“Spiritually, these are not … fulfilling times”

I’m tuned to listen to anything Michelle Obama has to say.  And today I read that she said, “Spiritually, these are not … fulfilling times,” In addition, the article I read said that she’s been dealing with “low-grade depression” since lockdown.

I think a lot of people are feeling similarly.

She went on to say.. Not just because of the quarantine, but because of the racial strife, and just seeing this administration, watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out, is dispiriting.”

Yeah it is.

In addition to all of the types of feelings we’re experiencing with quarantine, racial strife and politics, there are additional concerns specifically in the yoga industry right now. Concerns like…

With so many studios closing for good, how will I survive?

That’s a pretty big, base-level concern.

There are other questions too… questions about about the cultural appropriation of Yoga, questions about diversity, equity and racism in the industry. And questions about spiritual bypassing and do I do it?

These are all good questions to ask.  And I think there’s a lot “there there” to raise the questions.

At the same time, no matter what’s happening in the “industry,” and the world inside and around me, I believe in Yoga. I believe in its healing power. And even though I believe in Oneness, I don’t believe it’s “all good,” or that everyone is treated equally on this planet, or that we all feel like we belong.  I believe that there’s too much “whiteness in wellness” and that includes me.

But I will continue to believe that the regular practice of Yoga has transformed my life, in ways I cannot always articulate or fully understand.

So, right now I’m going to keep breathing and moving my body, whatever that looks like. I’m going to sit quietly and get out in nature and love my kids. I’m going to get adequate sleep, do my best at eating healthy, and utilize the techniques I know to help regulate my nervous system. I’m going to keep looking at myself and studying with those who can help me understand things I don’t grasp right now. I’m going to engage in conversations, even if they are difficult or make me feel uncomfortable. I’m going to keep taking action to find more equity and I’m going to keep listening and raising the voices of those who haven’t always been heard. I’m going to keep working and doing my best and at times I’m going to fail. I’m going to keep seeking out the company of like-minded people who lift me up. I’m going to practice humility. Why? Because Yoga has taught the importance of practicing these things. And these things help make me feel Spiritually well, even in these dispiriting times. And I’m going to keep encouraging other people to do the things that make them feel Spiritually well too.

Michele Lawrence is a mother and founder/director of Inner Peace Yoga Therapy. She lives in Durango, CO.