Hello and Happy Monday,
 
It is so great to be back home! We walked through the doors and I immediately felt peace. It’s great to be back and know that we don’t have any place to be any time soon. 

It’s a new month and the last of the Niyamas, personal practices, Ishvara Pranidhana. Ishvara can be translated to mean supreme, or personal, God. Pranidhana translates to dedicate, devote, or surrender. One of the first meanings of Ishvara Pranidhana explained to me was surrender to God. This was tough for me to grasp. I wasn’t raised to believe in God, and while I do believe in a higher power, I also believe God is within all of us. 

This past week in Florida was wonderful. This was not really a relaxing vacation, but one where we did have a ton of fun and got closer as an official family. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was definitely a highlight of the trip. Universal did a fantastic job creating this realistic world for Harry Potter fans. Michael, my almost 11-year-old, was introduced to Harry Potter last year when a good friend of mine gave him the entire set of books. Michael read the entire series (7 books) in 2 weeks and was hooked. He has re-read them several times since then and we have watched every movie as well. He was even Harry for Halloween last year. Michael is a bookworm, a scholarly kid, and can sometimes be lost in his creative mind on some Ancient Greek, Roman or Norse Mythology adventure. Michael can come across as quiet unless you ask him about one of the realms he’s studying or Harry Potter. When we walked into the Wizardly World of Harry Potter and saw Diagon Alley, I saw in his eyes that magic is possible, that dreams do come true, and what happened next was pure joy. Michael exuded confidence, he knew exactly where he wanted to go, in which order, and exactly what he was looking for. He took charge, asking salespeople questions and talking with other kids on what items were in the stores. We commented on how proud we were of him and he shrugged his shoulders, like it was nothing, and said, “I’m with my people.” 

I know that feeling, being with “my people”. It’s a feeling of accepted connectedness. I feel that way with Yoga. It doesn’t matter what kind of yoga, even if it’s a studio I’ve never been too, I would hardly call my asana advanced, but I feel that same way when I walk into a studio to take a yoga class, a peaceful, sighing exhale, connectedness of being home. I felt that way today when I came home. Knowing I have more uninterrupted time with my children and Joe in our home gives me all the feels. 

The feeling of belonging is something I have always wanted to convey in my classes. There are no subgroups in my classes, everyone is part of the joke, everyone is invited to “Last Tuesday”, everyone belongs. That feeling, the connectedness, the belonging has kept me devoted to yoga for over 20 years. It’s pushed and pulled me in ways I didn’t think were possible. As some of you know, the fear of getting in front of a group was terrifying to me, but this feeling was something I couldn’t keep to myself. 

Where do you feel like you belong? Who are “your people”? 

With Love, 
Jess