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  • Natalie Dunbar | RYT-200

For All of Us: Yoga in Response to #metoo

I'd been meaning to write a seasonal note to those of you that I am blessed to work with and share the teachings of yoga asana.


And as life (and my full time job) would have it, the fall equinox came and went, and that ship sailed. Rather than lament a missed deadline, I trusted that I would organically "just know" the right time to reach out.


Then came the avalanche of #metoo posts in my social media feeds over the last several days. Exhausted from a lack of sleep and a long day at the "day job," I sat down to reach out.


Here's an excerpt from what I shared:


As the Universe would have it, it seems like the "right" time to write is right now.


You all know that my teaching focuses on making yoga accessible for all. And even though you may have checked out my other offerings online, you may not have noticed my other focus: that of bringing hope and healing to those who have experienced trauma of any kind, using yoga as a vehicle on the road to healing.


As I shared on my own [personal] social media feed today, "...the heaviness of some of the conversations that are happening on the interwebs...affect us all. It's necessary - and it's time - and it can also be draining and provoking, even when the goal is to gain understanding and hold space for each other as humans."


This post - and the feelings I was describing - was due in part to having been catcalled and harassed as I was walking to my car last night.


So, as my eyes well up with tears, over, and over and over again as I read through literally hundreds of #metoo posts, I want to (gently) remind you that even if #metoo doesn't apply to you, the ubiquitous nature of media - social and otherwise - can, by extension of those we know and love who do share their stories, cause a "fight or flight" reaction.


In all of us.


If that is the case with you - and if you find yourself spiraling downward in the midst of this conversation as I have - then please remember that self care is vitally important right now.


For all of us.


If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to ask yourself this question: "What do I need in this moment?" For you that may mean closing your laptop, or logging off social media for a bit. Know that it's completely OK to do whatever you need to in order to achieve the more desirable state of "rest and digest," and to take care of yourself.


Wherever you are right now, if you have a few more moments, try this simple practice:

  • Sit in a chair (or the edge of your bed, or on the floor)

  • Plant your feet firmly on the ground (if on the floor, plant your sit bones)

  • Place one hand on your heart, and another on your belly

  • Take a few deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling fully

  • "Rinse and repeat" as needed throughout your day


This is yoga, friends.


For all of us.


Namaste

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