How did it happen? It's already December. Although we each bring our own meaning and ritual to this time of year based on our culture, religion, and personal philosophy, one thing is for sure; It is a time to connect to what we value.
Speaking of what I value, I grabbed this picture of my daughter and me from a recent article in the Trenton Times. You see, Sophia was born 15 years ago, and began seizing soon after birth. It has been a long road for us - one full of medications, specialists, and ultimately brain surgery. Although the surgery has left her seizure free (10 years now!) but she still has many physical and intellectual limitations, including difficulty processing sensory input.
This past weekend we attended a special showing of "The Nutcracker" put on the by the Roxey Ballet. In this sensory-friendly show, they limit the announcements, lower the sound, keep the lights on, and allow viewers to move about freely during the performance. As a result, my family can experience the beauty and excitement of the ballet, without the aspects that would send Sophia into fight-or-flight mode. She's also free to stand up, dance, and cheer on the performers in her own unique way. (You can get more details about the performance and Sophia's antics here.)
So how does this story relate back to yoga? The Roxey Ballet Company does what I aspire to do in my classes. Rather than standing on rules and formalities, they make adjustments so that ballet becomes accessible to all. Unique needs are considered and accommodated, and the result is a warm inclusive environment. This is definitely a value of mine, in both my professional and family life.
During this holiday season and at all other times during the year, I know what I value. I value inclusion, fairness, and equality. I value providing a space in my classes for students of all levels to experience the practice of yoga and in doing so, experience the connection to her deepest and most true Self. I value the trust you put in me to guide you in your practice, and I value everything you teach me in return.
I sincerely wish you all joy, love, and complete connection to that which you value. As I say at the close of my classes, "Lokah samastha sukhino bhavantu" - may all beings everywhere experience happiness and peace.
I want to share with you the yoga I practice, teach, and live.