This month’s newsletter was initially meant to begin a dialogue with our community around reopening after the COVID-19 quarantine. However, in light of recent events sparked by the senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others, we cannot, in good conscience, make our reopening a focus at this time.
Instead, we must recognize the protests, looting, acts of instigated violence, and police brutality taking place across the country. In the last few days, danger and unrest dominate the news and social media. But whether we realize it or not, these things have been affecting us, every day of our lives, and some of us much more so than others.
Fear, anger, and violence are controlling the narrative of a public discourse already fraught with social, racial, and economic prejudice, injustice, and oppression. The millennia’s-old story of ‘us against them’ has been used throughout history to divide people and it is still being used to this day. Individuals, organizations, and governments continue to target specific groups and perpetrate malicious ends for their own gain. The time has come to recognize and acknowledge these underlying issues, most of which have yet to be truly accepted as fundamental parts of our society.
Most members of the yoga and wellness industry recognize that our business is predominately white and inherently caters to our white privilege. For our own studio, we acknowledge these truths for ourselves. But, as a small, independent studio, we choose to take a stand – based on the ethical principles we teach in our yoga and meditation practice: non-violence, truthfulness, self-study, and compassion. These are not simply thought experiments or marketing lingo, these are guiding values that can be manifest in each of our lives, to usher in an era of equanimity and equity.
As individuals are ordered to stay home to protect the health of our communities, people are struggling with frustrations around freedom and control. In this time, we must understand that many more people – especially black men, women and children – are forced to live under such a miasmic cloud of repression and structural bias – each and every day.
We must begin to work together to amplify these voices and champion this cause – for the betterment of us all. While we listen, we can grieve together and we can learn together.
LYFE Yoga will be here to help in whatever way we can – as individuals, as a community, as a yoga studio. We may not change the world overnight, but together we can make things a little bit better – for all of us.
This post was written by Michael Ruccolo