Many of us have felt like we don’t matter. That we’re not wanted. That we don’t have a right to even exist. That we have no safe home.

Even with my confidence and bravado this is true for me at times, for students with abuse histories and difficult personal backgrounds it’s usually true, and it’s certainly present for people from persecuted groups. I was deeply touched last night when a member of the LGTBQ embodiment training in Moscow commented that the greatest gift of practice was simply to be. This is not a given for many people.

As someone who has been to the depths of alcohol abuse, survived dangerous places, depression and lost many to suicide – being isn’t a given. As someone lucky enough to get to be with his wife this year after visa trials, but who also lost a father, it is also not a given to be with the ones that we love.

Sometimes a little yoga, martial arts or body meditation isn’t so little – it’s a stand for existence. So let me dedicate my last pre Christmas embodiment post to the gift of being that practice constitutes, and all those who struggle with this, whatever the threat. “Give yourself the gift of being” may sound like some cheesy bullshit, but I mean this from my heart. To come home to the body is a defiant act of great courage and consequence, and I support your right to be.

Pictures: Queer Facilitator Course and Embodied Yoga Principles teachers in Russia…travelling home from here now in the most literal sense.

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