During the coronavirus crisis, Rachel's regularly-scheduled classes are held virtually over Zoom. The logins for all classes are on this password-protected page -- email Rachel for the password.

My Imperfect Offering

My Imperfect Offering

My Imperfect Offering

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Community, what a week.

Today has been one week plus of social distancing.

I decided last Friday to cancel all in person classes immediately to be in line with the ethics of yoga, the foundation and root of the practice being one of non harming during this time of COVID-19.

I received tons of texts and messages from people struggling and needing to connect in safe and meaningful ways, asking for support.

So, without a full grasp of what I was doing, last Saturday, I taught my first class online to some very grateful people.
I had spent several days prior witnessing in the Accessible Yoga Community, this very real and raw manner of showing up and holding space for the larger community in the midst of all the unknown. These heart centered, selfless leaders showed up and created a brave space in the shifting sands of lost income, cancelled classes and trainings of their own to create space for others.

My community was asking this of me as well. So without perfect equipment but with the desire to serve  I offered from my heart the tools that are keeping me grounded.

I have taught in total this week 4 classes and am adding more each week.

Yoga for me, is never about perfecting the physical form. The deeper I go into my own organic, somatic, sensory based inquiry, I recognize for me it is about paying attention to being alive.  There is a mystery that is in equal measures sacred and absurd to this being alive and my heart longs to lean into this blessed unknown.

When I started going deep into my own healing from trauma and life in general through body based practices, I started to notice that my own capacity to face the challenges of the present had grown. I had come to the practice to heal my past and found that healing  actually happens in the moment we are experiencing, even if that moment seems challenging or even approaching unbearable.

So, I showed up all this week, mostly wearing my “soft” pants. This is a sensory self soothing practice of wearing old, bleach stained, faded and not presentable in  public spaces, soft pants.
I showed up not fully having a mastery of the technological aspects, especially in regards to sharing music.  However, the joyful cacophony we co created, while perhaps not musically pleasing, created a sense of community and connection that people needed now.
Yoga can offer the potential to expand our capacity to live deeper into our own humanity and see that in others even in uncertainty.

While I looked to show up and serve my community, my community also held and supported me. I had students pay it forward, students who dropped off gobs and bread.

Yes, I have sat and binged ate bread in my soft pants….No Judging!!

People  have reached out and supported the work of emotional labor that goes beyond a business.  This is a way of living. The collective care we offer one another. I am so grateful to both serve and receive. Thank you Blessed Beings!

So, I am slowly learning and will continue to improve the quality of what I offer as well as remaining committed to ensuring all have access to wellness which is a subject I feel very strongly about, especially with the inequalities in our culture becoming more pronounced daily.

So, will end this with words from one of my favorite songwriters Leonard Cohen.

”Ring those bells that still can ring.

Forget your perfect offering.

There is a crack in everything.

That is how the light gets in.”

Leonard Cohen

See you soon. I will likely still be wearing my clean, but very soft pants.

I

ABOUT AUTHOR

Rachel Allen

Rachel Allen, B.A. Political Science/Sociology, is a Certified Music Practitioner, Sound Healer, Reiki Master, and Registered Yoga Teacher with a trauma informed/social justice framework. She has 20 years experience of working with some of the most amazing people on the planet; hospice patients and their families, patients in a variety of health conditions, survivors of sexual abuse, adults with mental illness and most recently, incarcerated women. Rachel is also passionate about supporting and working with caregivers to reduce burnout and compassion fatigue. Locally, Rachel teaches Creative Movement at Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA. Regionally and nationally, she teaches and presents at conferences and retreats, weaving live music, yoga, and creative movement into themes of compassion, self acceptance, and transformation. Rachel is committed to engaging people from all walks of life in the healing arts to create healthy, diverse, and joyful communities.