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January 31, 2012

Parenting Yoga: The Advanced Series. ~ Caleb Asch

I am a yoga teacher and a parent of teenagers.

I often charge my students with taking what they learn on their mats into their lives. If your practice doesn’t work for you in the real world, then what good is it? As a teacher, do I walk my talk?

At what point do I as a parent admit that the problem is bigger than I can handle? Never! Fuck you for even suggesting it! Somehow I didn’t question myself when I knew that the pre-Dr. Spock/dysfunctional family background gave me the perfect training ground for infallible parenting. I righteously fought for my daughter until I heard the results of the most comprehensive testing available today. We brought my daughter to an “Educational Consultant”; a brilliant woman with a PhD and a very successful track record, where she was thoroughly tested and every result was spot on! I could not refute or avoid the evidence that my daughter is an “at-risk teen”. They say that surrender is necessary for enlightenment, and as I let go of the reality I was dearly attached to, I gave in to the truth. They say that such moments are “portals” into the present moment. For me it was a  painful and rude awakening that I was out of my depth, and to save my daughter, I had to send her away to a Wilderness Intervention Camp.

Whew! Let’s take a breath or two here. I’m a yoga teacher for Christ’s sake! A “Wilderness Intervention Camp”? Really? Yes. Really. How much does it cost? I looked into my wifes eyes as if to say, “Please tell me we aren’t actually considering this!” She looked back at me, and my truth was in her eyes; this is my daughter. This is my moment to step up to the plate for my kid.  An existential leap of faith. A stand totally taken. Without means or consideration of outcome. This was going to happen just because I said so.

I tell myself to just keep breathing into this pose. Feel my feet here, my legs here, breathe into and lift my heart here and let go. I know where I am in space, it’s the feeling of Being the space that scares me. I focus on my breath, which brings me into the present moment, free of an imaginary (doomed) future or a remembered past. Inhale. Exhale. Trust that it will all work out. That it has already worked out. Inhale. Exhale. Okay. Vinyasa.

Caleb Asch “came home” to yoga after 25 years of training in and teaching martial arts. Practicing with Bryan Kest and then participating in his initial teacher training, Caleb started teaching as Bryan’s protegé at his Santa Monica Power Yoga Studio in 1995. Two years later, Caleb completed the Yogaworks teacher training with Maty Ezraty, Chuck Miller and senior Iyengar teacher Lisa Walford. In addition Caleb has studied with Shandor Remete, Dona Holliman, Gabriella Guibilaro, and James Wing Woo. Caleb’s classes are hot, sweaty, challenging, and non-dogmatic. He challenges his students to take what they learn on their mats into their lives. He lives in Santa Monica with his wife Corinne, daughters Sacha and Danielle and currently teaches at Yoga Works Montana, Main Street, and Larchmont Studios.

This article was prepared by Sheri McCord. 

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