Hello beautiful ones,
As I write this, the air is filled with smoke and our beautiful earth burns in Northern California. People are being evacuated from their homes into an uncertain COVID world, firefighters rescued by helicopter, land, national forests, homes & businesses burning to the ground. Across our nation, kids are back to school in all manner of learning styles and environments. We are being told to stay home, to leave, to distance and then to come together into evacuation centers, classrooms and college campuses... The situations keep amping up, rules keep changing, numbers go up & down not only for tracking the virus but also for jobs, the stock market, air quality... and certainty seems like something of the very distant past most days.
AND yet, Embody continues to offer a message of hope, healing, and wellbeing. Check out the bottom of the email for an important update on our partnership with the IsaFoundation & our work nourishing firefighters, first responders, and evacuees impacted by the California wildfires. (Video credit to Embody board member Margaux Drake!) The axiom, action cures fear, really comes into play here and thus living our 'feel better do good' mantra. When I feel helpless, I HELP! WE help! Embody helped so many this past week here in NorCal.... check it out.
Embody also offers hope, healing, and wellbeing each week as we gather virtually as a global community. We practice yoga and mindfulness so we can manage our lives and create futures we are excited about while making the world a better, safer, healthier place for all beings.
Though we may struggle, please remember there is always hope. Take time to breathe deeply, find gratitude, create an intention, move your body, drink water, and find a place of stillness deep within. The mind may be chaotic on the top but if we drop deep into the center of our being where it's calm, quiet, and all the answers lie, there is peace. May the words of John O'Donohue help us untangle the knots of our being and help settle into the flow of grace & love.
For Love in a Time of Conflict
When the gentleness between you hardens
And you fall out of your belonging with each other,
May the depths you have reached hold you still.
When no true word can be said, or heard,
And you mirror each other in the script of hurt,
When even the silence has become raw and torn,
May you hear again an echo of your first music.
When the weave of affection starts to unravel
And anger begins to sear the ground between you,
Before this weather of grief invites
The black seed of bitterness to find root,
May your souls come to kiss.
Now is the time for one of you to be gracious,
To allow a kindness beyond thought and hurt,
Reach out with sure hands
To take the chalice of your love,
And carry it carefully through this echoless waste
Until this winter pilgrimage leads you
Towards the gateway to spring.
I say amen to John O'D! Friends, remember today, this week, next week, into infinity and beyond... you are beloved. You matter. You will be okay. We can do this- TOGETHER! Let us collectively join our hearts & minds for the healing and protection of ourselves, our children, our environment, and our earth.
All my love,
Dana Christian Lee
This week's Embody practice:
Embody welcomes 'Blue Yoga' out of Birmingham, Michigan, as our guest yoga studio who is blessing us with a practice.
Their mission is:
One passion. One practice. One people.
We move, we breathe, we laugh, we set intentions. As a community, we break through barriers. #betterafterblue
Be sure to add this to your calendar!!!
Embody in Grand Rapids:
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Guest Studio Host: Blue Yoga Birmingham
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Embody Team Teacher Jill Fox
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Embody Team Teacher Stacy Calcatera
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Embody Team Teacher Leah Grace
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Embody Founder Dana Christian Lee
Thanks to Jaron for leading our practice last week!
“Empaths did not come into this world to be victims, we came to be warriors. Be brave. Stay strong. We need all hands on deck.”
~ Anthon St. Maarten
Tribe of love and commitment,
One of my favorite yoga guides is the late BKS Iyengar who said, "My body is my temple and asanas are my prayers "This man dedicated his life to his practice and lived well, doing six-minute headstands at age 83, vibrantly taking the stairs, possessing an ability to walk lightly, with a flexible spine and spirit. Though he was born weak, frail, and suffering from many illnesses, Iyengar dedicated his life to healing himself and bringing this transformational practice from the East to the West. His discipline, intense practice, and devotion kept him on the path of health, vibrancy and leadership.
Iyengar is quoted as saying, ‘Stand on your feet. Feel your feet. How can you know God if you don’t know your big toe?’ ” Makes me laugh. I love how he utilized humor to inspire us as yoga aspirants to dig deeper, know & honor our bodies, and open ourselves up to something greater than ourselves (whatever that means for you).
Our bodies are divine. The asanas, yoga postures, are our transformational sacred language on the path of liberation. Let us remind ourselves of these truths daily and continuously rededicate ourselves to our practice. Allow Iygengar's light inspire us to stay committed to our personal health and well-being by having a loving relationship with our bodies and prioritize our daily practices of yoga, mindfulness, and giving back to our world.
Though I never met BKS, I still miss his earthly presence & fiery spirit. When he left our realm it was as though the axis of our planet shifted slightly for me. Each day, my personal practice consists of a timed five-minute headstand where I honor his teachings and draw continual inspiration, especially when I feel tired, defeated, or would prefer to give up. Iyengar brought yoga to the world and I burn with a personal passion to continue his legacy. My mission is to positively impact global health and well-being through creating access for ALL people to the tools and practices of yoga, mindfulness, and community service. That is what Embody does; that is who we are. Together we have created a 'feel better do good' movement that is changing the world. Together we are unstoppable.
Remember: You are divine. You are beloved. Live your sacred. Revere the temple of your being. Shine your light; the world needs YOU!
Love and light,
Embody Weekly Virtual Practice with Dana
When: Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - hosted on Embody's Facebook page
3:30PT | 6:30ET
Hello precious ones,
I do hope you are navigating your days with health, hope, and a semblance of happiness! I know times are tough for many so remember you are not alone. Thanks for being part of Embody and taking time to read this newsletter. It is my wish for it to serve you each and every week.
Who among us these days is not experiencing some new or added amount of stress, worry, confusion, anxiety?... the list could continue. Probably no one unless you live in a cave, monastery, or on a private island. So if that, in fact, is true for most, let's focus on the solutions. What emotions and ways of being would be preferable to you? How about peace of mind and an overall sense of calm, centered groundedness? Sounds pretty sweet to me. In my personal practices, that is what I strive for each day. Am I there all the time, even most of the time... nope. But there are moments; sweet pockets of awareness that is only in the present & that is magic. The sweet spot where all seems like it not only will be okay but it IS better than okay.
Mindfulness, in its basic sense, is being in the present moment without judgment. There is no guilt, shame, regret, or bitterness that can often spring up when ruminating on the past. The future is free of anxiety, what if, or what is going to happen to me. This is a powerful state of being.
The benefits of mindfulness are vast. You can lower your blood pressure, stress, anxiety, and increase levels of patience, creativity, and energy just to name a few.
Resilience is simply grit. It's not giving up or shutting down in the face of adversity or struggle. When you are resilient you know you won't shatter. Life cannot paralyze you or put you into a deer in headlights moment.
Mindfulness and resilience are a powerful combination. They are like a muscle that needs to be worked regularly to keep healthy, strong, and functional. There is a dedication involved; a commitment to your own health and wellbeing. And it's an almost foolproof guarantee that when you take action you will feel more powerful, in control and able to regain personal agency over your life. In short, you will be the author of your life, not the victim of your circumstance. Sound good?
Join me this week for our weekly gathering on Embody's facebook page. Our practice will offer tools to help enhance your mindfulness and resilience. I hope you can join me.
Health, happiness, & community,
Driveway Concert featuring Chris Bursley benefiting Comprehensive Therapy Center
What: An outdoor, socially distanced, acoustic guitar performance benefiting CTC, a local non-profit that helps individuals with disabilities walk, talk, learn, and play so they can read and write!
When: Tuesday, August 11, 2020 @ 7pm
Where: Grand Rapids, near the FM Gardens (address when you register)
Learn more: https://therapycenter.org/news/driveway-concerts/
How to register: https://forms.gle/k2bdbdkukUeqL6Nj6
Embody Weekly Virtual Practice with Dana
When: Wednesday, August 12, 2020 - hosted on Embody's Facebook page
3:30PT | 6:30ET
Just a quick note to let you know you are loved, you are important, and you are missed so deeply. Plus a gentle reminder to prioritize YOU; your own health & well-being.
Stoked to announce Embody team teacher, Jen Jettner, will be leading our virtual yoga & mindfulness practice tonight. Tune in at 6:30 pm EST to @feelbetterdogood on Facebook- that's our global page where we are trying to reach people from all areas of the globe to expand our feel better, do good movement. It's what everyone needs right now. Be sure to share with your family and friends!
Love to you,
Embody in Grand Rapids:
Embody Weekly Virtual Practice with Team Teacher Jen Jettner
When: Wednesday, August 5, 2020 - hosted on Embody's Facebook page
3:30PT | 6:30ET
Hello beautiful souls,
I hope you are staying healthy, happy, and positive during these days.
This week I have GOOD NEWS! We are offering a new opportunity to connect over zoom live! Join Embody Team Teacher, Susanne Werblow, along with me, for our weekly virtual gathering tomorrow, Wednesday, July 29 3:30pmPT| 6:30pmET! This week it will be a 1.5 hour live zoom- first time trying a new format. The link is below. Susanne will lead a kundalini yoga set that will improve circulation in the body -feels really great afterwards!!- and we‘ll end with a meditation to balance brain hemispheres.
Embody community members are also welcome to join Susanne's biweekly free online classes, Wed and Fri 7:30-8:45am ET (go to Facebook Kundalini Yoga GR for details). If you are new to Susanne's Kundalini, you will need to email firstname.lastname@example.org to connect personally with Susanne to get access to the private link and share some info before your first class. After that, you are invited to all future classes using the same link.
I do hope to see you there! Grab your mat. Invite your people. Let's join together and max out the zoom room filled with all you amazing humans.
Feel Better Do Good,
Meet our new community partners in Arizona - Hushabye Nursery
"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members."
“The EmbodyGR community embraces and supports, says ‘yes you can’ when the noisy inner voice says, ‘no you can’t’ – Kari Wilson, Community Member