In which Ana Forrest kicks my butt, Judith Hanson Lasater restores it, and Meghan Currie joins the party
1. In all situations of butt-kicking, whether you are being awesome at something, standing up for yourself, taking someone down, or being Ana Forrest, there must be a heart of compassion. So really, Ana’s heart kicked my butt. Pretty hard.
2. Get your head out of your asana. Literally, stop leading everywhere with your head and clenching your jaw and sticking more steel rods into an already locked up neck. Your neck is where you try to control things. You have to fail at this sometimes. Bow your head to your heart, don’t lead with it.
3. Sthiram Sukham Asanam: Sutra 2:46 is usually translated as Steadiness and Ease in every yoga posture. Judith Lasater defines it as Stillness and Ease, which is a little softer. Set us up with a million props, add the all-important 4 ingredients for relaxation (still, dark, quiet, warm), and simmer for 20 minutes. That’s all you need to do. Just relax and wait for the Ding! of Judith’s bell.
4. Our minds are usually “sticky”: sticking to everything around, attaching and glomming onto information. In a deep state of relaxation, which requires actual stillness for long periods of time, the mind stops that and just becomes receptive. This is the healing state. You can’t get there after 30 seconds or even 5 minutes. You need time.
5. Stop hypertasking and multitasking (if you want your life to be better). When a sentient being looks at you and tells you something, stop what you are doing and listen to them completely. Be present with other human beings (i.e. get off your iphone) and your life will change.
6. Just because Judith Hanson Lasater proclaimed you “Restored” doesn’t mean you will be. Don’t be hard on yourself that your monkey mind didn’t let up for the timed 20 minute soup. (Ding! Oh shit.)
7. Sometimes when you do yoga, especially when you get still and quiet and your thoughts run in circles for 20 minutes, you can get oversensitive and loopy. Don’t get on a crowded San Francisco bus through Chinatown during a Chinese New Year Fair immediately after this kind of experience. You will want to die.
8. Maintain composure while out with Waylon Lewis and 108 beautiful and fantastically intelligent women. Maybe don’t start with your line about how Trance Dance is good because it helps white people to dance. This is a yoga conference. We are all white people who are oversensitive about race. None of us can dance.
9. When a fellow yoga teacher (like Meghan Currie) shows up straight from India, looks you in the eyes, and starts talking, listen to her honestly and be there with her. She will do the same for you.
10. You can learn more from a good, honest, compassionate, present conversation with another human being over wine and cheese than you can from a whole whack of master teachers. Try this, all the time. Your life will be better.
Day one is here, day three forthcoming!