Fear of saying the wrong thing.

Which specific place in your neighbourhood are you most looking forward to visiting once COVID-19 restrictions are over?

As Switzerland gradually eases unprecedented COVID-19 restrictions, we returned to our yoga studio on Saturday for our first in-person yoga class in 11 weeks. It felt heart-warming and special to come together and practise in the same room after all this time.

I have thoroughly enjoyed guiding those of you who joined me online these past weeks and would like to thank you for your time and commitment. I’ll continue offering livestream when I can.

The first thing I introduce in class whether it is with beginners, advanced practitioners, a group class or private client is how to breathe. It is the foundation of our yoga practice. When we learn to work with the breath, we have a deep, intimate connection to ourselves and to our life force.

During a recent yoga retreat in Tessin, I included an invitation for each person to breathe for themselves, their neighbours, their countries and a world that was still trying to heal from the pandemic.

When we returned from the retreat, I witnessed an outpouring of rage and pain, Black Lives Matter protests and pleas for justice, as George Floyd’s breath, his life force had been taken from him, as well as Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and all those who needlessly lost their lives due to police violence and racial terror.

The movement for racial justice has grown beyond the black community. It affects us all. This conversation is so important. Yoga, breathwork and meditation can help us to stay focused, to be with the discomfort, to bring a deeper awareness to our own feelings, biases, shame and worthiness.

If you’re feeling stuck, wanting to take a stand but perhaps afraid of saying the wrong thing, (as I am), I encourage you to begin educating yourself, learn the history. There are so many resources available. If you’d like some help, let me know and I’ll compile a list for you.

I’m reading White Fragility, it’s a helpful place to start.

Here’s a comprehensive list of Anti-racism Resources (articles, books, podcasts, films, social media accounts, organizations, etc.) compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker, Alyssa Klein in May 2020.

I’m also asking myself:

  • In what ways am I including and promoting equality, inclusion, and diversity? Where am I falling short? Where can I improve?
  • What does my community look like? Am I serving a racially diverse group of people? Do I need to widen my reach and expand my network?
  • What do I need to learn more about?
  • Where are the local organizations and people working for racial and social equality/inclusion and how can I support and highlight them?

Begin by having conversations with your families and friends. What would it look like to show up with humility and say I didn’t know? Are we willing to try, engage, feel awkward and make mistakes?

Our yoga practice is called a practice because it is continually evolving, there is no end to our life’s learning, growing and transforming.

If you’re interested in asking the important questions and developing your practice, stay curious and be kind to yourself. The more we deepen our self-awareness, the easier it will be to find our next best step. There are many entry points moving forward and we’ll meet others on a similar journey along the way.

This week, I invite you to have a compassionate dialogue with those you trust.

Keep learning and exploring.

Karen x

 

YOGA WITH KAREN

Karen Kurzmeyer
Private/group/corporate yoga teacher. Helping busy professionals prioritise health & wellbeing through yoga.

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