Here are some Unexpected Lovely Things I had the pleasure of experiencing this week:
1. Belated Christmas gifts! (Thank you, Larissa.)
2. Free pop and popcorn at the premier of The Loving Story (I used the popcorn as a placeholder in my seat. Hence, it’s not pictured).
3. Homemade soup from my cartwheel buddy!
5. Running into Brian on his mail route. He shared with me how much his family and friends enjoyed this post!
6. Yoga poses inspired by children’s toys.
7. Pinterest inspired lunches
Today, I’m starting a new feature – Yoga With Strangers! The idea is to share my love for yoga with people I don’t know by teaching a stranger a yoga pose! After we’ve experienced the pose (and snapped a pic) I ask the stranger (who is now a new yoga friend) to share something with me. They can share a story, tell me about someone or something they love, something they are passionate about, or something they need to get off their chest. So, here goes……
Meet Brian! Brian is the mail carrier in my neighborhood. Due to slippery conditions and the spikes on the bottom of Brian’s shoes, I opted for a modified version of tree pose (vriksasana). He nailed it!
Brian has never done yoga before, but he shared with me that he LOVES racquetball! He plays at least twice a week and has been playing since the 1970s. He says, “I used to watch the old guys at the YMCA playing racquetball and think to myself, ‘I hope I can still do that when I’m older’….and here I am! Still playing!”
I told Brian he needs to visit The Funky Buddha and mentioned his first class would be on the house. He seemed excited about the opportunity. I hope to see you there soon mail carrier and new yoga buddy, Brian!!!
A big thank you to Brian for not turning and running the other way as I bounded across the street shouting, “Hey, Mail Carrier Man, do you have a minute…” Thanks for being our first featured ‘Stranger!!’
Here are some Unexpected Lovely Things I had the joy of experiencing this week.
1. Gorilla asana with my heels lifted! (I approached it with a tinge of fear, I will admit)
2. Heather. She’s a new yoga student who paid for a stranger so that she too could take class!!! Well played Heather. You’ve created a ripple of good that will stretch far and wide. I trust some goodness is already on it’s way back to you.
3. My 2yr old son continues to say ‘Merry Christmas” and it’s always followed by a hug and a kiss! Damn right, Henri! Merry Christmas! Keep the spirit alive.
4. Cartwheels in an empty studio, which turn into a dance party, which turns into lots of giggles!
5. Lindsay. Who brought me a homemade smoothie before I taught class. How did she know I needed a boost!!!!????
6. Holding handstand without the wall for at least three seconds! (Thanks for creating the challenge Nikki!)
Keep your eyes, ears, and heart open. There’s loveliness everywhere to be experienced!
I ran into a student of mine at a social function the other night. She made a comment about how she finds the Basics classes I teach so much harder than the Power Vinyasa classes I teach. I asked her why. She said, “becasue while you’re speaking to how to build the pose I’ve already been in it for five minutes and I’m ready to get out.”
I can totally relate to her comment. I’ve been practicing yoga for a while. It’s easy to approach my practice from a place of “I know this.” BUT it’s my work (mental, physical, spiritual) to not get stuck in, “I know this.” Instead, my moving meditation is to come back to curiosity and exploration as often as I can. To feel each puzzle piece of my body acting
Build. Tear down. Repeat. Have Fun.
and reacting to create tiny miracles from the foundation upward. I love the feeling in my body when I experience the pose from the ground up over and over and over again. I get to build, express, tear down, and build again. When I’m really in the zone it’s like my body is actually blossoming, going dormant, and blooming into something new. This birth and re-birth, this life and death, this ebb and flow, cannot be experienced when operating from “I know this.” “I know this” is stretched tight and ridgid, like a tense fist at the core of my being. And while the pose I’m in might look good on the outside, it’s stone cold and unenjoyable on the inside.
Tell me I’m not alone. Have you been here before?
Moving off the mat now, imagine experiencing your life, your days, your family, your friends, you name it – from a place of curiosity and exploration??? Instead of being so certain of what you “know”, see your environment and the people in it as small puzzle pieces of the giant miracle! Holy mindblowing, batman!!! Give it a try. The next time you encounter someone you know, experience them from a place of curiosity. See how it frees you up to enjoy their being over and over and over again.