The idea of revisiting the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is not the most up-beat thing to talk about in a yoga class. But, I think it's important, as always, to revisit the past to see where we came from.
First - where we are now...from so long ago, New Orleans and the surrounding areas have come so far in rebuilding.
So far- the culture of the United States has banned together to see to it that we 'get back' as a community.
But also, we need to remember that WE are still in need...always.
It's a process to rebuild and five years goes fast.
And we're not out of the woods.
We still need help.
But, where are WE at?
What trials have we had personally that fog our perspective.
The idea that our country is in need is a definite.
But we also have personal trials that we deal with on a daily basis that have just as much weight as Katrina, but they aren't newsworthy because they are our own.
In the yoga studio, we have signed a contract with our selves to come into a room and work out together what we need to progress ourselves forward.
Every single trial is just as worthy as the next, individually and communally.
So, we come to the room and work on it together. That is important.
It is important that we remember what has happened in our history as a culture so that we have the strength to work towards our future in passion and stay rooted in strength and security in the moment of our present.
Without the timeline of these moments - trials and wins, we cannot see where we are and where we are going.
I am not happy for what has happened tragically in our past and lives lost whether it be through war or natural disaster, but in this tragedy, there is a gift to bring us together in peace, see where we are in our own lives and move forward with the passion and truth and guidance in trial towards the most powerful future we can create.
Living in NYC during 9/11 was not a good time. I wasn't teaching yoga then. But those events forced me to look at my life. So many lives lost. What do I have in my life?
What do I do with my life. If so many lives weren't lost and so much destruction didn't happen, it wouldn't have made me a yoga teacher. I wouldn't have been a yoga teacher had it not been for 9/11. No question.
In destruction, we have the choice in tragedy to look at our lives, how precious and lucky we are to be breathing and living, that we make the decisions we need to make to live the best lives we can for those that didn't have the chance.
I remember Katrina. Not the happiest thing you want to bring into a yoga class when your student is running late, the car has broken down, the kid has a summer cold, you are in a fight with the husband or had an altercation with a road rager on the freeway on the way to your mat, but, it puts everything in perspective, doesn't it?
I know, as a student AND as a teacher, we all have a moment before we enter the room. To be strong enough not to judge the moments before and just work out the moments within, is the greatest gift you can give yourself and the others in class.
You have no idea...what trials someone is dealing with. Some people cry in class or yell in class or leave in class.
We all have hurricanes within us, daily. It's important that we support and encourage rebuilding from the destruction so that we can find that sweet sunny calm after the storm whether it's five years post or five minutes.