Since mid-March, when ZOOM slammed into my life due to the pandemic, I have been sending weekly newsletters to my subscribers telling them about the upcoming week, along with the theme for the week. I have consistently scoured the internet and my own books of poetry, seeking inspiration and joyful expressions linking my theme with the world.

This week’s theme is PAUSE. What a great word. COVID has given all of us pause, certainly. I have been basically alone for five months, solitary in my home, with grocery shopping, an occasional visit to see my friend across town, and three visits to see my brother and family and their new puppy. (As many of you know, dogs not only help me pause, but they are great at pausing themselves! My beloved giant royal standard black poodle, the majestic Hakuna Matata—may he rest, romp, and pause in peace—was the BEST pauser ever!)

Fortunately, this has been a rich time for me individually, but deeply painful and frightening to watch those who are struggling. Life has given us PAUSE.

by David Watts

All day in shelter

on a granary floor, rain

on the roof like buckshot

in branches. Aroma

of wet earth, dry

grain. The air unhurried

and intentional. I have made

a chair of hay bales, spread

a saddle blanket. Contained

womb-like against the heft

of the out-of-doors, there is

this soft heartbeat of contentment.

The dark print of my life

outside the walls.

Cogitating on the Pause, I am eagerly anticipating my upcoming classes, throughout which we will consciously pause. Our lightning-fast culture, even in a pandemic, asks us to speed through our days, to see or read the news in nano-seconds. The same thing can possibly happen while letting our yoga dance. Are we speeding through the chakras without a moment to pause and savor what just occurred? During class, it’s important to me to take a little more time to breathe—and pause.

Here are more events I’m offering to help you pause:

♥︎ Online Lunch and Learn with the JCC Manhattan:
The Ultimate Relationship: Our Body!

Join this stimulating, cognitive, and kinesthetic experience featuring movement and neuroscience that will enhance your relationship with your body. You will learn embodied positive psychology through movement by featuring the three VIA (Values In Action) character strengths of teamwork, love, and gratitude.

♥︎ Moving With Your Strengths: 30-Day Practice in October

Respect and enjoy your body in a brand new way. Embody your character strengths every day of the month with short, fun, fabulous, flowing movement sequences. I’ll introduce you to one strength each day, and guide you in easy-to-follow experiences in moving meditation, gentle yoga, Let Your Yoga Dance, breath work, tai chi or chi gung, or relaxation. You can download the mp4 and do this 30-day practice anytime; during October, you’ll receive daily emails and Facebook posts from me with inspiration, research, and thoughts about each strength.

Purchase the mp4 here.

Megha Nancy Buttenheim, MA, M.A., E-RYT 1000, is CEO and founding director of Let Your Yoga Dance® LLC, and author of “Expanding Joy: Let Your Yoga Dance, Embodying Positive Psychology”. An expert in experiential education, Megha is a long-time teacher-trainer at Kripalu Center, where she has trained thousands of people in yoga, health, movement, and meditation.