Astro-yogis, I have a confession: sometimes I see the news updates flashing across my phone, and I feel numb.
As a member of the yoga community, I’m acutely aware that this numbness is precisely why yogis are often criticized in troubling times.
To some, it seems like we live in a delusional space, talking about peace and bliss when our nation is torn apart by gun violence. And perhaps you yourself are wondering: how can I be thinking about creating calm—perhaps just sitting there in a meditation or just standing there in a tadasana (mountain pose) while it’s clear that SOMEONE NEEDS TO DO SOMETHING.
And of course, you’re not wrong to wonder that.
In the sort of yoga I practice (and likely you do too, if you’re in the United States and a yogi), the yoga practitioner is called to acknowledge reality as it is.
This means acknowldging the flaws and gifts within us, as well as the flaws and gifts outside ourselves. And this can seem fine (if still challenging) when the flaws we face are palatable: overcoming issues with perfectionism, finding balance, giving ourselves permission to fail. And of course, these palatable flaws are important for us to address.
But, in my experience, the task of acknowledging things as they are grows more challenging when we have to acknowledge the completely unpalatable, choking-hazard flaws in our reality.