Each year at this time I write a message with some type of clever spin on resolutions. It’s usually targeted to tug on the heartstrings, and it’s always tied to some type of marketing message or final push for teacher training.
The older I get, the more I just don’t care. I don’t mean that in an apathetic way. In fact, when it comes to my team, my company, and YOU…that’s ALL I care about. I’ve been mulling over two quotes: “Your opinion won’t write me a paycheck” and “foolish are those who let someone who’s done nothing tell them how to do something.” However, I’ve decided to go a different direction and scrap all of it.
There will be no “New year, new you,” cheesy ass 30-day challenge that comes with a $6 trophy T-shirt. No talk about “goal setting” or “being the best you.” We are a culture obsessed with self-improvement, but what I think we lose sight of in all the surface self-improvement is actual yoga. What if in lieu of improving yourself you chose to improve your world and community. This year we’re doing something different, something that is definitively Yoga Lab. Honesty.
As we usher in the new decade, we usher in this:
The Yoga Lab Code of Dignity and Humanity.
1.The 8 limbs of yoga are a baseline. You are human and fallible. Forgive yourself. 2.Kindness and compassion are not things we strive for. They are basic responsibilities of being a human being. 3.Rudeness and unkindness will be met with indifference and a dismissal from YL. Stay home. 4.We will never make you wrong. (Unless you’re an asshole. See #3) 5.Gossip, judgements, or talking out of both sides of you mouth will be met with dismissal. 6.You will always be seen, heard, and acknowledged (also see #3). 7.Your opinion is your opinion. Keep it to yourself. 8.Speak straight. 9.No matter who you are, no matter what you look like, no matter how much practice you’ve done—you have every right to be in these studios.
Someone needs to say this. What I’ve seen in the last decade from clients and teachers is we say one thing in the yoga studio and do the opposite in our personal interactions. So I’m drawing a hard line in the sand. I will draw a sword on the malignant and hateful and plunge it into the heart of the unkind.
This may seem to be a controversial New Years message from me. However, I cannot think of anything more traditional, anything more yogic. In one of yoga’s most ancient texts, The Bhagavad Gita, there comes a moment when God whispers into the warrior Arjuna’s ear that he must fight, even though he doesn’t want to. He must fight to give refuge to the merciful, the kind, and the overlooked. I hear that whisper.
The only thing I’m resolute to in 2020 is elevating humanity. The rest? I just don’t care.