Reflecting on News from the U.S. Capitol

Updated: January 7, 2021


I spent Wednesday afternoon and evening, like many of you, watching in horror as domestic terrorists attacked the U.S. Capitol in an effort to subvert a core tenet of American democracy—the peaceful transition of power.

In yoga, transitions are constant, as in life. Whether moving from one pose to another, or the moment between a deep inhale and a long exhale, we are constantly making transitions in our practice. The essential importance of what you do—to share the teachings and benefits of yoga with your communities—could not have been more striking to me as I watched yesterday’s events unfold. What we saw in Washington was the opposite of what we, as a global community, believe in.

Overcoming the hatred and violence on display in the United States yesterday—the same kind that has stained the history of our country and so many countries globally—will take brave, honest conversations and action, which eschew the temptation of simple explanations in service of genuine understanding.

Our community is uniquely positioned to hold space for these conversations, and yoga, as you well know, is particularly well-designed to help each of us build the courage, empathy, capacity, and resilience needed to have them.

I believe that the world needs more yoga, and more spaces with the lessons that yoga teaches—and that’s where you come in. The work each of you do, every day, is bravely optimistic, vital, and sacred. Yoga Alliance and Yoga Alliance Foundation will be here to support you in that work, every step of the way.

This is not the “Welcome 2021” message I had planned or wanted to send this week, but, for many reasons, it feels to be the necessary one. With that in mind, in this new year, in this transition of time, let’s take good care of ourselves and each other, and with the tools that yoga provides us, do what we can to help people find and build their capacity to heal, rather than wound.

In yoga,

Shannon Photo and Signature

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