Break Your Heart No Longer

My beloved child,
Break your heart no longer.

Each time you judge yourself,
you break your own heart.

You stop feeding on the love which is the wellspring
of your vitality.

The time has come, your time,
to live, to celebrate, to see the goodness that you are.

“Evil” is the word “live” turned inside out.
There is no evil, no wrong,
in you or any other.
There is only the thought of it and the thought
has no substance.

What is so—–is that you are—–So Dear
So Divine
So Very Very Pure

Let no one, no thing, no idea or ideal obstruct you.
If one comes, even in the name of truth, forgive it
for it’s unknowing.

Do not fight the dark.

Let go, aware of the light,

And breathe, into the goodness that you are.

~ Swami Kripalu

What I Miss

February is the month when I hit the Winter Wall as the cold, grey days pull me into stagnation. Add a pandemic and isolation — last week I hit the Winter Wall x 1000. Devoid of any vision for the future, I found my well completely empty.

Let me interject how grateful I am for friends like Luna, Lynn, and Jan to whom I can reach out during difficult times. I’m still navigating the Winter Wall, but through support and resources, I can peek just over the top.

Yesterday, after finding support from a close friend, I read a reflection from a mentor entitled What I Miss. With her encouragement, I made my own What I Miss reflection. To say that I cried while writing would be an understatement. Sobbing would be a more accurate description. 

Yet when I was finished, I noticed that something shifted. Through the process of naming What I Miss, I found that the vision for the future lay within the essence of the things I treasure most.

Sometimes we must look into the dark to find within us that which will draw us into the light again.

I miss outdoor music on a Friday evening, lying on a blanket watching children play and idly chatting with friends while we unwind from the week.

I miss gathering with my gal pals on a Wednesday night at our favorite local restaurant, bitching about how the winter is too long and how hard our weeks have been while we laugh and share appetizers made mostly of bread.

I miss greeting my students at the yoga studio as they wander in, eager or tired, to find their props and center before practice.

I miss covering my students with a blanket in Savasana, tucking in their feet just the way they prefer. Read More »

Reflections From the Threshold

Here we sit, the threshold of the new year. It is only tomorrow, an arbitrary Friday, another day, yet it represents something greater — hope, newness, perseverance, renewal.

As I sit in final reflection of 2020, I look backward at the incredible sadness and grieving this year brought for so many. Lives lost, jobs lost, security lost, spaces lost, communities lost, rituals lost — so much loss. The structures of our society shaken, the foundation of our security may never be quite the same. 

I have grieved, adapted, persevered, cried, shouted, cursed, accepted, resisted, given up, started again, evaluated, hoped, dreamed and stayed put when I wanted nothing more than to fly away from my life. Indeed, though, there is no where to go and nothing to do. I have done the very best that I can.

I have surrendered the things I cannot control, tried to control them, and surrendered once again. Read More »

Stop Scrolling, Come Together

We are all just walking each other home. ~ Ram Dass
Yesterday I came across the quote above and my heart Immediately said YES and my eyes became misty. Viscerally, I felt the loss of physical presence and the “come together” moments, large and small, that once made connection feel more solid.
What could feel more unlike coming together than living in an infectious pandemic during a volatile election year that has highlighted racial injustice and social inequities? How do we walk each other home right now? What might we do to stay engaged in a meaningful way while remaining awake and aware?
When envisioning this month’s Find Your Center Retreat, I intuited many would be in the midst of uncertainty, doomscrolling social media, caught somewhere between the need to know and the aversion to reading of more catastrophe. As a contrast, Natalie Akins and I designed a morning of connection, quiet contemplation and grounding practices to evoke both calm and awareness.
Find Your Center has been a focus of alleyCat from our inception, and there is no better time than NOW to root into that path. Come together In retreat and explore practices that center you personally and unite us collectively as we walk each other home.
Join Natalie and me, Saturday, October 24, 9:00-Noon. Come together, get centered and reenter life grounded, awake and aware. 
~Jai Bhagwan

Your Support is Vital

DONATE HERE Without a doubt, the current pandemic has rocked the world in ways most of us could never have imagined. Life as we knew it has come to a halt and the residue of this has impacted so many lives. I have been saddened by the loss of many lives and the economic, mental and emotional suffering experienced by so many.

The yoga community as a whole has been significantly impacted, with studios across the world closing. At this time of the year our studio would typically be buzzing with many classes and events each week, the walls holding the laughter of children and the chant of Aum. But this is not a typical year and I am working each day to let go of grasping on to what has been. I am grateful that we can continue to hold space together through our virtual studio and for the dedication of our teachers that has made this transition possible.

I want to assure you we are not in immediate danger while being clear that the crisis has significantly impacted the studio financially. I am grateful for a small PPP loan and several generous donations that have carried us through for the last months. Now it is time to directly turn to our students for support through both attendance and donations. Your support is vital to our future.

Our mission has always been to hold safe and sacred space so the practices of yoga can be experienced by all. As the impact of COVID-19 is felt in our community, we continue to endeavor to meet this mission in the most sustainable, ethical way possible. Though the format is different, our virtual offerings continue to bring students to a space of inner quiet and deeper awareness as we hold space together.

alleyCat has a long history as a transformative community and we have adapted through change and difficulty before. It is my wish that we will weather this storm and when it ends our physical doors will open once again. Please donate what you can so that we remain a thriving community, dedicated in holding sacred space together.

~Jai, Susan