Just Show Up
Just Show Up
In the last two weeks I’ve attended yoga festivals in the desert of Joshua Tree California and the woods of Reistertown Maryland, I’ve danced, laughed, cried, led class and always a student. Two days before Bhakti Fest in Joshua Tree I had no plans of even going, it was only a last minute invite from a sweet friend that convinced me. My plans for Lovelight Festival literally have changed five times in the last five months but I made it, here’s a few things I learned from each,
-remember to pack a pillow and shampoo when you camp and/or make friends with your neighbors
-salt is as important as water in the desert
-the east coast is still cold and you can’t just wear flip flops or go barefoot everywhere just because you live in San Diego now
-showers and hot/clean water are truly a blessing
-being outside your comfort zone can be truly magical and is the most fertile ground for true growth
-human interaction, connection and love, really is our highest purpose IMO
Above all though, I realized the importance of just showing up.
In the last ten days I’ve taken classes and workshops with Dharma Mittra, Shiva Rea, Deepak Chopra, Dana Trixie Flynn and Mark Whitwell. World-renowned yoga teachers you’ll find on the pages of Yoga Journal and websites like Alo Yoga, Headspace and Lululemon. They’ve taught and influenced thousands if not millions of people.
Funny thing though, all had a completely different take on what yoga is, what it looks like and what works for them. What was the same? The message to just show up, to do the work and the rest will take care of itself. (True story, my favorite class was actually with a much lesser known teacher from India named Yogrishi Vishvketu) - https://akhandayogaonline.com/about/yogrishi-vishvketu
As yogis we know things work in cycles and the importance of routine. I always laugh when my dharma talk for the week mirrors exactly that of what other yoga teachers are sharing with their students. It’s like we’re tapped into this wonderful network that doesn’t require wi-fi or Ethernet, just to be in our routine or flow state, doing what we know we need to.
To log in, we need only to arrive on our mats, to do our practice, our meditation, pranayama, workout, whatever your routine is that you know you feel your best.
Mark Whitwell said 40 days of basic sun salutations set to breath was the key, Dharma Mittra taught all forward folds and backbends with some acro yoga thrown in and never once cued breath while movin,g keeping pranayama separate. Shiva Rea basically taught a dance class where we sang and hugged and showered ourselves with love. Dana Trixie sequenced us into half lotus peacock and kissed me on the cheek while we took a selfie for instagram.
The point is, there are many MANY approaches to the practice of yoga and how to find happiness. Mostly I believe each student should respect the teacher that is leading him or her, aiding their growth, but also understand the need to find their own path.
At Lovelight festival not really knowing what my style was the founders of the festival called it “Q Yoga”. Despite rainy cold conditions and the fact that Dharma Mittra was teaching at the same time as me, over 50 yogis decided to show up to practice with me, sharing in what I believe is helpful for happiness, dancing to the talking heads, singing Trevor Hall, flowing with what feels good, challenging yourself but making sure to smile.
There’s no one right path, we’re all just souls having a human experience. If you know it fills you up, show up, put forth effort and love the fruits of your labor.