Can you imagine Yoga, chocolate, tequila and funky music ALL at the same time? Well, I didn’t even attempt to imagine all these words put together in a sentence let alone experience them, but the two day workshop called “Ultimate Yogabeats experience with David Sye” was set to open my mind challenging my own personal barriers, this blog entry shares my thoughts from combining all these elements into a single experience, brought by famous Yoga Teacher David Sye.
I strongly believe that Yoga IS a transformational experience, Yoga is not standing on your head, or standing on your 2 index fingers while your right leg is behind your head, Yoga, amongst other aspects is about understanding your inner world so you can transform your external world, and this is one of the elements that David Sye brings to life in his teachings, it is actually very refreshing to hear an internationally famous teacher (who btw can do wonders with his body) say this. Now you will think, what has the chocolate and the tequila had to do with it? Well, there is where it gets interesting…
How many times have I failed because I took myself too seriously? Because I lost track of the journey by focusing so hard on the goal?, well, more than I would like to admit… David Sye brings the concept of respecting your body and its limits, but also to work with the body in a way that is fun, not “forcing” the body to do something to please the ego, to take a photo (yeah, we all have done it…), forcing the body could create a negative memory which would take longer to erase, have fun instead!, give the body the confidence to go farther with a positive imprint instead, non competitive, non ego based.
Now, can you begin to imagine a class full of Yogis chewing on a Minstrel while doing Surya Namaskar?… well, we all did it, and it was fun!, now, take it a step further and imagine us holding a tequila shot, lime and salt, to gulp it down after a big “cheers”... I admire yoga teachers that take you out of your comfort zone, and this was certainly one experience.
Now, please dear reader, do not think that all we did was to eat minstrels and drink tequila, no, there was a lot of wonderful yoga, relaxation, introspection, cleansing breathing, awareness and being present in the moment, just my mind seems to selectively focus in remembering the 3 min that it took to eat the 1 minstrel and drink the small tequila shot ;-) what can I do, I am human after all!
Now the music!, can you imagine doing Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing dog) with a funky music in the background?, you might raise an eyebrow, but after sometime of executing shy tiny movements, my hips found freedom and were following the rhythm without me noticing!, and there I was, dancing away on my ceremonious yoga pose. Although I enjoy my yoga practice with relaxing zen music, every now and then I might just let myself go to my favourite beats… including “I’ve got the power”.. geesh why not!
Let me share the last experience with you, by the morning of day 2 my ego was kind of forgotten, so after finishing a particularly liberating breathing exercise, I just kept my eyes closed without even noticing, to be “awaken” by gentle smiles of people around me as David said something around the lines of “she is drooling…”, so I open my eyes to see David and others looking at me with a sweet smile in their faces… well, I didn’t even hear him say that, I didn’t even realized we had finished that exercise, that happy in my own world I was, I wasn’t aware of how I would look like, nor how long it would take to finish… I was “drooling” in my yoga class! Awesome…
Would I ever practice yoga after a tequila shot? No (although the Mexican in me feels slightly tempted!), Yoga & tequila is a treat exclusively reserved to workshops with the Yogi Sye… would I internalize some of his philosophy and teaching? Absolutely yes.
I respect yoga tremendously, but every now and then, I might just turn the volume up, dance away in down dog and let the body have fun while trying to discover new limits to my physical ability, who knows, I might even be able to stand in my two fingers after all…
Thank you for reading
Also, a massive thank you to all the Yogis/Yoginis who were part of this journey!
Restorative Yoga is a nice alternative to reduce our busy train of thoughts… today, I experienced a 2 hrs workshop with Kate Cowen just to re-discover the power of performing certain poses in a supportive environment where every single part of my body is resting on a prop, being a block, bolster, mat or pillow, and reminds me that Yoga can truly be a holistic experience, as it can give you a really strong work out which would burn calories equivalent to a long run, but also can take you through the most relaxing journey using eye bags to shut down the external world.
As I arrived to the studio, I found a busy teacher preparing with detail all the props, mats, pillows, bolsters, blankets, eye bags needed for the practice!, all I had to do was to lie down and travel within… following the instruction to gentle open the hips, chest and back, while remaining lying down with eyes closed.
I found the chest openers to be particularly powerful, as they gradually opened my heart in a very gentle way, without sweating or trying to execute more complex backbends, the effect of lying down supported for a certain amount of time was the release of emotions that I held back…, which reminded me of the warning the Yoga teacher did a the beginning: just let your emotions flow… let them happen.. and that is exactly what I did!
Although I still prefer a more active practice combined with periods of relaxation, grounding and centering (as this is the way I teach my Hatha Yoga classes), the effect of an extended relaxing practice should not be underestimated, and we should actually seek to include these long moments of physical stillness that will take the practitioner on an inward journey, acknowledging and processing emotions that otherwise might go un-noticed, and most importantly, allowing ourselves the time to relax... do nothing, just being!. Thanks Kate for the experience!
Yoga can act at so many levels… and all we can do is let it do the job…
Yoga teacher & Senior Scientist working full time with a major Multinational.