Why are we launching a yoga community called Yoga Lemonade? It must be because we are just so happy, optimistic, starry-eyed, and successful that we decided to use all the extra time and money on our hands to do something fun. We already do headstands and backbends while taking pictures of ourselves in our glorious home poolside with our darling well-groomed dogs every day! Right?
Not exactly. A chin-up, keep trying, make lemonade out of lemons attitude takes effort. Significant effort. And that effort isn't always apparent on the surface. In fact, yoga looks pretty easy too until you try it. Yoga has helped me figure out how to become stronger and more balanced physically and mentally. Showing up isn't easy. Being willing to be vulnerable isn't easy.
A friend said to me, "I just can't stay at home anymore - I'm going to get out and socialize with people! It's making me crazy. I'm glad you're ok to be home but I'm not." Who said anyone is "ok"? The truth is that we don't always have the same choices. My daughter has mitochondrial disease, a rare neuromuscular disorder that puts her at risk for a lot of communicable diseases, including the flu and including coronavirus. She is 16 years old and pretty profoundly physically and mentally handicapped. I'm her primary caregiver. When I teach yoga classes online, she's hanging out with me in the studio room in our home enjoying Sesame Street with headphones on.
I would love to be surrounded by people, shopping, grabbing coffee, working learning new things in person, going out to do group runs in our community, and doing all the "normal" things I enjoy. But I can't put Eva at risk. So I don't.
Some people argue about wearing a mask, or not being able to go out to a bar or restaurant. Some of us just don't have the energy to argue. I am choosing to direct the energy I do have back out into the world in a positive way. I am choosing to lead online, live, messy, come-as-you-are yoga classes because I believe that I have a responsibility to create a safe, nurturing, and healthy space during this time of upheaval.
Showing up every day on the mat to face myself, move my body, take a deep breath, slow my mind, strengthen and stretch my muscles - and do this with others - has been an anchor for me since mid-March 2020. I have seen other people struggle and triumph. We have witnessed fear, shock, joy, laughter, and more, all online in a zoom yoga class with people from multiple countries and states.
Friends, if it looks easy, it's probably not. Most of us are keeping our cards close, not often (or ever) sharing the burdens we bear to others. Do not carry them alone. Just start by showing up. It may seem like everyone else is having a lovely time with lovely children in a luxurious home filled with puppies and sparkling rainbows, but probably they have the same s***-show you have.
If you see me on social media or on the mat and it looks easy, remember our common ground. Don't confuse the determination to have a positive attitude with "easy." To me, mindfulness and yoga start with that choice. Choose to try. Choose to show up. Choose to listen.
Thank you for helping Yoga Lemonade to grow and reach others. 🍋