I just want to do
hoodrat yogi stuff with my friends! [c’mon, haven’t you seen the video?]
Happy Buddha tee compliments of Live.Breathe.Grow. More on LBG later!
New teachers are fun! Writing about them is not…
Yesterday I wrote a post reflecting on two workshops I attended last weekend. I felt really unsettled after posting it, though, because something was off. See, I had a decent time at one and a not-so-decent time at another and couldn’t find a way to talk about either without betraying my own truth. As I typed, I didn’t hear my voice. I tried fluff – that didn’t work. Then I revised it and I tried honesty without naming names – that didn’t work either.
As I sat during dinner last night, I thought about what a fellow yogini blogger said: “…it’s challenging. You want to be honest, but you don’t want to slaughter the teacher,” which is a fantastic way to put it. And that’s what I couldn’t figure out – how to be honest but not destructive. Then I started hearing my teacher’s voice. The tongue is the most difficult muscle to master [So true] If you don’t have something positive to say about another teacher, then don’t say it at all. So, there I was. Caught between wanting to communicate an honest reflection and wanting to contribute positivity to this whole conversation [geez, blogging is complicated in the face of opinions!].
Then I started thinking about my favorite Sutra. According to Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati ‘s translation, in Sutra 1.33, Patanjali says:
To preserve the innate serenity of the mind, a yogin should be happy for those who are happy, be compassionate toward those who are unhappy, be delighted for those who are virtuous and be indifferent toward the wicked.
And I decided, that’s it – show indifference toward the wicked. Disregard the negative – even if those negative things are based on honest experience. Speak the truth but, when it comes to negativity or calling someone out, have faith that they will ultimately reveal themselves to a wider audience. Stay silent for now.
That said, here’s my short and revised (but still honest) attempt at reflection:
Workshop #1: Steve Ross
Steve’s signature happy vinyasa flow started with booty-shaking beats [hollerrrrr!] and really simple instruction – think “left leg up, put it down, right leg up, put it down,” etc. Although devoid of any anatomical/technical jargon and way different for me, his instruction was kind of refreshing. Yoga is that simple, right? We held the poses for a looong time [good evening, quads/hams/glutes/shoulders!] while Steve
walked floated around the room, stopping every now and then to smile and ask a student, “are you happy?”
The bad news: Since we were lined up about one centimeter apart and as I lowered into chaturanga I found smelly feet in my face [GAG!]. The good news: I didn’t run out. The physical practice was way simple but I’m starting to think that’s the point: Steve’s whole message is that being happy is that simple – just be happy. Same goes for the yoga, I suppose. It’s just yoga – just do the yoga and be happy. Keep it simple.
He was completely at ease, loose, and carried an air of joy, acceptance, and humility (and I think he may have actually levitated). I get why people take his classes because, at some point, that happiness and ease has got to become contagious. The verdict? Although the class wasn’t what I expected, Steve himself was captivating. I’d like to have dinner with him [no offense to The Big Guy].
Workshop #2: Budokon with Cameron Shayne
I should have bought the DVD.
That is all.
What are your recent experiences with new teachers, new classes, and workshops? What’s the best experience you’ve ever had? What’s the worst? How did you handle talking about a negative experience?