Prior to the Stay-At-Home order for COVID-19 which ultimately left me furloughed from three yoga teaching jobs (at The Colorado Athletic Club, The Yoga Loft in South Boulder, and The Boulder Parks and Recreation Department), I had not really been corresponding with my community of yoga students and fellow teachers via email. I had been defaulting to my real life classes and social media. However, by suddenly being withdrawn from in-person classes, I was forced to acknowledge the importance of staying in touch virtually, more directly, because we could no longer rely on being able to communicate in person (my preferred method of communication). I definitely was not prepared with everyone’s emails nor contacts and I felt momentarily lost at sea, like a shipwreck had torn me away from everyone I had been sailing on board with! Even though it’s common business practice, I was never into “constant contact” and other forms of “growing your business” online. I tend to get turned off by commercial aggression. However, this necessary online shift also woke me up to understanding that there is an essential balance to be found: commerce, and commercial behavior, is also about maintaining community (interesting that these words have the same root). As such, I have been advised to email more regularly (personally, I still prefer not too regularly), and to share correspondences on my website. So here we go! These are the emails I sent during the Stay-At-Home period. I will try to keep emailing and sharing emails more contemporaneously on my website.
To join my direct e-mailing list, send me an email here. Thank you!
“This is not a pipe dream, this is our heritage.” – Laura A.
Hello, good morning –
How are you? Do you have a moment to imagine?
Imagine a society in which women have a central role in the spiritual, social, economic, and political determination of the culture, not at the exclusion of men but to their equal inclusion. Imagine an egalitarian society that respects the health and wellness of the whole natural world, including the animal population – wild and domestic – as integral to the highly valued health and wellness of the human population. Imagine an egalitarian and ecologically balanced society in which collective celebration, recreation, art, education, and the diverse appreciation for this great mystery of life is thriving because “profit” is no longer more valuable than “people” and “planet”. Imagine all that… and then consider something that my current “Goddess Traditions and Early Tantra” teacher said today:
“This is not a pipe dream, this is our heritage.” – Laura Amazzone
Matriarchal societies (which are not the gender reversal of patriarchal societies, but a different order altogether) have flourished far beyond what our current history acknowledges. Collectively and individually, we don’t just need to declutter our lifestyles, we need to decolonize our memories. We need to listen to the voices that have been excluded from His stories. We need to consider Her stories that go much farther back.
Yoga practice and meditation help me create the space in body and mind to decolonize my memories, to hear the quieter voices of my stories, and to reconnect with the balance and appreciation of the natural world. In this way, yoga and meditation feel like such a powerful and essential gift to share!
It’s been a real blessing to connect with my yoga teachers and yoga students online during this Corona-Karuna-Stay-At-Home-Order. I have surprising loved working online, especially one-one-one with students, and I look forward to seeing you again for practice soon. This is my last week offering all classes by donation. Please contact me directly to schedule your time this time! I’ve been working hard on updating my website with easy-to-access sign-up times and buttons to quickly pay online and make me a millionaire (ha ha, who’s actually reading this?), but this website transformation seems to be taking forever to finish.
However, I am very happy to share that I’ve just released my first online course!!! YAY. This has been a true labor of love (and the baby of a broken bone in my foot that had to heal as I worked on it):
ASHTANGA YOGA THEORY WITH SANDI – https://coursecraft.net/courses/z91bT/splash
Ashtanga Yoga Theory with Sandi familiarizes you with all 8 limbs (or progressive stages) of Ashtanga Yoga according to the yoga sūtras of Patañjali. It includes a study of 75 select yoga sūtras (with my own friendly translations and recitations). 100+ optional chanting videos. A total of 14 lessons. And healthy provocation, for example: What if the Patañjali who wrote the yoga sūtras was actually a woman???I have promotional discounts for those who write back to me with the need and interest. Don’t be shy. I would LOVE to hear from you.
Photo: recent sighting of a “Sea Raven” (Double Crested Cormorant) at Harlow Platts Park in Boulder, CO
Happy Earth Day & New Moon Day and join me for some fresh online classes this week! 4/19-4/25
“Yoga is an ocean… Asana is just a bucket we bring to that ocean.” – Sharath Jois
How are you? I want to give a big thank you to those who replied to my last email, and to those whom I had the pleasure of teaching this past week. It was so great to hear from you, to see you, and to connect with each other.
This past week, I also had the opportunity to practice and conference online through Zoom with my teacher Sharath Jois (who is currently in Mysore, India), thanks to the stellar organization of Kino Yoga and the Miami Life Center. It was so inspiring to reconnect with the worldwide Ashtanga community (over 1,000 yogis and yoginis all at once!) for practice and satsang. Somehow the same practice is always more challenging with Sharath! Mostly though, I’m amazed by how we we were able to synchronize so many people in movement across time and space… It gives me hope and makes me wonder… What can we, as a whole planet, accomplish together by connecting intentionally online… Perhaps together we really can curb climate change from causing further devastation and species decimation around the planet?
I wanted to share with you that during the conference, Sharath put a lot of emphasis on how much asana (our physical postural practice) is only one small part of the whole practice of Ashtanga yoga, and that we do not need to be so hard on ourselves about what we can and cannot do in terms of our asana practice! That said, we do not need to be lazy about it either. 🙂 He also emphasized that, in this unprecedented time of being so physically separated from each other and all beings, we do need to turn inward and seek to connect spiritually, even more than physically.
I’m always offering japa (yoga chanting) and meditation, because these less-physical practices really inspire me. I’m curious though, if not that – what are some less-physical spiritual practices that inspire you?
Also, before I forget: this Wednesday is Earth Day (and a New Moon)! Do you have plans? Would you like to join me in making Earth Day mandalas and creating an online sacred circle where we will commit to better caring for the Earth together? These mandalas can be made at home out of: – foraged pieces of nature from a nature walk- single-use plastics that you haven’t thrown away yet- other “waste” materials that can be upcycle into yogic art (What is yogic art? Art that blends creativity with intention, intention with action, action with peace and contentment. More details and instructions for those who are interested will be provided! ;-))
Please see the attachments (PDF & JPG) for the schedule of all my online classes for the coming week (all current classes are still by donation! I haven’t received my stimulus check yet and I bet a lot of you haven’t either, so please don’t feel bad if you can’t pay, and please do pay if you can). Feel free to contact me with any questions. I hope to see you soon!
XO Sandi H.
p.s. it would make me smile to the moon and back if you liked my new social media pages and helped me to share these class offerings. Thank you for supporting practices of peace on behalf of those whom you know personally. Do let me know how I can be of better support to you: www.facebook.com/shantiwithsandi / www.instagram.com/shantiwithsandi
shanti with sandi : april 12th – 18th : online class offerings by donation this week!
“The thing about aging is all your old lovers, pretty much if they were really friends, become your family. It’s great. You have those terrible feelings of possessiveness and uncertainty go out the window. You have what you shared. You know you would help each other in times of trouble no matter what.” – Gloria Steinem
As we all get older in quarantine [really: stay-at-home], I wanted to offer you some ways to keep feeling young and fresh in body-mind-spirit this week…
Please see my class offerings listed below (also attached as jpg in case you want to print and frame it, haha ;-).
It would be the highlight of my week to connect with you, so even if you don’t see a time that works for you this week, send me an email or a message anyway! If you have other classes and times to suggest – even for classes that are not my own – I’d love to hear.
I can finally jump around a little after healing my broken foot, so among other things I am starting Bollywood dance fitness classes again (after 6 weeks without dancing, it’s going to be a softly ecstatic experience no doubt). I’m also expanding my weekly offerings of Ashtanga yoga, fitness, meditation, and yoga philosophy/chanting… so, if you see a class/time that works for you, please send me an email to receive the info to join the meetings on Zoom. Thank you Zoom!
Yesterday one of my Ashtanga students said to me that this quarantine feels like a collective “shavasana” or “corpse pose” on our dying culture of exploiting the Earth (and all its beings and environments), and that we are hereby being given an opportunity to re-emerge from this period with a new vision, a new genesis, for a healthier & happier relationship with our amazing planet. What a great idea! Imagine ourselves coming up from this collective “shavasana” with a new vision, held by far more peaceful, connected, and content hearts. What could this new vision look like?
Can we all imagine one new Earth-centered practice for our post-stay-at-home world? Please share!