As a person who usually manages (despite some insecurity and shyness) to remain gregarious, optimistic and relatively in the thick of things, I recently reached a startling and perhaps alarming conclusion: When it comes to socializing, I am experiencing a deficit of skill and will. With the global pandemic in the sideview mirror, we’ve all spent time worrying about the children who endured formative years without full access to smiles, university students who lost out on first year initiations and graduation trips, seniors whose isolation amplified disorientation and immobility, and the the fact that humankind seems more attached to social media and devices than to people… Then, last week, as I nestled into my couch and discussed what to watch with absolutely no one, it dawned on me that perhaps I should start worrying about myself. 
It’s not just empty nester lockdowns and 18 months of Zoom teaching that put me in the antisocial habit. There’s more I have to own. After my divorce more than 10 years ago, I learned to recognize and fulfill my own needs and desires, to travel solo, to buy a single movie or theatre ticket and to happily sit and order for 1 at the bar – things I probably should have learned much earlier in life. Time on my own helped me to finally understand myself and to enjoy solitude without apprehension or FOMO. Unfortunately, I also learned from other social studies that some friends don’t show up for you; that sometimes couples forget to invite you because you don’t bring an even number to the table; that a broken heart can beguile you into clinging to it; and, that online dating brings with it weird humiliations. So now I am left wondering: did I allow sour experiences to eclipse the sweetness of connection? Have I let the solo habit erode my social skillset? 
Yes, quiet and solitude are necessary, but too much will render you mute because it gives you no reason to raise your voice. 
Humans were built for and thrive in connection. This I know and believe. Community provides purpose and removes me from the navel-gazing anxiety and sense of smallness that settles on me when I am too isolated. Therefore, I am making a concerted effort to get loud and social: 
The 200-hour Teacher Training that I direct yearly begins in September. The faculty are truly exceptional and the people that congregate at the gorgeous and welcoming Oakville-based Inye Yoga are dedicated, enthusiastic and always make up a fantastic cohort. This is my favourite way to teach yoga, and I can’t wait to connect with that community. 
I’m also committing to new workshop dates, as well! I’m hosting drop-in classes once again in midtown Toronto and hope to see familiar faces as well as new ones for real and meaningful practices. If all goes well, I may begin to film sessions for viewing via my website to broaden connection to those of you who are not local to me. 
In addition to writing (a quarterly magazine and a book), my movement practices (mobility, strength, yoga, conditioning) and continued learning (protocols for peri/menopause), I am pursuing purposeful connection with family, colleagues and my small but vibrant group of gfs. 
As for social media, it’s frankly at the bottom of things I enjoy. Nevertheless, I pledge to keep you more informed and invite you to stay connected over those channels. I hope you’ll also join me in taking a more discriminating approach to social media: I’m trying to be purposeful about who I follow and the messages I deem meaningful. I look for inspiration in people who have persevered and are clearing the path ahead so the rest of us don’t get tripped up by rocks and roots or slapped in the face by low-hanging branches. Anything preachy, offensive, or un-funny, I unfollow. This may not be the viveka(discrimination) practice that Patanjali intended, but it’s a poignant discipline for today’s yogi.Having acknowledged that my social conditioning has is been slightly lacklustre, I’m determined to apply little rust remover and buff it to a shine. If I falter, please call me, e-mail me, visit me and give me a good shake! Seriously: I’d love to connect.  



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