Reflections on Hanuman Festival 2015…
3 days of yoga. 9 classes. 18 hours of practice. A lifetime of memories. I can’t even begin to describe the amazingness that was Hanuman Festival. It was like Disneyland for yogis.
I learned a lot of really important things. Yes, I learned about alignment and anatomy and chanting and mudras and philosophy, but I also learned a lot about myself. I realized that I tend to get sidetracked and distracted with other forms of fitness, and while I love everything I do, sometimes I allow myself to get so wrapped up in everything that I do that my practice isn’t as strong as it could be because I have used up all my energy in other workout classes. I tell myself it’s because yoga is not my physical workout, but rather a workout for my soul. And while this may be true, I feel as though the physicality of the practice, all of the cool shit I want to be able to do, is taking much longer than it should for me to “get there” because I run myself ragged with 59 other forms of exercise. Don’t get me wrong…I will never give up my TRX, rowing and barre classes. I think it’s important to have physical activity other than yoga, but I definitely realized this past weekend that I need to tone it down a bit with the other stuff so I can ramp it up with my asana practice. On that note, I am recommitting to my ashtanga practice with the goal of attending at least one primary and one secondary series a week. Ironically, a sign from the yoga gods came down and smacked me upside the head with this idea as well. As I walked into my local ashtanga studio, which I haven’t been to in nearly a year, I hugged my teacher and told her all about my newfound inspiration for committing again to my ashtanga practice and that it was a man named Richard Freeman at Hanuman Festival who inspired me to do so. She looks at me, stares at me for a moment too long and then says, “No way! He was MY yoga teacher years ago and Richard was the one who inspired me to be an ashtangi.” Like….what? How random, yet not. Coincidence or universal sign? I take it as a sign. That hour and forty five minute primary series felt like home that day. I’m so glad to be back.
I also learned more about the type of teacher I am becoming and how I want to continually carve that path of guiding people toward the shining light of yoga and having them discover it for themselves rather than being too literal and linear. A good teacher shows, but a great teacher inspires. I want to be great. I don’t want to stand in the front of the room and show off a bunch of fancy pants poses. I want to WATCH my students. I want to be there for my students. I want to inspire them to figure out the way for themselves. I don’t want to just stand there and cue the alignment and spit out sanskrit names and the proper names of bones and muscles. I want people to be able to make connections in their bodies, minds, and souls. I want everyone to leave my class feeling a little bit taller, a little bit more like a baller. :) Most importantly I want people to have FUN. It’s deep shit, this yoga. I get that. I KNOW that. I experience that. But you can still enjoy it and have a feeling of lightness about the practice as we delve into this deep shit together.
One love, yoga homies.