I’m not interested in your down dog. I mean, I wish you let your head go; melt your heart rooting palms and heals to Earth, but I’m more interested in how you practice out of studio… Out wild, in the West; where loving thy neighbor is still radical and everyday you’re tempted, thwarted, and caged. I want to know if you’re doing what you love. If you find time each day to jump up and down dancing in rhythm. Because music is the Revolution.
I want to know if your heart is bursting, like mine, with those encounters that inspire and fill you up for weeks after. As sun peaking to Solstice, you too shining spontaneous and in the flow. Yes – I can stand on my hands and balance free in air, but can I also come down…? Bow down to someone else; remind myself I’m ordinary, same, and not above anyone. Can I allow teachings of yoga to be given like friends, receiving my hugs, heart and pure wishes. Equally speaking, wherever we’re at.
Life Practice for me this June: Yoga.Cocktails.Cinema. In that order, an evening of all things I adore. Yoga out of the studio – practiced at a Santa Fe art gallery to a playlist of film songs. Cocktail hour and socializing at Jean Cocteau, cinema of George R.R. Martin and his Game of Thrones. Post class hang-time with community; followed by movie, and the power of story and art. Practicing this summer – life.
A student asked what’s inspiring my teaching, lately. I answered not a new way of sequencing or how to talk about breathing… But a poetry reading from Cut + Paste Society up at an old gallery on Canyon Road; the way the lilacs smelled in the Spanish courtyard that Friday eve. Colleagues out of their stretch clothes into their real lives, speaking word and the kind of rearrangement of them I live for. The guts they shared, the artwork on the wall made the event epic in my memory, inspiring me still…
Nick Cave’s docudrama while finishing my latest book draft blew me away. Pure light on stage, his lyrics, a dying art sent me deep into his library which is what else inspires always – music. Psychedelic cowboy, Sturgill Simpson, new ambient band East Forest; yes please. And a random Wednesday night, Lensic Performing Arts with social activist, Naomi Klein. New editor of The Guardian and Naomi on climate change saying; we are connected to Earth, this is a spiritual issue. Whoa. That inspired me.
May is all about creativity. Look around. Your next inspiration is right in front of your eyes. Life is magic, blossoming and blowing through with wild color and ideas. Participate, engage in your life. Hang with interesting people and go to random events. Life is teaching all around you. Boredom is impossible if you’re paying attention. Tune in and turn it up, family; the music just got good.
Happy May Love,
Been teaching yoga eight years this Santa Fe April; fifteen total. It’s been a blessing. One of my greatest gifts received during my Manhattan artist twenties, was a way to dial my creative flow and direct it. Yoga does that quick, and practices beyond asana/poses work like magic the more you repeat. My heroes have inspired me to leap, so I teach students same. Practice your free will. Close your eyes and trust more. Comparison is the thief of joy. Rest when you need. If it doesn’t feel right – don’t do it.
I’m not into the pedestal. And colleagues, I ask you to check it too, because what our job is as teachers is to empower. To mirror back faith for our tribe to make their own decisions. My mentor Dana’s motto, ‘Move Like Yourself,’ I repeat often. There’s no one outside of your own heart that has the answers. Not the book by your nightstand, or the goddess-like teacher whose haircut you envy. I’m happy to break it to you all, that yoga teachers – are not perfect. They’re not more evolved, or higher than star or prophet, so don’t put us there. We’re human. Flawed and freaking out some, just like you. Maybe. Maybe, I’ve mastered a few things along the way to stoke students inspiration and heal – but, you can too.
During these times that keep a changin’, during these eclipses of heart and question… Move like yourself. Don’t follow the crowd. Being kind to your neighbor is the sickest pose you can practice. Yoga off the mat, Jesus preached. Don’t let a guru or teacher spoon feed your medicine. I get more God meditating on sky some days than any class or workshop. I’m happy to keep on teaching, it’s my dharma, I love. But, I will continue to nudge you back – to the voice within you, answering.
In Service & Gratitude for You Family,