Sisters and brother of humanity,

What a week! How far can this go? Unfortunately, probably very far… It’s hard not to get swayed by the currents of current events. I am doing my best not to lose my mind, trying to anchor myself in breath, maintaining a sense of stability by living my “normal” life, teaching classes and clients, writing in the mornings, practicing, going to the farmers market, cooking organic food for the family, telling bedtime stories, taking a 3 day craniosacral unwinding workshop this weekend… But if we’re not swayed, violently pushed side to side, backwards and forwards, if wer’e not shaken by the horror of the fast rate in which fascism that is taking over, if we’re not enraged, afraid, and affected by this, then how would we rise to our power?

Much of the yoga out there tells us that we must go into our center, where we would find the stable, flawless, perfect state of being. Sometimes we even hear teachers and scholars trying to tell us that all that we experience doesn’t actually matter. That we must go to the place beyond experience, where all of this has no meaning. Sounds tempting, ha? We are told that our center is unshakable, that in stillness we find refuge, that the infinite universe lives in this center, that the ground of being is unmoved, doesn’t sway, and isn’t subject to change.

See, the thing is, this kind of approach takes us away from reality, away from the world, away from caring, and loving, and connecting, away from engagement with the truth of our being, which is actually Shape-shifting, ever changing, always moving, eternally pulsing… This kind of yoga wants to take us back… Back to source, away from progress, into devolution, back to when things were good and perfect (reminds you of something?)

The patriarchal model of an erect center line that is supposed to hold God has been in control for a very long time. The horizontal plane, where most of life happens, has been disregarded, looked down on, ignored, and even crushed. This is the domaine of the Goddess.. And she has chosen to keep the world going. She chose you and everything you care about to be her temple. Your thought. Your feeling. Your physicality. Your aging process. Your highs. Your lows. Your mundane, daily routines… Your experience is her expression.

She has many names. Sakti includes them all. The word Sakti in Sanskrit means power, capacity. Sakti it the power of the universe, and she chooses to keep the world going. The feminine (this is not a gender thing, but a code thing) is the primordial breath of life, spinning the world, spiraling galaxies, expanding existence. She’s the energy of evolution. She is nature – cyclical, changing, powerful beyond measure.

Last Saturday, so many gathered in Women Marches all over the country, and all over the world. It felt like “Quickening” – an excitement, a spring to life. We can’t fully see where this is going. We don’t quite know what we can do with this momentum, but we feel the beginning of movement within the collective womb of society. It feels like a spark hope.

We must be shaken to our core, so that we are moved to cultivate powerful resistance. We must use the energy that tries to bury us, and like seeds, use the darkness of our times as the darkness of the earth. Germinate. Then push powerfully against the boundary of that which covers us, resist with all our might, and sprout, reach for light, and grow…

What is growing inside of me is the recognition of my own resistance. How mighty the energy that keeps me small is. How loud the voice that keeps me from taking action is. How strong certain beliefs are. How comfort, how hanging on to what I know put a limit on how far I can reach. How many walls I have built through my resistance to the walls that I am so against building. How sometimes what you want most creates so much resistance in you, and instead of making it happen you find millions of excuses to why it isn’t gonna work.

It is now more than ever that I feel a deep urge to call a sacred presence to life. And while there’s a voice in me that resists, and a part of me that says this is not what’s important at the moment, and a side of me that thinks this is all bullshit, I also know so deeply and fully that this is what some of us really need right now. And I welcome my doubts, because without them, I’d be a fool or a tyrant.

If you hear the call to move your body as a sacred vessel and dive into rituals to help fire you up, keep you fresh, ground you, and give you space to enliven your creative power, so that you can step into this unbelievably scary reality with a courageous heart and an open mind, I invite you to join me for three special ceremonial events in February:

1) Nature’s Quickening – Imbolc –
Thursday February 2nd – 7pm-9pm

Join me in a ceremonial practice to invoke the teachings of the Celtic holiday Imbolc – midway between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox – the initiation of Spring time. It is an invitation into the “Quickening” of the Earth. Mother nature is activating herself. Through asana, pranayama, meditation, mantra, myth, and mudra, we will generate endurance in the face of adversity, creativity in the face of uncertainty, and healing in the face of despair. 

2) Full Moon Mandala with Durga and her lion – Friday February 10th – 7pm-9pm
Join me for a candle-lit practice, contemplation, and full moon ritual, to reflect upon and bring to life the presence of goddess Durga within us. She is your inner badass warrior. To invoke her is to cultivate the courage that it takes to step into the battlefields of life – within and without – to kick the asses of adversarial forces, break through barriers, and overcome hardships. Durga holds the energies that carry us through the storms of our lives and strengthens us in the process. She rides a lion, and this full moon is in Leo. As we flow through a grounding and fluid sequence of poses, flood the inner realms with myth and metaphor, and float in the highs of pranayama, meditation, mantra, and mudra, we will bring forth our inner lions, rawer and howl, share and listen, and bring forth this paradoxical presence of resilience and vulnerability.

3) Sivaratri Celebration – Saturday February 25th – 6pm-midnight 
Maha Shiva Ratri (the Great Night Of Shiva) is a Hindu holiday that marks the mythic marriage of Shiva and Shakti. It is a celebration of the great existence of love, and the great love of existence, holding in it courage and fear, shadow and light, peace and agitation, commitment and freedom. Celebrated on a new moon night, (and is considered in the Hindu tradition to be the darkest night of the year) the infinite black sky invites us to tap into the potency of all possibilities, and empower ourselves to plant the seeds of deep intention, ignite inspiration, and initiate transformation. Traditionally, this holiday is observed by fasting and chanting Shiva Mantras from dusk till dawn. I say we skip the fasting! 😉 Join me for a ceremonial, contemplative asana practice followed by a light and nourishing, vegan, organic meal cooked by yours truly, and then continue our ritual with chanting, meditation, journaling, and breath work. 

Let me know if you are interested in any or all of these transformative ceremonial gatherings, and I will send you further information.

Hang in there! Stay strong. Stay close to loved ones. Find support in your chosen communities. And love your life as fully as you can.

With love,
Hagar