Yoga is virtuosity in becoming yourself
~ Douglas Brooks
There was a story I loved when I was little called Ever So Much More So. The story, written by Robert McCloskey, revolves around a stranger who comes to town selling shakers full of a mysterious product invisible to the eye and without smell or taste. Everything sprinkled with it seems to become more essentially itself. The name of the product is Eversomuch More-So. The people of the town shake it over everything, and are amazed to find that their water gets wetter, a squeaky spring becomes squeakier, and people’s individual characteristics such as a stutter or a tendency toward pomposity become more pronounced. Everything touched by Eversomuch More-So becomes its heightened self.
Two curious boys finally open the product’s container, which appears to be empty. Of course the stranger is long-gone, and the townspeople wonder if they have been swindled, but one older man pours it over the earth, and celebrates as the grass becomes greener, the birds sing more clearly, and the world becomes more profoundly itself in every way. So is it suggestion or is it real? The story ends ambiguously, leaving us wondering: how does something become eversomuch more itself?
I spent last week in the company of two of my favorite people –Douglas Brooks and Sianna Sherman – both of whom have distinct and powerful voices. I was assisting Sianna with her Paris Anusara teacher training, which included people from 17 different countries. The range of cultures, languages, and life experiences was impressive. I listened and gave feedback as everyone brought their particular sensibilities to the conversation, refining the structure and the poetry of their teaching.
Speaking to the group one night, Douglas stated: Yoga is virtuosity in becoming yourself. For yoga teachers in the process of honing their skills, this was particularly meaningful – essential, actually. If you parrot another teacher or take on a persona, your lack of authenticity will be evident.
But virtuosity in becoming yourself is about far more than teaching asana. This is about how you want to be in the world. This is about gazing inside to recognize that you are the sum of your own individual particularities, and that no one else can speak from your experience, your voice.
Live fully in your strengths and vulnerabilities to sing the song of you. When your song comes from this place, it moves people. You have become eversomuch more-you. Your virtuosity becomes an opening, inviting others to sing their songs.
If you want fluency and depth in your life, you must cultivate a state in which you are always becoming more profoundly yourself. If you want to inspire people – to move people – to offer people a taste of their deepest selves, you have to step into your own virtuosity. Like attracts like. This is the yoga.
How can you invite your green to become greener, your water to become wetter?
How can you inspire your voice to arise from that fertile place of your identity?
How can you cultivate your virtuosity in becoming Eversomuch More-You?