It’s time once again to say goodbye to the past year and usher in another. My heart is filled with remembrance and gratitude for all of you. How are you? What are your reflections on the past year? The one ahead? Some of my reflections in the seam of time’s turning clock follow.
I have been engaged in a process of identity shift. The pandemic and post pandemic era evicted us all from our lives as we knew them. I say that metaphorically, but also literally. Much of who I had become – at least as far as how outside forces defined me– fell away. I was no longer the same spouse coming and going, no longer a parent of carefree kids, nor was I a yoga teacher out in the world — teaching human bodies in a shared physical space. Looking back at the past 20+ years of twists and turns and of my role as a yoga educator in community’s tipping point moments, I always feel a deep calling to share my voice to help others weather the collective storms of nature, culture and conscience in peak moments of collective challenge and crisis.
I’ve always felt called to teach when I was asked, to offer out my inner voice because it was needed. Otherwise, I’ve been content to keep my yogi identity on the inside and engage with the world in other ways. Early in the pandemic, the call to teach was urgent and strong. We were all isolated socially and needed to connect to stay healthy. I stopped travel teaching because we all stopped traveling. At home, with yoga momentum at our back, we quickly pivoted and hunkered down to create and offer online 200 hour and 300/500 hour trainings, YogaLive classes, and other live and on-demand yoga related content. But with time and market saturation, that ebbed as did my drive to churn product, create posts, keep everyone up to speed and in my living room.
In the current shift from pandemic to endemic, the demand for continued online yoga content has arguably ebbed, but the in-person teaching & travel teaching is slow to pick back up. Anyone relate? Consequently, I’ve been teaching less now than at any point I can remember in the past 20 years.
It has also become harder to find me online. As you may know, Yoga International went through massive internal and external changes this past year. It was bought by another company. Our paths diverged. We now offer our online YTT200 via our own learning platform on The Mazé Method (and we’ve been working hard behind the scenes building out the next generation of our online learning platform). Unfortunately, the change also means I no longer teach on YI’s platform, and my portfolio of class and course content is no more. I’ve experienced the pain of losing hundreds of hours of filmed content before – but it’s not an easy thing to stomach. I know some of you will miss the work. I will too.
In this void, I have been sitting quietly, like the earth under winter’s blanket of winter snow, and I’ve been moving constantly in the rhythms of life’s ever-changing pace. I’ve been waiting for an aha moment, those revelatory shaktipat experiences, signaling clear momentum and direction to drive a shift into what is next.
But I don’t know what the next phase is.
In this seam of waiting and listening, I am visited by inner and outer questions. Shouldn’t I know what to do now? Shouldn’t I be teaching more and projecting my voice more in social media etc.? Why do I feel so quiet? Where did all my prior inspiration go? Can I grow in a new direction? I’d like to say that I have clarity now, but the truth is I’m still listening – I continue to be still and quiet in the eye of the storm, impatiently patient.
The processes of engagement — literally of yoga— are effective and reliable. They are where I have devoted my energy time and again. They are what I come back to. They are what I am committed to. Turn inside and listen deeply. Turn outside and participate fully.
What nourishes me most is to be in processes of learning. I did not discover my love of learning until I was a young adult in college. Prior to that I had neither appreciated nor valued my experience of structured education. At best I tolerated it and tried to get through the requirements and minimums and move on to more interesting pursuits. Then came my awakening – I learned that I love learning; and I learned how I learn. College awakened within me an intellectual curiosity, creative thinking, mental acuity, and the burgeoning hunger of a lifelong student. Doubtless, these were latently present within, but I think back now on all those years of school that I struggled through. I wonder how much more I would have gotten out of school had I really engaged the educational process, and what paths may have opened to me had my love of learning awakened earlier.
As a father, I am revisiting early education. In fact, I am auditing 5th and 8th grades this year. 😉 I have reading and homework every day in a variety of subjects, and I’m amazed at the depth of information that I am learning as I track Oliver and Madeleine’s subjects and help them with homework.
The yoga landscape has changed much these last two years, and I am eager to tap back into the power and potency of community in this next phase. I feel inspired, hopeful and committed to coming together as a yoga community in the year ahead. I’m converting my studio back into an in-person space and am fulfilled to invite you to come back to yoga school in 2023 to continue your yogic journey. I expect our time together – both in person or online to roll in with inspiration.
To further encourage and incentivize you (and us too) we are offering you a 25% discount in tuition, which is a significant savings, for our online YTT200, online OR in-person YTT300 (or any stand alone module – check out the dates and descriptions here for in-person and here for online) and for your 25% off coupon, use code YOGAIN23 to join. For those of you needing a fix – reach out or come find us on themazemethod.com or mazeonyoga.com – we’ll also be practicing together regularly as 2023 gets started, so look out for more information about regular, FREE practice with me as I ramp my own practice and learning back up alongside you.
Survival rests in nurturing the soul. We become better by getting to know ourselves better. We need more to love. We need inspiration.
Saprema, Noah (and Tracy and of course Madeleine, Oliver, Grandpa Tom, Dante, Maya, Moxie, Leo and Phoebe)
OLIVER SAYS 👆👆👆👆 PLEASE BUY SOMETHING! ❤️ 🤪