Labors Of Love

They say you “can’t have it all”—but how much better to redefine ALL, and then have it?

And that is exactly what the Yoga for New York Fundraiser at YogaVida  accomplished last night.

The event’s “all” was multi-faceted, like Indra’s jewel.  YogaVida offered the simple elegance of its airy space; Nikki Villela and Kyle Miller led the vinyasa-at-a-profound-clip, followed by gentle pranayam medicine of Brooke Myers, who stuck in the admonition of BKS Iyengar that an asana-centric practice will make us only more of what we already are.  Alan Finger and Sarah Platt-Finger  guided the heart-glow of jivatman up to the crown and then back through the core channel to the feet to “milk the elemental channels like cows’ udders”, bringing it ALL all the way down and into common ground.  Finally, Barbara Verrochi and Kristin Leigh set the whole field on vibrate by chanting to Durga Ma.  Oh(m my gosh): and then we ate and drank with stupendous, tasteful variety.

Yoga for New York  is undoubtedly fighting the good fight, led by the indefatigable Alison West . As they explain: “At the heart of the matter are State Labor Guidelines defining Independent Contractors versus Employees.  As written now, the guidelines do not properly reflect how Yoga studios do business; yet, they guide auditors as they evaluate businesses for labor compliance.”    But here is the karmic conundrum: something seemingly so “bad”, the state regulation of yoga business with which they have no business, has led to something that feels so (inarguably?) good and constructive: yoga communities coming together and looking out for one another.  More people breathing and doing so in spirit of commonality, suspending what splits us apart to dwell in what unifies us.

We saw this on a citywide level during the 2003 blackouts.  In fact, we see it almost every time something catastrophic and paradigm-shaking occurs; opposites fuse, as ida and pingala , into a sushumna that embodies shockingly organic compassion and collectivity.  It is surely happening at this juncture.  So while we must have the steadfastness to stand by right principles, sometimes the ALL arrives by karmic avenues that run deep below the obstacles bureaucracy throws in our faces, which Lululemon sticky-mats can cushion but not smooth away.

Sometimes thinking we know what will lead to what is a form of naïveté; better to take the long view, an open drste but after you eat the shortcake by Sherry!  The party left a good taste on everyone’s soft palate, despite the adversity it was meant to offset.

AUM will outlast both the federal labor laws and the kombucha hangover. And 10,000 thank you’s to the many unnamed human and other forces who remain in the background, but have truly made this endeavor what it is.

-Sara Nolan

www.twentyfourhouryoga.wordpress.com.

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