Wow, we have come so far. Today we celebrate, we celebrate the power of love. It is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day, it is also the second inauguration of the first Black President of the United States of America. It is a day to look back and see how far we have come. It was barely more than a half a century ago when the Civil Rights Movement in America took root, grew through the power of non-violence and intelligent loving words, and willing and convicted people. A movement built on Hope and the foundations of Love. Not romantic love, but rather as Dr. King so eloquently called it "understanding good will, and brotherly love". I like to break the word down into an acronym; L.O.V.E., Liberation from Oppression and Violence Everywhere. Love is never oppressing or violating, if the feeling is oppressing or violating, it is not love. No matter where the world stands today, no matter what injustices are being committed at this moment, we have come a long way. They're are many struggles left to fight, many causes for which to make a stand, and millions of opportunities to do it better, but today we can pause and smile in gratitude. Sixty Years ago, equality for the black population in this country was a dream and a hope, today it is a reality. Today the equality of Native Peoples and Hispanic Natives as well as immigrants, the equality of those who prefer a relationship model other than male female, the respect of women as more than targets, the right for the 99% to prosper in a capitalist society, the need for an end to factory farming, mountain top mining, fracking, excessive gasoline burning, are all causes to stand for and give our hearts to, are all causes to give our most concerted efforts to, causes to fight for with courage and diligence. And though we can consider these things today, we can still celebrate this new source of confidence for a cause that was worth dying for, we can stand with dignity that we all have shed this racism together. For me the first time we elected Barak Obama on the day of his first inauguration, I felt like the world stood on its hands.
Handstand is one of the most challenging of the asanas we as yogis can do. It requires so much of us; Courage, Strength, Willingness, Balance, Flexibility, and Focus. These are the things we need to learn to live with ourselves and each other, no matter what our differences are. Courage to know the things we don't understand, to go to the places we have never been, to trust that we are supported even when our world is turned upside down. Strength to hold our ground, to stand with dignity in our values and principle. to hold firm to our heart (which is the point of physical structure that holds us up as we stand on our hands). Willingness to change, to explore the boundaries of our experience of our identity, to know ourselves and our relationship with the world around us, with more depth and understanding. Balance so we will not fall, balance so we will not swing to far in any direction loosing sight of the middle ground, the focal point, that which holds the whole beautiful magical chaotic universe together. Flexibility like willingness assists us as we explore change, flexibility in the physical body is necessary in handstand, however flexibility of the mind is even more important. If we believe something with such rigidity, like "I can't do that", then we will not be able to do it. Flexibility allows our minds to see the world like a child, exploring, not expecting much to happen, eager to learn, flexibility allows the mind to change with ease. Focus on the motive, focus on the attitude of the mind and the spaciousness of the spirit of the heart, focus on the floor, focus on the bigger goal of peaceful lives, focus keeps us steady, gives us the ability to play without falling, gives us opportunity to become even more skillful and experimental with all of these other ingredients to this most awesome pose.To this magical moment in time, to doing handstand not once but twice, and this time with a more awesome variation, let us say hooray! Kick your feet over your head and don't be afraid to fall. Have dreams and L.O.V.E. yourselves as you make them come true. Continue to celebrate your freedom, and let your actions be motivated and inspired by that joyfull place you know when your standing on your hands and you feel free. If this is not something you can do today, imagine it, practice it, give yourself permission to learn, and when you are free, remember all those who helped to light the way. Thank you to all those who have helped pave the way for today, the world is grateful for your love.Happy Dr. King Day!! Love, Genevieve