dream with greater hope and conviction. What a gift our patience has given us. This is our forever practice.

In one week, we are scheduled to tentatively begin at 8:00am on the tennis courts. If there is rain, I will be posting a….brace yourselves…Zoom link. For those who would like to practice, you are welcome to join. It will not be the same, but it is still something. And, just like the title above alludes to, the mind was there first, so the body WILL be allowed to follow. Enough bubbles burst for us!! The forecast today is saying there will be a high prediction rate of rain, but each new day does turn the universal spectrum, and we may have a brilliant sky to move beneath. So again, our patience will be engaged. I think for those who are new to our program, it will give a chance to ‘try it on’. There are so many who are now aware of the benefits of a physical practice of yoga, they think they are somehow precluded from it based on too many things. And in my 9 years of teaching the most common exaltation of “i didn’t have any idea that THIS was yoga!!! I can do THIS!!” The hardest part of yoga is the being alone with yourself. That is the agony. And in time…the ecstacy. Yoga reweaves the veil of the unbearable into the bearable.

To prepare for May 1sts practice and what the protocol will be, it will be the same as last year’s start. There is a 2020 youtube (Lizzie Hanulak channel) video that you can just watch and catch the drift…prepare to be underwhelmed. Distance of 6′ and masks. We began to have dialogue on things as the season progresses though and this will happen once we come together and can have a communal ’round-table’. The beauty of this year is that we have the blessing of vaccines. Because getting the vaccine is still a personal medical matter and falls under HIPAA confidentiality rules, there is no expectation to discuss this and ‘out’ yourself. Some have no problem with it and some choose not to get it–that is a personal decision and either way, is respected. Due to the nature of my work and because I am in the high-risk category as a survivor or sepsis, I have made the arduous decision to get the Moderna vaccine and will be in prime vaccination-shape on May 1st!!! So, I would like to share that as a source of relief in that the likelihood of me carrying the virus would be very low. Regardless, I will be masked and maintaining optional distance. I will not be moving around practitioners nor making physical contact. There are no worries to be had on that front.

There will be chalk-lined silhouettes just as was done last year to mark mat positions. There is ample space and we always use it! Every May 1st coincides with the Shaler Garden Societies’ Annual Plant sale which follows immediately at 9:00am. What this means is that the park will be busy….as in TEEMING with people and activity!!!! SOOOOOOOO, GET THERE EARLY!!!!! i’m not kidding. Every year is bigger than before on both counts. More than ever know about yoga in the park now, even though we are in our 8th or 9th year! Nadia, Mary, Jodie–set me straight on this :))) If you live VERY local and usually drive, you might reconsider, and if you are a remote family–you might want to carpool. This frenetic energy is always a good to challenge us with the first practice! The wonderful predictability of these nuances to some and welcome blessings to others, are a all part of the tapestry for us and won’t it be wild and grand and WELCOME!

Wear some warm comfy/stretchy layers. It is always chilly if we are outside. Hands and feet will suffer, so protect. A mat is all that is necessary. All are welcome. This program has no boundaries/prejudices/expectations. This practice is for the novice to the advanced practitioner. You can stay or go but if you go, please be mindful if you decide to leave.

The only requirements are that there is respect, respect for fellow practitioners and ultimately, respect for one’s self to not push against personal boundaries that are not (physically) safe. I am a guide and I offer suggestions. There is no expectation other than that you will be taking the proper care and precautions as not to do harm to yourself (and others of course)! There are bugs and animals and we have yet to see a bear–but it could happen!!! Please promise that you will give me CPR if that happens!!! In the spring of 1999 was my last bear sighting in Shaler when I had my first child and was just going for a very early morning walk on garbage day on Martha Avenue. So it could happen and I need my yogi troops!!!!

Extra equipment–a throw blanket (many have fleece cozies), lush beach towel or even a yoga blanket. Some have these things. Some bring blocks that they have. Definitely bring what you have. I always ask if everyone can hunt down a really long belt or stretchy scarf of some sort. A pair of old tights or leggings works too. Somethings that is a great facsimile for a strap to assist An extra t-shirt is also helpful. So the ultimate low-down on what to bring:

  • Please God NO! Yes!!! MASK (REQUIRED)
  • MAT (required)
  • T-shirt (required)
  • Block (optional) tip: some heard me talk about using (2) 8″ terracotta/clay flower pots last year–empty please :)))
  • Strap/Facsimile (optional)
  • Blanket/Throw (optional)

Any questions or concerns or you just want to say hello, just email. I have tweaked some things electronically and seemed to have mastered some email issues so I should be able to see all email easily now. There is never a question that is “too dumb,” so please dismiss yourself of that idea. Be well all and stay connected to the website (social media) for updates. Every Saturday (unless otherwise indicated due to weather, holiday, park event or personal reasons), I usually post status by 7:30am; sooner if sunnier and later on questionable weather days. With COVID, I have get to the park at least 40 minutes in advance to mark mat stations. Connectivity there is often “iffy” if I have to post remotely. So please be patient if it comes down to the wire a bit. Looking foward to seeing all of your lovely pairs of eyes again and hearing how you all have gotten through. To breath, to move, to rekindle. There is no end as we begin anew.

I was about to send this to post and again I remembered the donation box that is always present. Last year, I had explained that that box was for offerings of anything that you wanted to share. So many are insanely generous and are able to share money which goes toward my teaching expenses but i must say again, there is no expectation here for this. This receptacle is also for anything else that you wish to share. It does not can be anonymous. It can be a story, a name, a poem, a sadness, a picture, drawing, song, secret. Anything that you need to share, articulate, free yourself from. I am happy to receive it from you. Some may not understand this and some may. You are seen, you are heard, your are of value. So hum.

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