MAY 7, 2020
It has been a s t r e t c h for sure and I would still choose to see you in person in the studio, yet I l am so appreciative that we have adapted to this model of sharing. I love that we have found our way to each other in a profound and impactful way. I am eternally grateful. It has been my light and my guide, and it has given me a deep sense of connection. I asked some of our teachers and students how this new realm was for them and how they are experiencing it. I received such thoughtful, inspiring, honest answers. You need to hear them too!
We will be sharing sections from their writings here and over the next month you can read the full words of all these inspiring humans through our social media channels. Santosha Strong.
‘Some days and nights are just fine, some not! While my life seems to be roller coastering, my yoga isn’t….always there ready for me. I Zoom in and feel so very grateful for my practice and most importantly, my familiar teachers and studio, my community. I look at the waterfall wall, the mat laid out waiting and hear our teachers arrive and welcome us/me with warmth and open hearts. I truly am blessed. When I can, I look around at the Hollywood Squares and see fellow practitioners, friends, colleagues, all in their homes, safe and well and I feel happiness. I miss you all, I miss hugging you all, I miss hearing and sharing your life stories and I miss practicing together….While I miss so much, I feel very connected to you through this livestreaming even though we are so physically distanced.’ – Robin Murphy
‘I didn’t realize what a huge part of my life it is to see you, talk to you or share a hug…this is what I miss the most. However, when I’m teaching in the virtual realm, I can feel you there with me – moving and breathing with me. And when I glance over to the monitor I can see some of you there; all this fills my heart with joy!
A few weeks back, I was listening to CBC radio and they posed the question, “What won’t you take for granted when things go back to normal?” So many things came to mind; hugging my parents, seeing my friends, visiting my favorite coffee shop for a tea latte…but one of my first thoughts was seeing my yoga community every day. I’ve always valued our community but since I’ve been teaching for over 10 years now, I may have taken for granted that it would always be there – I will never do that again.’ – Dawn Bayers
‘Helloooo yoga family! I have come back to this quote again and again over these few weeks, sometimes I ask myself.. am I lonely? And then I pause, and reflect, and think ..no.. I’m just ” alone-ley”. Am I alone, yes, am I disconnected from my sangha.. well, no! I am so grateful to Yoga Santosha and to all of those who have made time and space in their lives to join both myself and other teachers as we have embarked on this zoom teaching journey. This whole situation has been such an adjustment for us all, but I want you to remember that if you too feel “alone-ley” to pause, breathe, and hug yourself four times (minimal for survival.. especially now). I look forward to the day when we can meet again at the studio and plank for approximately 7 minutes. I love you all to the moon and back.
P.S. If you need further motivation for my hug suggestion I suggest you YouTube Charlotte Diamond 4 hugs a day and then you’ll see why! Also, please send this to everyone you know.’ – Maggie Hull
‘Online classes at Yoga Santosha have helped save me from driving myself and my husband totally crazy. Just seeing on Zoom all the wonderful yoga teachers calmed my nerves in the early days of Covid 19 social distancing. In no time all the teachers were Hollywood movie caliber -actually better. The sequences were fun and varied, and it felt almost like a private class in the comfort of our home without having to vacuum or brush our hair.
The classes help provide much needed structure to my day. For example, if I have yoga at noon I should not eat 3 chocolate bars at 11:00am. At the end of class it is fun to leave chat comments on Zoom and wave wildly at the wonderful teacher. Our 12 year old lab wags her tail excitedly in faster flow classes, and she practices noisy yogic breathing in our Saturday 4:00pm yin restorative.’ – Deni Cashin
‘I’m so grateful for the digital platforms that allow us to stay connected. The physical space of things, the touch of things, so important. But when we are unable to explore those areas of existence, our online community has shone through. I cried the first class I did digitally with my Santosha family. I could literally feel everyone through the airwaves. I could hear when you laughed. I felt when we took a collective breath and when we sighed together. I could see you even if your video sharing was turned off, behind my closed eyes. You were in my heart and we were in a shared space. And we still are. Always. Live-stream classes, digital sharing, social media – all of these things are a visible representation of the energy that ties us together. And I’m grateful for them because sometimes we forget. We forget that even without these things, we are still connected. When we can’t see or hear or touch something, we forget. But it’s still there. Even if I can’t see you, the air I breathe is air you breathe. Even if I can’t hear you, we are all echoing in the universe. Even if I can’t hug you, I feel you in my heart.’ – Kim Ma
‘Moving to virtual classes was a big shift for me and something I didn’t think I would really enjoy. I love being around people, feeling the energy of a room and space and sharing in the experience together. The first class was stressful and to say I was nervous was an understatement. So many things to think about! Where do I look? Can they here my music? Is anyone even doing it!? It was very foreign but over the weeks I’ve come to really enjoy this time as it’s turned into connection in a world that feels very disconnected. Seeing familiar faces, laughing at myself as I shake through a side plank, the wonderful comments and feedback at the end of practice, it’s all meant so much. What I’ve come to realize is change is hard, no matter what but no matter the depth of that change, there’s always good. The more we resist the change the longer it takes for us to realize and when I was finally able to surrender to what it is, I was able to appreciate it so much. Thank you to all the beautiful humans who continue to support this wonderful community. I miss you all and am looking forward to seeing you on the screen until we’re together, face to face, once again.’ – Melanie Emlyn
‘I came back to teaching 4 months to the day from my maternity leave, at the beginning of March. After the birth of my son and spending nearly every moment (waking and not) with him, I had a lot of anxiety about leaving and was questioning if I was really ready.
Two weeks later, the studio closed. Of course, this was exactly at the time I realized how much I treasured having that time away from my baby, for me to be in service to a community who held and supported me during my pregnancy (and continues to through this new adventure as a mother!), and to honour my passion for exploration and teaching yoga. The initiation into motherhood came with an overwhelming sense of losing my identity as an individual, and returning to the studio was a beautiful way of reclaiming pieces of that.
I’m grateful for the Friday evening class I’m teaching live-stream. Those moments I get to sneak away, come to an empty space, relax and then share that time with the community are precious to me. I miss seeing everyone in person, but I’m reminding myself how lucky we are to have the technology to come together in some form.
THANK YOU, so so much, to everyone who has tuned in to my classes – you are an integral part of my path, and know that by supporting me in doing something I love, you’re also helping me set an important example for my son about balance, and finding what lights you up then pouring your heart into it.’ – Lauren Dodds
I know that there are so many more experiences to share. We would love to hear from you and to keep sharing with each other the gifts of our community.