The Anusaga and Bryan Kest.

Via Karl Saliter
on Feb 16, 2012
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Sweat soaked and blissed after a master class w Bryan at Buddhi Mat Yoga.

I read a letter of resignation article tonight, and it was about as mindful an exit as I could conceive. Graceful, heartfelt, and real. Re-posting it for elephant spirituality on facebook, I coined (I believe) the phrase “Anusaga”, and so I include it as part of this article, both as an attempt to generate hits, and to snatch the credit, cash and prizes that are doubtless on the way.

So who is Bryan Kest lately?  Well get the 80’s videos out of your head and think rigor in practice and speach. Bryan is an ungentle, brilliant teacher who leaves you sweating from everything, and wondering how the hell you have survived this far being as shallow as you are. Well, me anyway.

Maru and I caught his class at Buddhi Mat last fall. Maru had worked with Bryan at her center and knew he rocked the house, it was a first for me. His mix of pragmatism and candor brought me up short, and when it was over, had there been one, I would’ve bought the recording. He says some cool stuff.

“If you’re in full pose you’de better not be happy about it (hanuman asana) there will come a day that you will not be able to this pose. It will happen. And youll be just as upset as you are happy now. Get off the f*cking yo-yo now!”

I’ve heard Dharma say as much.  Not really, but I have heard him say one tends to lose poses over the decades., and that there is nothing we should be attached to. The yo-yo is overrated. And so is the quiet, reverential tone I often hear in yoga classes.

 “Who cares if you fall? I hope you fall. I hope the whole fucking row goes down.”

Bryan does not suffer from an overabundance of tact. It is refreshing as hell. In his class, there is a notable lack of a “la la” layer. For me, this rawness strips yoga down to the essentials.

by Daku Resort, Savusavu Fiji

 Here’s one which he said in CT, while riffing on the habit of comparing your practice with that of the people around you.

“People bring their shit to yoga, and they turn yoga into shit.”

There is something in that. Here, try three:

“Yoga doesn’t ask you to be more than you are. But it does ask you to be all that you are.”

“You are the only person that can limit yourself. You are the only person that can liberate yourself.”

“Now spread your arms like wings like condors used to do before we killed them all.”

People get put off by Bryan’s language and, um, occasionally explicit terms.

“This warmup is like yoga foreplay- and you bet your ass we are going in.”

I take to them pretty much like a duck to water. As a teacher, I lack the confidence to speak like that, in class, but it cracks me up on the mat when I hear Bryan come out with it. And don’t worry, the irreverence goes out in all directions.

“These poses are stupid, unless you do them with intelligence.”

‎”Why is there no machine for your rectum at Gold’s gym?”

“Any idiot can touch their nose to his shin, that doesn’t mean its good for them.”

There is a genuine liberation in Bryan’s approach.  He’s not for everybody (thank God, the classes are packed to stuffing now) but he is definitely teaching mind and body awareness with humor and hard-won insight. His way is a good reminder to all of us not to take this yoga stuff too seriously. And to take it seriously. If that made any sense at all.



About Karl Saliter

Karl is a circus artist sculptor writer miscreant gypsy, living in Mexico. He has written two novels, "Compassion's Bitch," and "Breakfast In A Cloud," and has published neither. He often feels as if he was born under a silver whale of a frisbee moon in the back of a red cartoon pickup truck. That careening down route 66 at speed, he leapt up into the cab, took the wheel, stuck his baby elbow out the rolled-down window, and that though the truck had awesome chrome mirrors, he never looked back. He hopes you frequently feel the same.


20 Responses to “The Anusaga and Bryan Kest.”

  1. […] The Anusaga, and Bryan Kest. ( […]

  2. Yes, I forgot how much I love his brand of dharma. People bring their shit to yoga and they turn yoga into shit. Say it like it is, Bryan.

  3. Shep says:

    I am really enjoying your writing Karl. Very witty, funny, and real.

  4. karlsaliter says:

    Right on, Hilary. His is a quiet storm raining good common sense laced with an earthiness we rarely see.

  5. karlsaliter says:

    Thanks, Shep, that is encouraging for me.
    Elephant is giving me a great platform here: I'm enjoying this community quite a bit..

  6. agurvey says:

    Always been a Bryan Kest fan. I've practiced with him when he has come to the Midwest and at his studio in LA. He's authentic, awesome and funny. In the classes I took, he sounded like Dr. Seuss, rhyming his way through Sun Salutations.

  7. karlsaliter says:

    He brings a lot to the party, doesn't he?

  8. Joe Sparks says:

    Most people believe their shit. The use of yoga "jargon" can never be a substitute for the most aware thinking, all the time, about everything, to the best of our growing abilities.

  9. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    I really enjoyed reading this! I love the sense of humour and honestly, there is so much truth to all of it! Yoga isn't and never was about making shapes.

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter

  10. Claudia Guerrero says:

    I am sure he is a great teacher but I have to tell you that I really dislike when a teacher is swearing, for me is lack of respect towards your students but I respect his way of teaching……….

  11. Lyn Kehoe says:

    Well said Karl! And thank you so much for mentioning Buddhi Mat! I reposted on our Facebook page.

  12. karlsaliter says:

    Thanks Tanya. Bryan has a wealth of funny observations, it is a treat to hear him!

  13. karlsaliter says:

    Hi Claudia! Have you ever been in one of his classes? There is something about that exact mindset that his teaching looks into, and smashes apart. He takes our preconceived ideas about "proper" behavior and allows us to look at them from a fresh perspective. In my experience of it, Bryan's respect towards students is actually very, very high.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

  14. Sonyata says:

    I recently attended one of his master classes in Las Vegas. He was very funny. Talking about "Kundalini shooting up your ass…"

  15. maru says:

    Bryan is the best, thruth and integrity with feet

  16. karlsaliter says:

    Ha! I know the exact phrase, and the context. Three cheers for the earthy approach! Thanks for reading and commenting Sonyata, it is what keeps us going.

  17. karlsaliter says:

    He is: there is no sugar, no fancy dressing, but the class experience is sweet like rare honey.

  18. […] guys know I love Bryan so much, and I was aware that he eats meat, but reading his finger-wagging ejaculation today toward […]

  19. […] simple discourse be quicker? This solution from a guy who is not afraid of talking, usually. A teacher I love. I imagine his proposed fix is about as effective as buying a house through listening to slam […]