April 22, 2012

A review of Tadasana Yoga & Music Festival, Los Angeles.

Via elephant writer and friend Al McAfee.

A yoga festival on a beach? elephant’s been proud to support Tadasana. Can’t say the love‘s gone both ways. ~ ed.

There is an authenticity to Julian’s enthusiasm.

I took Julian Walker’s class today.

Some classic poses, a few warriors—1, 2, 3…a Walt Whitman quote about armpits, laying on your back followed by a few words of wisdom from Rumi that seemed to fit the moment more than any moment you’ve ever felt.

And then there was the dancing.

Well played Julian Walker, well played.

It was my first yoga class at a yoga conference, and done very well, great sequencing, a great mix of people from retirees, hippies, and a guy next to me wearing basketball shorts—but it all seemed to fit, all were welcome, and it didn’t matter what we were wearing or who we were, only that Julian was actually getting to us, getting inside of us and forcing us to experience whatever it was we were holding back about.

Maybe your father never told you he loved you? Maybe you never let yourself go? Maybe you never thought you’d be in a room full of people, eyes closed, asked to turn your body into a shape, and then go with it. A year ago I would have told Julian Walker to go play his bongo in the woods and talk to the tree people, but now it was exactly what I needed–I don’t think I’d even danced in three years! He gets to you, he gets to that soft gooey middle that you’ve plated with armor and makes it ok to let it out, even to experience it yourself. He does it with elegance, with both the Rumi quotes, and his own unique way of teaching that isn’t necessarily a rock star persona, but a realness that gets lost in some classes, there is an authenticity to his enthusiasm, and he teaches in a way that is seamless to the point that the time went by in a moment.

By the end we smiled, bowed, lifted our arms with thankfulness, made some new friends on the mat, friends we danced with in small circles like a high school dance, and friends we never will speak to again, or know their names, but were brought together for a moment in time, and allowed ourselves and eyes and smiles to beam at each other, because Julian opened the door in us.

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