|This weekend we had a very thought-provoking workshop with Douglas Brooks. One of the things he mentioned was Abhaya mudra, the hand gesture (that looks like a stop sign) that is often interpreted as meaning “fear not.” In his very Douglas way, Douglas said, “fear not? That’s insane!” In fact, fear is one of the 9 rasas (Bhayanaka), which are the 9 categories of emotions that humans are meant to fully experience. We want to experience Love, Joy, Courage, Wonder and Peace, why should we not expect to experience Fear, Disgust, Sadness and Anger?
The problem with fear is that sometimes it feels overwhelming, and stops us from taking appropriate action. When we feel intense fear, we may either fight, flight, or freeze. The Tantric philosophy of Ashaya Yoga says instead to feel your fear, and take it along with you so you can act appropriately. Nurture it, and let it know that you’re in control, and that things are going to be OK. We want to buckle our fear into the back seat of the car, rather than let it take the driver’s seat.
Right now, there is a real fear about the corona virus. And that fear may tempt us to freeze- to hole up inside and not venture out into the world because of the risk of infection. For a few people, this risk is high, and precautions should be taken, but for most of us the risk is quite low. We don’t want to give in and let fear take the steering wheel, instead we should take appropriate actions- like hand washing for 20 seconds- so that we can go on with life and continue to experience all the joys (and other emotions) that life has to offer.
At the yoga center, we are attempting to keep things sanitary, as always. However, it is not possible or practical to sterilize all the props in between each class. We don’t anticipate anyone contracting covid19 as a result of taking a yoga class, but we do ask that if you are feeling sick, please stay home. If you are concerned about sharing props, please feel free to bring your own blocks, bolsters, blankets, eye pillows, mat, etc. (Or even bring a towel to throw over our props, that you can then take home and wash.) We want everyone to be safe and comfortable and at ease at Garden of the Heart. (Sthira Sukham Asanam- the pose should be steady and easeful- yoga sutra 2.46.) Thank you!
With Love and Compassion,