When I was a teenager in the 1990s, my musical tastes geared toward dark and broody. When Counting Crows came on the scene, I bought their album and would sit in my room listening to it and other alternative rock albums burning candles, drawing pictures chatting with friends. "A Long December" was one of those songs that didn't make so much sense to me living in San Diego, where the winters were more than bearable.
But this winter, as we have been dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, the length of December, of 2020 itself, seems unending. So many people have told me that this year can't end fast enough.
The passage of time is an interesting construct. Days, weeks, months, years...we mark our calendars with birthdays, anniversaries, deadlines, vacations. This year has proved a complete undoing of what we have always done. It has unraveled our norms, uprooted our sense of certainty.
As I've said before, this ancient practice of yoga has provided us the tools to navigate all the ups and downs of life, to disassociate from the drama and learn to experience each moment, each breath with profound awareness and gratitude. We are on this planet for such a relatively short time. In yoga's thousands of years, it has been practiced through floods, famines, wars and past pandemics. It endures because it is truth. It is a returning to ourselves, our faith that we are cultivating enough depth within ourselves to weather even the most turbulent of times.
This is when we need yoga the most, and when it feels inaccessible or hard to find, or even when it feels like a chore to roll out your mat or sit in stillness, this is when we should make extra effort to come back to our practice. If we remember that the practice is there for us, that it is just a practice and that you can take even five minutes to recenter, to pay attention to your breath, to feel your body and experience your presence,
As we enter this last month of 2020, taking with us all the changes, adaptations, lessons, frustrations, joys and new habits, we can listen to the Counting Crows sing:
"A long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last"
Heading into 2021, we have all the tools we need to be fully engaged in our lives, fully present, aware, healthy and active. We can remember that time goes on, and with our limited time here we want to spend it as fully as possible, even in a pandemic.
So, I invite you to step onto your mat at home, in a park, at the beach, or forget the mat and find your practice in each footfall or standing beneath a canopy of redwoods. I invite you to remember your whole self, the self that is breathing and alive, adaptable and steady. I invite you to connect with your yoga practice as a daily practice to guide you into a state of connection and receptivity.
Come back to yourself and remember all the gifts you have, even in this very long December.
Coming up in December and January at Revolution Yoga:
Get Down with Dogwood Gala & Fundraiser to support Dogwood Animal Rescue: Saturday, Dec. 12 from 7 - 8 p.m. on Zoom. More Info.
Whole Body Wellness Sneak Peek with Shoshana and Pam: Sunday, Dec. 13 from 3:30- 5 p.m. More Info.
Slumber Party Yoga with Storytime with Katy Magnan and Nancy Frey: Saturday, Dec. 19 from 8 - 9:15 p.m. More Info.
Kids Yoga with Emily Seguine: Wednesdays Dec. 23 and 30 from 12 - 12:30 p.m. Ages 4 to 8. More Info.
New Year's Day Intention-Setting Practice with Shoshana and Pam at 10 a.m. More Info coming soon.
Whole Body Wellness Program with Shoshana and Pam: Jan. 10 - 31. More info.