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  • Writer's pictureErin Gray

The Year of Guts & Grace

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

I have heard people say that I am a hard yoga teacher. I make no apologies for that. I want you to be strong. Practicing asana makes us physically strong. Sitting still and breathing through mental discomfort makes us emotionally strong. Studying the sutras makes us intellectually strong. The connection we forge with what we find in the silence makes us spiritually strong. 

Yoga isn’t a warm hug. It's a practice for warriors. And make no mistake about it, we are at war. Some of us are at war with ourselves (with our thoughts, our bodies, our addictions); some of us are fighting for a better world in classrooms and courtrooms and statehouses; some of us are fighting to put food on the table, and some of us are fighting for our lives and the lives of others in the streets and on the battlefield. So, yes, I am a hard yoga teacher because now more than ever, we need to be strong. 

I know it’s scary out here right now. Since March of 2020, the world around us and the ground beneath us has shifted in ways we could never have imagined, and understandably, some of us are still hiding in the world that served us well in March of 2020, but is killing us now. A masked world in which we are connected primarily to a machine named for ourselves (it’s an “i” phone, not “we” phone), a world in which we hold devices instead of hands, a world in which we gaze into screens instead of each others’ eyes, a maladaptive world of Zoom meetings and Uber eats and Amazon shopping and virtual church and Peloton yoga and InstaGram friendship and keyboard rage and tiktok antisemitism. A lonely and isolating world that is, at best, unwell, and is, at worst, diabolically unhinged. 

And so as 2023 comes to an end, I say to you what I used to say as a girl to get my friends to come out of hiding after a game of hide and seek. Olly Olly Oxen Free!

I hope you will come out and join Hannah and Danielle and me on the mat this year for what we are calling "The Year of Guts & Grace".  It is both a wish for the New Year and a call to arms. A call for each of us to build the strength we need to once again wrap our arms around each other, our country and our beautiful world which, like us, at times looks broken, but is really just very badly bruised.

In love and grace.



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