What were you doing when you realized our lives would be dramatically changed?

Maybe you were preparing to have a baby, making final plans for your wedding, leaving on a vacation, planning your child’s graduation…the list is endless! It was our life as we knew it.

I was preparing my mind and body for surgery. After a year of limited mobility, pain, and a diagnosis of avascular necrosis, it was time, for a total hip replacement. Based on the first confirmed Covid-19 case on the west coast of our country on January 21, we estimated we had about three months till the virus affected the east. My surgery was March 4th and I then made the heart wrenching decision to close the Studio on March 14th, to ensure the safety of our community and teachers. None of us could have imagined this would happen and so quickly…kind of like a tornado with no notice!

I think all of us, you all, my friends and community were “frozen” for weeks simply trying to process the life we are all living now. We are going through stages of grief, disbelief, anger, fear, and anxiety. A good day and then a bad one. For me, it was fear. I was rehabbing at home from surgery. My body was drained, my limbs weak, and my head pounding. With the help of my breath, from my yoga practice, I could calm my body and mind. I slowly began to notice the old me in the mirror! And I pray the old you has emerged as well.

As the pandemic spread, it was amazing to watch people RISE, take control… organize teams to make medical safety equipment, deliver food, raise funds for children’s meals, check in on a neighbor, display stuffed animals in front windows for children’s smiles, coordinate an entire neighborhood’s streets and sidewalks filled with chalk colored hearts and inspiring messages…this list is endless as well. But it’s the list of strength, hope, compassion, and endurance, humanity at its best!! Even the reporting of the news began to shift from chaos of the unknown to the heroes on the frontlines, the faces and life stories of those we lost, the acts of courage and love. A glimmer of hope!

Just prior to our “new normal,” the yoga community lost a legend, on February 21, 2020… Tao Porchon-Lynch, the oldest yoga teacher. At the age of 101, Tao was still teaching a weekly class in NY and programs across the globe. “One of the most acclaimed yoga teachers of our century, Tao Porchon-Lynch is a mentor who embodies the spirit of yoga and is an example of ageless body and timeless mind. Like yoga, she teaches us to let go and to have exquisite awareness in every moment.” By chance, I caught a tribute to Tao on the Today show. It revealed the mantras she recited every morning and lived her life by.

“Anything is possible, nothing is impossible.”

”This is going to be the best day of my life.”

”Know that the joy of living is right inside of you.”

I began reciting Tao’s mantras every morning and incorporating them into my yoga classes. Through these unknown days, they have kept me grounded, positive, aware, and hopeful. I hope they can help you as well.

I find myself, on a sunny day, looking up at the sky and wondering what will our new normal be. Will we stand together, will technologies shift, will businesses flourish, will weddings start where they left off, and will we live “the best day of our lives” every day?

May you all be happy, healthy, peaceful, and safe every day!