Hi all, apologies to those who had signed up for the upcoming sunset yoga class with Athleta on June 11. It was a difficult decision to cancel — I had been so looking forward to seeing so many of your faces!

Here’s the thing: I’ve been flattened by autoimmune issues and I just couldn’t count on my body to show up to teach an outdoor event. The Athleta people have been truly wonderful and I do hope to do something again once I’m on the other side of things!

This past month, my autoimmune has become my teacher as I wait on test results from my new doctor. It’s been teaching me to slow down and do less. Most days this feels like forced surrender rather than anything graceful. My sister and friends know that all plans I make are tentative. But the more I listen to my body rather than push or fight it, the more I am rewarded with better days.

I am sharing this all because I know some of you are working through your own health and life challenges and sometimes it helps to remember we are not alone in it. I know from my own experience that the more we open to what challenges us, the more it opens us to a deepening experience of life.

I find in conversations with students and others in yoga that there’s a superficial idea that if we practice, we will be healthy. Or if we think only positive thoughts, things will go our way. Or that because our minds are so powerful, if we’re sick or falling on hard times, it’s our own doing. The truth is messier. It’s often a mix of habits we’re unaware of and things out of our control.

The work of yoga is to sift through. To become more self-aware and discern where we can make changes in our life and where we have no control and have to surrender to what is.

To surrender is to acknowledge that we’re not in control of everything. Our mind usually chooses not to acknowledge this. It takes something like a global pandemic or getting sick or heartbreak to wake us up from that illusion.

It’s in that shattering of illusions that our experience of life deepens. We deepen our humanity.