“And I will show you how I struggle not to change the world, but to love it.” ~Oriah Mountain Weaver
We are struggling. We are struggling with Donald Trump and the unfairness of being black in America. We are struggling with neo-Nazis; with the signs of segregation festering in small-town Germany; with the increasing impossibility of putting local, wholesome food on the table; with the endless damp skies of another strangely mild winter. We see the environment around us shifting, crumbling under the concrete weight of capitalism and we feel anger. The world streams into our kitchen through the vast portal of the Internet and we feel rage. We see, although we wish to look away, the brazenly hateful headlines of cheap German tabloids and we feel afraid.
What is the true path of a yogi? Should we take to the streets in protest? Should we be more rebellious, more provocative? Should we take our politics into our teaching? Or does this only further divide where we seek to unite?
Perhaps we should remove ourselves from all that is broken and retreat to the woods; renounce all modern comforts, like the Buddha or Thoreau, and find a quiet spot of green to live out our days.
And yet, we find ourselves wanting to belong to this messy beast.
So we don’t know what to do about racism. We don’t know what to do about climate change. We don’t know what to do about the colossal number of children in this world who are being raised on a steady diet of bullshit and sugar. It doesn’t feel right to fight. It doesn’t feel right to flee.
Meanwhile, spring is undressing in Germany, throwing off winter’s cumbersome layers. We take Sunday walks in the park and stop to marvel at slender-necked geese herding cotton-puff goslings on wobbly legs. We rejoice as strawberry and asparagus season arrives, and as we pause to let these fresh, vibrant flavours roar in our mouths we remember that everything must die so that everything can live. We observe the unwashed dishes, our unmade bed, the laugh-lines deepening at the corners of our eyes, and we measure these not against make-believe stills of a perfect Instagram account, but as snapshots of a wild life in process. We marvel at the words “husband” and “wife,” which after nine months of marriage are still strange and beautiful jewels as they roll of the tongue. And each time the world seems too enormous and unruly, and a yoga teacher too small a force, we remind ourselves anew: our purpose is not to change the world, but to love it so fiercely that others may be inspired to do the same.
Liz and Roland's rich teaching is rooted in their own intensive practices—profoundly spiritual, and at the same time playful. They skillfully guide students in discovering and understanding the physical body, creating a potential for mental and energetic transformation. Their teaching is infused with fierce love, joy, and laughter.
©Liz Huntly 2015