August is my brother’s birthday month—last year I dedicated the month to doing something every single day that brought me outside my comfort zone, or reminded me how precious and wonderful this life is. That month I spent a lot of mornings hiking in the mountains of Santa Barbara to watch the sunrise. I tried wakeboarding for the first time and had the raved about tacos de cachete from Lilly’s Tacos. I purchased my flight to Guatemala for a new year’s yoga retreat and I went backpacking with my parents on the Santa Barbara Channel Islands. Needless to say, it was an incredible month in honor and celebration of my brother.
This year I’ve decided to once again spend the month remembering and celebrating my brother. But this time around I am going to deepen into my yoga practice and dedicate myself to 30 classes in honor of my brother’s big 3-0. I couldn’t think of a better way to pay tribute other than through the practice. I first came to yoga after my brother passed in 2009 and it is singlehandedly the one thing that has gotten me through the grief, and the loss, and the rawness of emotion. It has given me incredible strength and comfort, and a profound sense of gratitude, not only for the beauty of life, but also for the sorrow and fragility and pain that accompanies that beauty. I’ve described yoga before as my chance of redemption, as something that always comes into my life when I need her most, the way an old friend or a good book seems to come at just the right moment. This month I look forward to connecting with my brother on the mat. I feel honored to dedicate my practice to one of the most compassionate, loyal, and loving souls around—and most certainly he is still around—it just takes a moment to quiet the mind, connect with breathe, and feel the infinite love around us.